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High school girls lacrosse: South Jefferson breaks Watertown’s hold


This time, there was no let down by the South Jefferson girls lacrosse team against Watertown.

Junior attack Morgan Alexander totaled a career-high 11 points, including scoring six goals, as the Spartans shut down the Cyclones to record a 12-5 victory in the Frontier League to defeat Watertown for the first time in five games.

“This is a big win for our program and our kids,” South Jefferson coach Jen Williams said. “A win like this just gives a school like us confidence that we can and deserve to win games like this.”

Watertown had won the previous four meetings with South Jefferson — all by one-goal margins and the past two in overtime by identical 10-9 scores, the last coming in triple overtime on April 4.

Sophomore attack Lara Podvin tallied two goals for the Spartans, who improved to 4-1 in the Frontier League and 7-2 overall, and remained within a game of first-place General Brown (6-1).

“We’re all really pumped because we haven’t beat this team in a while,” Morgan Alexander said. “It was really a good team effort by us.”

South Jefferson, which has never won a Frontier League title in girls lacrosse, has five league games remaining on its schedule.

“I think we’re right where we want to be at this point of the season,” said Williams, whose team defeated General Brown, 12-11, last Saturday. “I think we’ve progressed ... at this point of the season, you’ve got to clean up your game a little bit, and you’ve got to figure out your strengths and weaknesses and play with them — and I think that’s what we did today.”

In this latest showdown, the Spartans scored five of game’s first six goals against Watertown (9-2, 5-2), including the first two tallies to set the tone early, and went on to build a 5-2 advantage by halftime before pulling away in the second half.

“We’re very excited, and it started with winning draws,” Podvin said. “This is very big deal for us, it’s always been a nail-biter when we play them. But we knew we could get ourselves together and knew we could do it.”

Alexander had a hand in all but one of South Jefferson’s goals, including registering a point on each of her team’s first seven goals.

“In the past, we’ve been able to have success against Morgan Alexander and tonight we didn’t and she made us pay,” Watertown coach Tim Burr said. “She’s obviously a good player and she was the difference-maker tonight.”

“She’s really tough to guard,” Williams said of Alexander. “The more she plays and the older she gets, the more aware she’s going to get, and her teammates are giving her confidence because they’re catching and finishing.”

The Spartans also effectively shut down Watertown’s attack, which was limited to just two goals in the first half and three goals over the final 25 minutes.

“We work really hard on our defense and I like them to have pride in that,” Williams said. “And holding that team to five goals is something that I don’t think anybody’s done all year.”

Williams also credited the play of her team’s starting defensive unit comprised of juniors Courtney Cavellier, Marissa Clark, Kyra Kempney and senior Lexi Smith — as well as the team’s effort in the midfield.

Senior goalie Courtney Ziegler was required to make only three saves for South Jefferson, which generated a 19-8 shot advantage over Watertown.

Jill Girardi and Morgan Girardi tallied two goals each to lead the third-place Cyclones, who were dealt their second loss in the league this season.

Watertown has three league games left, including a home game at 6 p.m. Tuesday against league-leading General Brown, which handed the Cyclones their first league loss in an 11-9 decision on April 9.

“We recognize we have to play better defensively, for sure,” Burr said. “We’ve got to get ourselves to prepare a little bit better against these top teams. ... I’m not sure there’s a phase of our game that we don’t need to get better at. So we have to regroup.”

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