MILLTOWN — Saint Mark’s High School was a busy place on April 24. There were four varsity sports competing simultaneously. That’s a lot of athletes, but only one could have the best day, and that would be Lindsay Sawyer of the girls’ lacrosse team. The junior scored 10 goals, propelling the Spartans to a 12-7 victory over Wilmington Charter.
The Force started strong, taking a 2-0 lead before the game was five minutes old. The second goal came from Margaret Murphy, who out-jumped Spartans goalkeeper Kylie Ennis at the goal line and tucked the ball into the net.
Sawyer got busy a minute later after Saint Mark’s won the faceoff. She was fouled on the attack and scored the team’s first goal on a restart, bouncing one past Force keeper Morgan Oliver.
That was it for the scoring for the next 10 minutes, although Oliver was called upon to make a save during the interim. Sawyer appeared to have scored again, but a whistle had blown just before she shot as she was fouled again. But once more, she buried the restart with 9:24 to go in the half to tie the game at 2.
The Force regained a two-goal lead with two scores in a 16-second span. The first one went to Emma Gaz, who took a pass while cutting to the net and didn’t miss. Peyton Gilmartin notched the other one, beating Ellis high after Charter won the faceoff.
Sawyer sandwiched two goals around a big save from Oliver, tying the score with 4:50 left in the half, but the Force recaptured the lead with just over a minute left when Elle Toth found the net. That was not a problem for the Spartans, who fed Sawyer with 34 seconds to go for the tying goal.
It was all Spartans in the second half as they fed Sawyer over and over. She scored on a bouncer after barreling down the middle toward Oliver at the 22:50 mark. She hit again a few minutes later. After saves by Oliver and Ellis, Sawyer connected on a turnaround shot with 15:03 to go, giving Saint Mark’s a three-goal lead and prompting a Force timeout.
McKenzie Beamer got on the board for the Spartans at the at the 11:08 mark after she was knocked over while shooting. Saint Mark’s went back to Sawyer for the team’s 10th goal. The Spartans scored their seventh unanswered goal at the 4:51 mark. This time, it was Leah Pala, who cut around a defender and bounced the ball in.
With all the goal scoring going on, the Spartans’ defense and ball control flew a bit under the radar. Saint Mark’s won the ground ball battle most of the afternoon, and as the lead grew, they burned time off the clock with extended possessions. The Force’s Naomi Clatworthy finally ended the Spartans’ scoring streak at seven unanswered goals, but Sawyer ended a long Saint Mark’s possession with her 10th of the day in the closing minutes. Murphy picked up her second to end the scoring.
Ennis finished with six saves for the Spartans, who are 4-3. They wrap up a five-game homestand on Wednesday against Wilmington Friends at 3:45 p.m.
Oliver had eight saves. The Force (5-3) will play Padua on Tuesday at 3:45 p.m. at the Chase Fieldhouse in Wilmington.
All photos by Mike Lang.