Lake Norman beats WHS in girls' lacrosse
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
The Pioneers finished the season with a 3-7 mark. The team honored its seniors following the game on Senior Day.
Lake Norman's starters used a precision attack against a Watauga defense that struggled stopping the Wildcats. Lake Norman scored three goals in the first minute of the game, and eventually took an 11-0 halftime lead.
"They're ranked No. 3 in the state right now," Watauga coach Holly Quick said. "The first time we played them they beat us 21-5, so we were expecting something like this. We told the girls to play their best and to have fun."
Watauga was able to slow down the Wildcats' scoring when Lake Norman's substitutes went into the game. The Wildcats' starters left them with an 8-0 lead with more than nine minutes left in the first half, but Lake Norman took a timeout with 8:25 left after Watauga started to have some success possessing the ball.
"We were definitely able to slow them down a lot when they brought in their subs," Quick said. "And they do a lot of subbing because they have such a large team. It was helpful to us when they put out the second line."
Watauga didn't get on the scoreboard until there was 7:43 left in the second half. Taelor Critcher, one of the team's co-captains, scored Watauga's first goal of the game.
Critcher got the ball shortly after a face-off and ran past most of Lake Norman's defense before shooting the ball. Critcher scored Watauga's second goal after scooping up a loose ball close to the Lake Norman goal with 6:30 left in the game.
That goal pulled Watauga to 18-2.
Ellie Sloboda closed out Watauga's scoring with a goal scored with 28 seconds left in the game. It was the final goal of the afternoon.
Quick would like to see girls' lacrosse expanded into programs for younger players, so that when they reach the prep level, they've had some experience playing the sport.
"One of the things they have down in their area in Lake Norman is they have club lacrosse for younger girls," Quick said. "We don't have anything up here until they get to high school. We bring freshmen in and some have never seen the game before, so we have to spend their entire freshmen year teaching them the basics of the game."
Quick said the Watauga program will host a camp that will help introduce the sport to younger players.
"We're going to have a camp up here this summer," Quick said. "I hope to do a clinic in the fall and eventually I'd love to get some type of club team going for the middle school in the spring."