It's not easy for two teams to combine for 45 goals in a 50-minute lacrosse game, but that's what happened in Monday afternoon's non-league matchup as the Island Trees Lady Dawgs got the best of the Mepham Lady Pirates, 27-18.
Island Trees jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first 1:45 of the the game, but Mepham tied it up on two goals from sophomore Nicole Stackpole.
The Lady Dawgs then went on a 6-1 run on two goals apiece from Kelsey Riegel and Emily Lucas, and one each from Kaitlyn Interiandi and Bridget Vilbig.
Three goals from senior Cristina Olson and two from sophomore Ashley Appel were enough to put Mepham on a 5-4 run to end the half down 13-9.
Olson finished the game with six goals and two assists, while Appel finished with three goals and two assists.
The Lady Pirates came firing out of the half on a 5-1 run to tie the game over the course of the first eight minutes. Mepham's Stackpole added two more goals during that stretch.
Island Trees took a brief two-goal lead on goals from Allie Merrill and Brianna Ferrara before the teams exchanged seven straight goals in just a two-minute stretch. The last of which was scored by Stackpole to bring the Lady Pirates within one at 19-18. Unfortunately for Mepham, it was the last goal the team would score.
Vilbig went on a tear with four goals in the final nine minutes to help the Lady Dawgs go on an 8-0 run to close out the game. She finished the game with a career-high 10 goals and five assists.
Lucas and Riegel also had big games for the Lady Dawgs. Lucas finished with five goals and three assists, while Riegel also grabbed five goals to go along with two assists.
“I thought we played really well. We pass the ball really well," Vilbig said. "We had a little rough patch in the beginning, but we pulled it together."
Score: Island Trees 27, Mepham 18
Records: Island Trees 2-5 (7-5); Mepham 1-3 (7-4)
Heroes: Vilbig scored with relative ease throughout the course of the game. Three of her goals came after she won a draw and ran down half of the field with the ball before burying it in the back of the net (see video).
“Bridget is an absolutely amazing player," Island Trees head coach Jamie Laudage said. "She had a career-high 10 goals and 26 draw controls, so as a coach you really can’t ask for anything more than that. She gives 110 percent at practice and she gives 1000 percent, if there is such a thing, in a game. … She works hard, she’s reliable and she’s someone we can count on.”
For Mepham, Stackpole had a big day with six goals and one assist.
“It was the best game I’ve seen from Nicole Stackpole," Mepham head coach Geraldine O'Brien said. "… It was such smart play from her and it worked.”
Turning Point: Mepham was down by three with eight minutes to go, and still in striking distance. But Vilbig won a faceoff, ran downfield and scored her eighth goal of the game just 10 seconds after picking up her fifth assist.
The goal took a significant amount of momentum from the Lady Pirates.
“Their center, number four, is absolutely amazing," O'Brien said of Vilbig's play. "When we couldn’t win the draw there was no stopping her. She would take the draw and go straight in."
Quotable: “We work real hard at practice to obviously perform in games and all the hard work that they do in practice, it’s been showing in games," Laudage said. "Even when we have our little rough patches during the games they find a way to make it happen and to come out with the win in the end.”
Bottom Line: Mepham and Island Trees were neck and neck eight minutes into the second half, but Vilbig said it was her team's communication that was the determining factor.
"We started talking at the end," she said. "At the beginning we just didn’t talk and we had miscommunications all over the field. We’re a really close team, so we pulled it together.”
On the other side of things, Mepham battled but had trouble in the faceoff circle and after starting the season 7-1, ended up with its third straight loss.
“We just couldn’t win in the circle," O'Brien said.
Who's Next? May 4, Wheatley @ Island Trees, 4:15 p.m.; May 6, Kennedy @ Mepham (Senior Day), 4:30 p.m.
Box Score:Teams 1 2 F Island Trees 13 14 27 Mepham 9 9 18
Goals-Assists (Island Trees): Vilbig, 10-5, Lucas, 5-3, Riegel 5-2, Merrill, 3-1, Interlandi 2-0, Amanda Dias 1-1, Ferrara 1-0; Totals: 27-12. Goals-Assists (Mepham): C. Olson, 6-2, Stackpole, 6-1, Appel, 3-2, Batcher 1-2, Trupo 1-1, Giorgos 1-0; Totals: 18-8.
Saves-Shots Faced (Island Trees): Riley, 3-12, Brittany Sadowski, 3-12;
Saves-Shots Faced (Mepham): DeLauter, 12-39.