MORGANTOWN — The University High girls’ lacrosse team defeated cross-town rival Morgantown 14-6 on Thursday night atop Baker’s Ridge. The two teams were playing in recognition of Lauren’s Wish, raising awareness for exposure to fentanyl.
The game was played in memory of Lauren Cole, a 2012 UHS graduate and all-state lacrosse player who passed away at the age of 26.
“It was tragic what happened, and our girls wanted to create awareness about substance abuse,” UHS head coach Kevin Anderson said. “We’ve traveled the state talking about it and hope that it will make a difference for those in need and looking for help.”
After a competitive first half in which the Mohigans’ defense kept the score close, the Hawks did well to respond and scored nine of the game’s next 11 goals to pull away in the second half.
The Hawks saw hat tricks from three separate players in Rebecca Chmiel, Zoey Mackey, and Kelsie Kyle. MHS senior Makayla Chipps added three goals of her own.
“When I watch the team performing under what they are capable of doing, I need to remind them sometimes,” Anderson said of his team’s early struggles in the game. “We are better than the way we were playing, but one thing you can’t coach or teach is effort. They (MHS) wanted it more at the start.”
After a 5-2 halftime score favored the Hawks, the Mohigans came out of the break fighting back and scoring the opening goal of the second half as Chipps darted through the defense and scored after being fouled to cut the UHS lead to two.
Just a minute later, Kelsie Kyle scored the responding goal to double the lead once again. She took on the opposing defender and made a nice cut move to find space for a shot into the corner of the net. The Hawks would score four unanswered goals on their way to a 9-3 lead with 12:51 to play in the game.
“Kelsie is one of those players for us,” Anderson said. “She has really come into her own. When I need the ball settled, or I need a catch, or we need to slow down she can be that player and she has brought such a maturity to this game. She’s stepped up in many ways.”
MHS added a fourth goal eventually, but another four goals by the Hawks in response would put the game out of reach at 14-4 at the 3:32 mark as Mackey completed her hat trick.
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