Joe Smith, Local Sports, Morgantown, News, Sports, University

University’s girls’ lacrosse team puts away Morgantown late, 11-7

MORGANTOWN — Some games are just more important than others.

Such was the case for the University High girls’ lacrosse team as it hosted Morgantown in its regular-season finale Friday.

With postseason seeding (and potentially home-field advantage) on the line, Mallory Napolillo and Olivia Quarrick each scored three goals and the Hawks beat their cross-town rival 11-7 at Mylan Pharmaceuticals Stadium.

“That was a big game; that was a seed game. If we had lost that, we would have dropped and had to go away for our first game,” Hawks coach Kevin Armstrong said.“Winning probably secures a better way through the playoffs and we got on a run last year, so why not this year?”

University (12-3) survived several lead changes to go ahead 8-7 after nearly 40 minutes. Then they caught fire rapidly, converting three quick scores to seize full control. Once the goals started following, Morgantown (14-4) seemed to check out.

“I think what it comes down to is that they got into our heads,” Morgantown coach Rich Farber said. “It’s a rivalry game and it doesn’t really matter about records, but at the end of the day, if someone gets into your head and you’re not 100 percent into it after that, you’re probably not going to come out with a win.”

Armstrong liked his team’s strong finish: “When you play a team like Morgantown, it’s always going to be a tough game. We got a little bit of momentum and we capitalized on it.”

After an intense game, the Hawks’ late surge wasn’t fueled by strategic adjustments or stout conditioning.

“It was pride. We wanted it so bad and we really needed this,” Quarrick said

“I think we just wanted it more,” senior Sophie Armstrong said. “We struggled the past few games, and once we had the momentum we got the ball-rolling.”

According to Armstrong, the ability to buckle down when facing adversity and pull through is nothing new for his team, and has played a large part in their success this year.

“They’re resilient girls and they have been all season long. They never let being behind a couple of goals bother them. They know that they’re always in the game if they just stay together as a team,” he said.

“The team played together tonight and that’s the biggest reason we were able to gain the momentum and keep it.”