WILMINGTON — A strong day on draw controls and some outstanding play in net from Amelia Cradler helped Ursuline take down Newark Charter, 10-7, in the first round of the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association girls lacrosse tournament on May 16 at Serviam Field.
It was the second win of the season for the Raiders over the Patriots. They defeated Newark Charter on the road, 12-11, in their first game of the season nearly two months ago.
Ursuline, seeded fifth in the 12-team field, worked the clock and the perimeter on its first possession, and it paid off when Olivia O’Hara beat Patriots goalie Alexandra McWatters high for the first goal three minutes in.
Turnovers were an issue for both squads in the early going, helping keep the scoring down. McWatters made a few big saves, including one that No. 12 Newark Charter turned into a counter rush that ended with a goal for Addison Nelson at the 17:33 mark.
A dropped pass in front of McWatters cost the Patriots when O’Hara scooped it up and scored to tie the game at 2-2. Newark Charter was up two players for a stretch following Raiders penalties, but good defense and a huge save for Cradler kept it tied.
After the penalties expired, the Raiders’ Emma Anthony scored, and O’Hara turned a draw control by Isabella Tesche into a quick strike for the game’s first two-goal margin. The Patriots cut that in half, but Ursuline scored twice in the final minute. Anthony converted a free position shot, and another win on the draw set them up for a Claire Fowler bouncer with 16.7 seconds to go.
The Raiders sent one shot off the crossbar and another off the post in the opening minutes of the second half, and Newark Charter took advantage of that good fortune to close the gap. Nelson converted a steal in front of Cradler into a goal, and Maja Novakovic found success on an 8-meter shot with 16:54 to go.
Cradler continued her strong play in net with some acrobatic stops, and it remained a one-goal Ursuline lead until the 13:21 mark. Anthony got her hat trick after taking a pass from Fowler and shooting high. The Raiders won the next draw and held the ball for a few minutes, but McWatters stopped one shot, and a free position shot went wide.
More than six minutes elapsed between goals after Anthony’s third. Fowler gained possession behind the midfield line after a Patriots violation, and she took off, not stopping until she deposited the ball behind the goalie to stretch the lead to three. Novakovic cut the Raiders’ lead to a pair with an 8-meter opportunity, but Newark Charter could not pry the ball loose from the Raiders. Fowler added some insurance with 2:38 to go on another free position shot.
Fowler finished with four goals, while Anthony and O’Hara each had three. Cradler was credited with 12 saves. Ursuline (10-4-1) heads to Georgetown on Saturday to take on No. 4 Sussex Academy at noon. The Seahawks defeated Ursuline on May 8.
McWatters had eight saves for Newark Charter. Novakovic and Nelson each had three for the Patriots, who finished the season 9-7.
All photos by Mike Lang.