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Originally published: 2014-03-28 13:42:15
Last modified: 2014-03-28 13:43:45

Mount Tabor pulls away from WHS girls' lacrosse team

by Steve Behr Sports Editor

Watauga's girls' lacrosse team is a constant work in progress.


The Pioneers returned 11 players from last season, and added 11 new players on their roster for their game against Mount Tabor Thursday. Passing and catching the ball with the lacrosse sticks is not always easy for experienced players, let alone those learning the game.


But Watauga showed improvement in its passing during its 16-6 loss to the Spartans at chilly Leigh Cooper Wallace Field. It was Watauga's second game of the season.


Watauga coach Holly Quick said the Pioneers have gotten much better at passing and catching the ball, particularly in the first half when Watauga trailed 7-4 after giving up a goal with 12.7 seconds left in the game.


"They did fantastic tonight with catching the ball," Quick said. "We've been working on that since our last game. We've been working on almost nothing by passing and working on some of the skills they need just to practice."


Mount Tabor looked like it would pull away early from Watauga by taking a 4-0 lead. But Watauga struck back with three straight goals. Elle Sloboda scored the first one after taking a pass from Katie Marks and putting the ball into the Mount Tabor goal with 14:44 left in the first half.


It didn't take long for the Pioneers to strike again. Courtney Kapral scored the Pioneers' next two goals. A pair of Marks assists set up both goals. Kapral's second goal cut Mount Tabor's lead to 4-3.


Mount Tabor scored the next three goals, including an Emily Warren score, with 12.7 seconds left in the first half.


"We got through the first half trailing only 7-4," Wells said. "We were really staying in there and I think our girls were just getting tired. We just don't have enough experience to be able to sub as much as we need to keep them from getting too tired. You could really see a big difference from the first half and the second."


Mount Tabor put the game out of reach at the start of the second half by scoring the first four goals in the second half to take an 11-4 lead. Watauga countered with a Marks goal, and after Mount Tabor scored again, Sloboda matched it with her own goal to keep Watauga within 12-6 with 15:47 left in the game.


Mount Tabor closed out the game with four goals, the final two coming in the final 5:41.


Watauga hosts an Asheville club team in a nonconference game at 4 p.m. Saturday at Leigh Wallace Cooper Field. Wells said it's a chance for some of the younger players to gain some playing experience.


"It does count as an official game, but it's going to be pretty informal," Walls said.