By Shawn Wood
For The Daily Item
BEAVER SPRINGS -- The scene has been the same the past two years when Lewisburg and Midd-West meet on the lacrosse field: Lewisburg wins the regular-season games; Midd-West claims the district title.
On Tuesday afternoon, in a Central Susquehanna Lacrosse League game at West Snyder Field, the Green Dragons may have found something to use later in the year.
A relentless double-team defense and clutch goal-tending from senior Claire Paulsen helped Lewisburg beat Midd-West 12-8.
Lewisburg (3-1, 2-0 CSLL) scored 30 seconds into the contest and led 4-0 after the first five minutes as the Green Dragons dominated in the attacking end.
Paulsen, daughter of Bucknell men's basketball coach Dave Paulsen, made 17 saves, including some clutch one-on-one stops late in the game.
"We held Jamie Ptacek back in the second half and we double-teamed them a lot," Claire Paulsen said. "We were determined to shut them down offensively. It was an exciting game and we came out ready to play in the second half."
Paulsen has been either the starting goalie or has shared the starting job since her sophomore year.
Midd-West senior Nackea Bachman scored four goals and added to two assists for the Mustangs. Her first goal, which made it 4-1, marked the first time the Mustangs crossed midfield. Her fourth goal tied the game at six with 8 minutes left in the half.
"We lost our focus towards the end of the game and I am upset that we lost as we could have won the game," Bachman said. "We had good chances in the shooting space but the second half was frustrating. We'll work on it."
"They didn't come to play," said Midd-West coach Melissa Bauer-Stuck. "We are usually a second-half team and we need to try and become a first-half team."
Bachman tallied twice in a span of a 71 seconds to cut the lead to 6-3 as part of a five-goal Midd-West run.
Sarah Talabiska broke the six-all tie with 2:37 left in the first half and then scored less than a minute later to give Lewisburg an 8-6 lead at halftime.
"Getting out to a 4-0 lead was really important to us," Lewisburg head coach Janelle Groff said. "Winning the draws was a key to winning the game as it allowed us to control the pace."
Lewisburg won 11 draws to 2 for Midd-West, while the Green Dragons also won the ground-ball game (9-6).
Talabiska finished with six points, while Rachel Murphy, Lisa Steinhubl, Hanna Gotoff and Jessica Penn added single goals for the Green Dragons.
Midd-West (2-1) cut the lead to 8-7 on a goal from Katie Kreider that came off a rebound three minutes into the second half. Talabiska gave the Green Dragons a two-goal lead five minutes later before Julie Hurst got the Mustangs back to within a goal at 9-8 with 16 minutes left in regulation. Hurst had two goals, while her sister Nicole added one.
The Mustangs had their chances in the second half but hit two post and one cross-bar with shots.
Ashley Bilger had a four-goal game, scoring two of Lewisburg's final three.
Midd-West goalie Mikayla Freed made 10 saves.