GREENVILLE – Tower Hill jumped to a big halftime lead, then repelled Padua’s comeback attempts in a 17-12 win in nonconference girls lacrosse on April 23. The Hillers remained undefeated on the season, while the Pandas suffered just their second loss.
Tower came out firing, taking a 7-2 lead in the first 16-plus minutes of the contest. One of those goals belonged to Annie Malatesta, who reached the 100-goal mark as a sophomore. Once the lead reached 7-2 with 9:37 remaining in the first half, Padua called a timeout, and it seemed to work.
Hillers keeper Parker Brown made a nice save out of the timeout, but the Pandas struck soon after. Jordan Bramble cut in front of Brown and bounced one in at the 6:27 mark. Two minutes after that, Rachel Delate connected on an eight-meter opportunity to cut the Hillers’ lead to 7-4.
But Tower went to work, scoring four times in the final 3:09 of the half to take an 11-4 advantage into the break. Three of those came on eight-meter shots. Lucy Nace made the first, followed by Gracie Bailer. With 54 seconds left, Malatesta took a pass 40 yards from the net and drove the middle of the field, beating Pandas keeper Aimee Cathers. Then, after another save by Brown, Sarah Zungailia scored on an eight-meter opportunity with just 10 ticks to go until the half.
Tower won the faceoff to open the second, but Cathers came up big with a save. A violation, however, gave the ball right back to the Hillers, who opened up their biggest lead of the afternoon when Bella Gattuso took the ball off the restart and scored. The Pandas made a bit of a run after falling behind, 13-5, scoring four straight. Delate scored on a give-and-go with Leah Czaplicki. Less than a minute later, it was Delate again, this time on another eight-meter shot. Ava Ruggieri and Delate added goals on eight-meter opportunities, and the Hillers’ lead had been cut to 13-9.
Nicole Crivelli ended that streak with a wraparound tally halfway through the second half, and the teams split the final six goals of the contest.
Delate led all scorers with five goals, while Bramble added a hat trick. Padua (7-2) had a five-game winning streak snapped and will try to return to the win column on Friday afternoon at 4:30 at Sussex Tech.
Tower Hill got four goals each from Bailer and Crivelli, while Nace had three. The Hillers will put their 6-0 record on the line Thursday at St. Andrew’s at 4 p.m.