MILLVILLE — They had to sweat it out late in the second half, but the end result was certainly worth the tension for the Lady Mustangs.
Mountain Crest jumped out to a 4-0 lead, bounced back after giving up five straight goals and held on to defeat Ridgeline, 12-11, in a hard-fought Region 11 girls lacrosse game on Thursday evening. In the process, the Mustangs were able to avenge their narrow 8-7 loss to the Riverhawks on March 30.
Additionally, Mountain Crest (6-5, 4-2) pulled into a tie with Ridgeline (7-3, 4-2) for second place in the region standings. The Lady Riverhawks were 5-0 in games decided by two or fewer goals heading into Thursday’s showdown.
“That was probably the most stressful game that we’ve played this season,” said MC head coach Jaycie Rindlisbacher, whose team extended its winning streak to five. “The girls wanted this one really bad and it showed. They got a little too aggressive, but they stuck it out. Taryn (Durham) did a great job at the end holding onto that ball and it was awesome. It was a big win.”
The Mustangs were able to survive despite having to play a woman down for the final six minutes of the contest, due to yellow card accumulation. MJ Topham scored for the fifth time to pare Ridgeline deficit to 12-11 with 3:18 remaining, and the hosts were able to win the ensuing draw (faceoff). However, the Riverhawks lost possession and were never able to get off another shot.
Mountain Crest called timeout with 1:15 remaining and Durham was able to bleed 68 of those seconds. It was a strong performance for Durham, who netted a trio of goals, assisted on another, won 13 groundballs and held her own against two talented Ridgeline athletes in the faceoff battle.
The junior made arguably the most crucial play in the entire game when she won a draw with seven seconds remaining in the first half and delivered an accurate pass to Kamrie Wilkinson, who scored just before the horn sounded. This gave the Mustangs an 8-7 halftime lead and put an end to an impressive 5-0 surge by the Riverhawks.
“It was really big,” Durham said. “For Kam to get that goal meant a lot for us. We were all pretty hyped to go back in and just give it our all, and just keep scoring goals.”
Momentum carried over into the second half as the Mustangs scored twice quickly to extend their advantage to 10-7. Mountain Crest never trailed Thursday and only allowed Ridgeline to pull even once, when Topham converted on a really nice shot with seven seconds left in the opening half.
“I think Mountain Crest, I’ll give them credit,” RHS head coach Aaron Quiggle said. “They played well, they played hard. They played physical and made us work for it, and they came out on top.”
The Riverhawks would have swept the season series had they even converted on half of their penalty shots. Ridgeline was 2 of 7 on penalty shots, while Mountain Crest buried two of its three penalty shots.
“We blew a lot of opportunities,” Quiggle said. “We hit the goalie quite a few times, we hit the pipe quite a few times, so definitely we’ve got some work to do on finishing.”
In addition to netting five goals, Topham also assisted on two other ones for the Riverhawks, who got a pair of goals from Belle Quiggle and Brooklyn McBride. Ellie Goins and Nika Fredrickson chipped in with one goal each.
Durham, Wilkinson and Madi Henrie led the Mustangs with a trio of goals apiece. Sophie Longson, Charly Peck and Emmalee Leishman also found the back of the net for Mountain Crest, which got assists from Henrie and Sarah Keller.
“I’m proud of the girls,” Rindlisbacher said. “I don’t think I’ve seen them play as hard as they did tonight and it really showed. They really wanted this and it was a great game.”
Goalie Sierra Maughn came up big for the visitors as she finished with nine saves — the final one on a penalty shot with 4:11 remaining in the contest.
“She’s amazing,” Durham said of Maughn. “She’s just a freshman, so we get to keep her three more years and later on in (the upcoming years) I think we’re going to have a great team. We have a lot of young players.”
Bear River (10-1, 6-0) continued its impressive run in region play by blowing out visiting Green Canyon (3-4, 2-4)19-0, while Sky View (3-4, 1-4) hosted Logan (0-5, 0-5) and captured its first region win, 12-6.
The Bears have dispatched of all six of their league foes by an least eight goals.
Meanwhile, the Bobcats achieved the breakthrough they were looking for. Freshmen Vivian LaMont and Kira Bowden teamed up for seven goals, and Brianna Reid, Dika Bair, Sierra Young, Grace Julander and Kenley Taylor also contributed in the scoring column for a balanced Sky View squad.
“Sky View started strong and remained consistent throughout the game,” SV head coach Brandon LaMont said. “They played as a team tonight and (the girls) poured their hearts out. Our defense is working hard and when you can go to cage with so many different players you are bound to come out with a win.”
Zsofi Ugray finished with three goals for the Grizzlies, while Izzy Wappett, Karina Mendez and Marisol Contreras contributed with one apiece. Logan goalie Anna Trevizo made an impressive 18 saves.