LEWISBURG — By Bob Gaines
For The Daily Item
With the game deadlocked, storm clouds to the west were beginning to look a bit ominous. Lewisburg was about to provide a preview to the downpour.
Not to be denied an undefeated record in the Central Susquehanna Lacrosse League, the Green Dragons rocked Midd-West by scoring 10 of the final 12 goals to turn a halftime tie into an 18-10 victory on Thursday at Lewisburg. The Dragons are 11-0 in league play, the second-place Mustangs 9-3 with two of those losses to Lewisburg.
"We were anticipating a tough game and knew they would come out hard," said Lewisburg's Janis Harley. "To be honest, it's a tough rivalry."
Harley, a senior midfielder, scored three goals and notched two assists, an impressive scoring column that included four goals each by Lisa Steinhubl and Hannah Gotoff, both forces inside the eight-meter fan. Continually shaking heavy traffic, Steinhubl also contributed a pair of assists.
"Lisa is aggressive, fast, and likes to drive," said Lewisburg coach Janelle Groff. "She has an eye for the goal."
A junior midfielder, Steinhubl was one of many stars for the Dragons, who had nine different players score goals.
Rachael Murphy had two goals for Lewisburg, while Maggie Connolly contributed a goal and assist. Ella Pavlechko, Mikala Morrow, Sarah Talabiska, and Ashley Bilger each had solo goals.
"We have some high scorers and a lot of great leadership," said Groff, "but we are really working together as a team."
"Our offense was good," added Steinhubl, "but our defense was great."
Sienna Fisher had two key interceptions for the Dragons to set up fast breaks and Jamie Ptacek continually stripped the Mustang cradles. Goalkeepers' Claire Paulsen and Katie Armstrong both came up with some exceptional saves, as did Lexi Bixler of the Mustangs.
"Lewisburg did a really good job on defense," said Midd-West coach Lonnie Wagner, "but we had great hustle and it was really back-and-forth, just like every time we play them."
While Midd-West won most of the draws and ground balls in the first half, Lewisburg definitely turned the tide in the final 25 minutes.
''We might have been a little bit frazzled at first," said Harley. "I know I had tunnel vision, but then the field opened up. We picked up the transition in the second half and got the good combinations going."
"We were being outhustled for the ground balls," said Groff, "but really got our passing going. We scored a couple of goals when we were numbers up and got the momentum."
Nackea Bachman was just as unstoppable for the Mustangs, scoring a game-high five goals. Felicia Bickhart and Julie Hurst each scored a pair of goals while Katie Kreider earned a solo goal.
"It's upsetting," said Bachman, "but we played a great game. We had our heads up the whole time."
The Lewisburg side agreed.
"It was really tight," said Groff. "They're a great team. They were right there."
It still may not be over.
"I'm sure we will meet again in the districts," said Wagner.