ALAPOCAS — Each time Wilmington Friends created some space between themselves and Archmere in the teams’ DIAA girls lacrosse quarterfinal on May 22, the Auks would come storming back. But the Quakers got some timely saves from goalkeeper Lucy Wood, and they were able to play keepaway in the final two minutes to preserve a 16-14 win at Mellor Field.
The Quakers opened up a 4-1 lead, only to see the Auks come back to tie the score. After the Auks Bridget McGonigle forged that tie, Friends scored the next four goals, but Archmere battled back to cut the Quakers’ lead to just one, 9-8, at the break.
The second half started much like the first. Alex Harrington shot one off the post for the Auks on an eight-meter opportunity and the Quakers struck hard. Madeline Rowland beat Auks keeper Maura Smeader high at 21:03 to make it 10-8. The Quakers ruled the faceoff circle most of the afternoon, and it paid off after Rowland’s goal as Meghan Malone found the net just 21 seconds later to extend the lead to three.
Just another 30 seconds elapsed until the Quakers scored again. This time, Malone bounced one in. Malone tallied her third straight at the 18:02 mark, converting an eight-meter chance.
Harrington hit on an eight-meter of her own less than a minute later to end the Friends’ run, but after Caroline Schumacher scored the next two for the hosts, Archmere faced its biggest deficit at 15-9 with 14:14 to go and again at 16-10 at the 11:21 mark. The Auks went to work.
Olivia MacMillan whipped a low shot past Wood to begin the final push. With 7:40 on the clock, McGonigle rushed the net and found room low. Smeader kept the score 16-12 with a trio of point-blank saves before the Auks struck again and yes, it was McGonigle with 2:16 left. A faceoff violation gave the ball back to the Auks, and Harrington hit on one more eight-meter as the clock ticked just under two minutes left.
The Quakers won the ensuing faceoff, and they would hold on to the ball until the last 10 seconds.
Friends outshot the Auks, 33-25. Wood had nine saves. Schmacher and Malone each scored five times for the Quakers, who improved to 14-3. They take on the top seed, Tatnall, on Tuesday at a time to be announced.
McGonigle, playing her final high school game, led all scorers with nine goals. Harrington had three. Smeader, the only other senior on the roster, had 11 saves. The Auks finished the season 10-6.
All photos by Jason Winchell.