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FL girls lacrosse: Watertown edges South Jeff in double OT


ADAMS — Call the Watertown girls lacrosse team the comeback kids on this day.

The Cyclones rallied from deficits both in regulation and in overtime to edge South Jefferson, 10-9, on Wednesday in a showdown for supremacy in the Frontier League.

Morgan Cadwell and Morgan Exford each scored three goals to propel the Cyclones, with Exford scoring in the final minute to force overtime and Cadwell completing the comeback by tallying the winning goal in the final seconds of the second overtime.

“We already knew that this was going to be a tough game to begin with,” Cadwell said. “But we had a very good practice the day before, and the girls just stayed motivated the whole time. We were down for most of the game, but we didn’t give up and we kept going hard — that’s what we’re really good at.”

Watertown (9-1), which also edged South Jefferson (8-2, 4-2) earlier in the season by a goal, strengthened its hold on first place by improving to 7-0 in the league.

“It feels awful good,” Watertown coach Tim Burr said. “Because whenever you can come back on a very good team like South Jefferson, it’s a good thing. There were plenty of times where we could have hung it up ... I felt like in both games, whoever has the last possession is going to win the game.”

The Cyclones, who trailed by four goals twice in the second half, scored the final three goals in regulation to draw even.

After Clarissa Perry converted on a free-position attempt to provide South Jefferson with an 8-5 edge with 10 minutes, 30 seconds left, the Spartans were held to only one goal the rest of the way.

“We struggled getting the ball in the second half,” South Jefferson coach Jen Williams said. “They did a very good job of maintaining possession and creating opportunities. We overplayed the ball a few times and it cost us. Their execution at the end of the game was very good, and they did a great job of getting the ball.”

After Ashley Flick finished off a pass from Morgan Girardi with 8:59 to play, Girardi then scored on a free-position shot with 3:06 left to pull Watertown within 8-7.

Exford then drew a free-position bid and converted with 37 seconds left in regulation, as the Cyclones drew even at 8-8.

“The first time we played them, we were down 4-0 in the first half and came back and won,” Exford said. “I think we stay motivated — we don’t collapse as a team — we push harder to get better and work better.”

The Spartans seized the initiative in the first three-minute overtime as Perry moved in and scored on a partial breakaway with 57 seconds left.

“I told the girls during the last timeout ‘I think we’re fine, we’ve got to have possessions and just keep winning ground balls,’” Burr said. “I think we’ve got girls who are just going to continue to play no matter what the score is or what the situation is. They’re tough girls who really like to keep battling.”

Then, with South Jefferson shorthanded because of a penalty call, Watertown struck for two man-advantage goals in the final minute of the second overtime. Jill Girardi scored a goal with 46 seconds remaining and Cadwell followed with the deciding goal by converting on a free-position opportunity with eight seconds left.

“The only thing going through my mind was to make that goal because there wasn’t much time left on the clock,” Cadwell said.

Goalie Christina Matthewson made two saves for the Cyclones.

Morgan Alexander and Stephanie Green each tallied two goals and an assist for the Spartans and Mallory Davis scored twice.

Courtney Ziegler finished with four saves for South Jefferson, including several clutch stops in the second half.

“She definitely kept us in the game,” Williams said of Ziegler.

The second-place Spartans had won six consecutive games after they were edged, 10-9, by Watertown on April 10.

“It’s our second loss and they’ve both been by one goal,” Williams said. “At this point you either learn from your mistakes and continue through the season. We’ve got some tough games ahead of us and I think this group of kids is young, but they work hard — and I think we’ll continue to work hard.”

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