The Kennedy Lady Cougars lacrosse team marched onto Mepham turf Friday afternoon and used a big first half to pick up their first Conference B-II win of the season against the Lady Pirates, 19-16.
Kennedy's Samantha Rothery led her team with five goals and four assists, while Morgan Kitton picked up five goals and two assists and Kerri Baum added three goals and an assist.
Mepham was led by Cristina Olson, who finished with four goals and four assists. Nicole Stackpole picked up four goals for the Lady Pirates and Ashley Appel added three goals and three assists.
The two teams exchanged six goals in a 3:24 span to open up the game. After the 3-3 start, Kennedy went on a game-changing 10-2 run to close out the half.
Kitton had four of her goals in the first half, including two in the final 36 seconds to give the Lady Cougars a solid lead. Rothery had six points in the first half as well.
The Lady Pirates found their legs in the second half. They cut the lead to 14-8 after Appel stole a pass from a Kennedy defender and found Stackpole wide open in front of the net. The mini run was ended when Baum and Rothery found the back of the goal just two minutes later for the Lady Cougars.
Mepham went on another 4-1 mini run before Baum and Kitton chipped in another two for the Lady Cougars.
The Lady Pirates, who hit four posts on the afternoon, went on a 4-0 run to close out the game, but fell short, 19-16.
“I think they were ‘in it to win it’ since a week ago," Kennedy head coach Keri Andree said. "We’ve been looking forward to it. It’s always a big district rivalry and they always show up to this game."
Score: Kennedy 19, Mepham 16
Records: Kennedy 1-4 (6-5); Mepham 1-4 (7-5)
Heroes: Kennedy's offense was a big part of the game, but sophomore goalie Lee Kraut was a brick wall in goal for the Lady Cougars. She stopped 11 shots from inside of 10 yards and stopped 17 total shots throughout the game.
Kraut's timely saves were the reason the Lady Cougars walked away with the win.
“She showed up real big today," Andree said of her goalie. "She made some big plays and she also had her heart in it the entire game. She’s a little girl but she carried that big stick and she really brought it today.”
For Mepham, Appel was as strong on defense as she was on offense. Her hustle generated several big scoring plays for the Lady Pirates and she helped bring her team back in the second half.
“Ashley’s a consistently good player," Mepham head coach Geraldine O'Brien said. "She shows up for every ball, ground ball, ball in the air. … Today she took her shots. She played a great game.”
Turning Point: Kennedy's 10-2 run over the course of the final 15:43 in the first half put the game out of reach. Mepham had a solid second half, but the deficit proved to be too much.
Quotable: “We played like a team. We came here to win," Rothery said. "… We were just looking for each other – we passed real well. We worked together and I’m really proud of us.”
Bottom Line: Kennedy's leaders were all over the field on Friday and their hustle helped the Lady Cougars pick up their first conference win.
“We even got on the bus today and they were cheering for each other and they were working really hard," Andree said. "We got here and we had a lot of team camaraderie. They knew what they had to do today, they knew how they had to play and they really did show up.”
After a hot start, the Lady Pirates have now dropped four straight games. The scoring is still there, but O'Brien said it has been the "little things" that have been the team's biggest problem.
“The little things that we know how to do, we just didn’t put together," she said. "Bad choice of passes and not hustling as much as we can.”
Who's Next? May 10, New Hyde Park @ Kennedy, 4:30 p.m.; May 7 (today), Mepham @ Jericho (Robbins Lane Park, Syosset), 4:15 p.m.
Box ScoreTeams 1 2 F Kennedy 13 6 19 Mepham 5 11 16
Kennedy (Goals-Assists): Samantha Rothery 5-4, Kitton 5-2, Baum 3-1, Klein 2-1, Mascaro 2-0, Esposito 1-2, Torres, 1-0, Gerlack 0-1, Sara Rothery, 0-1; Totals: 19-12. Mepham (Goals-Assists): C. Olson 4-4, Stackpole 4-0, Appel 3-3, Trupo 1-1, Giorgos 1-1, M. Olson 1-0, Gelbwaks, 1-0, Batcher 1-0. Totals: 16-9.
Kennedy (Saves-Shots): Kraut 17-33. Mepham (Saves-Shots): DeLauter 11-30.