By Shawn Wood
For The Daily Item
LEWISBURG -- It may have been the game of the year in the Central Susquehanna Girls Lacrosse League on Thurday in Lewisburg and at the same time, it showcased how far the girls game has come.
The see-saw battle between Lewisburg and Midd-West featured six ties, no more than a two-goal lead for either team and solid defense on both sides.
In the end, the Green Dragons held on for a 11-10 win.
Hannah Gotoff scored three times and added two assists to lead the Green Dragons (9-3, 8-0 CSGLL) while Katie Kreider scored four times for Midd West.
It was senior day for Lewisburg who will lose 14 girls to graduation.
"There was a little more motivation knowing that we were playing for the seniors," Gotoff, a junior said. "Midd-West came to play today and we did too, there seems to be a rivalry there."
Lewisburg led 10-8 a little more than half-way through the second half when Midd-West senior Nackea Bachman beat Lewisburg goalie Claire Paulsen on a bounce shot to pull the Mustangs to within one at 10-9.
It took all of 10 seconds for the Green Dragons to make regain a two-goal lead.
Gotoff won the face off and raced down field and beat Midd-West goalie Mikayla Freed to the short side to put Lewsiburg up 11-9.
"I was looking for an open passing lane as I was running down the field and I knew that we had to get the lead back up, then I found an open shooting lane and I took the shot," Gotoff said of her goal.
Midd-West responded and got the game back to a one-goal game when Brianna Beiler scooped up a ground ball and beat Paulsen with a backhanded shot with 1:25 left in regulation to make it a 11-10.
Lewisburg had set up their defense at the 12-meter circle and was making it tough for Midd-West to get cutters and to run their plays.
"We worked on fake plays and then setting up to take the shot," Midd-West head coach Melissa Brauer-Stuck said. "The girls executed the plays very well, I am very proud of them. We had a lot of shots on goal."
Midd-West lost to Lewisburg at home 12-8 on April 9.
"We improved our mental game," Brauer-Stuck said of the difference between the two games. "No one is disappointed with this loss."
Each team was without one of its key players as senior Rachael Murphy was out with a foot injury for Lewisburg while Midd-West was without midfielder Morgan Goodling who is out with a concussion.
"Midd-West is a good team and there seems to be rivalry growing, it was a great girls lacrosse game today," Lewisburg head coach Janelle Groff said. "There was some extra motivation to win it for the seniors. This team has a lot of heart and even when they got down, they were determined to win as a team."
The final 90 seconds of the game saw Midd-West with several opportunities to score but the defense was stingy for Lewsiburg and Paulsen was able to pick up a lose ball and hold on for the final 10 seconds to preserve the win.
"It was incredibly frantic," she said of those 90 seconds. "In my mind I knew that I had to stop the ball. We've improved on our second slide on defense and they didn't get any dump passes. We forced them to roll the crease."
Paulsen finished with 11 saves.
Each team scored five second-half goals as Lewibsurg took a 6-5 lead into halftime when Jessica Penn scored on a short-side shot with 5:44 left in the first half.