Girls Lacrosse: Dallas Edges Crestwood
WILKES-BARRE — It took a little time for Dallas to find its stride.
That was true for the Mountaineers girls lacrosse team in the early portion of its season, and it was the same story Thursday in its third game of the week. The Mounts raced to a four-goal lead early on but saw their production taper off as the opening half continued at Coughlin.
The Crusaders got within two goals before halftime. Then, Dallas started to click.
Melinda Ratchford scored back-to-back goals before halftime and Grace Young scored and set up on two more after the break as Dallas’ offense broke open a competitive Wyoming Valley Conference game. The burst was enough for the Mountaineers to hold off a late Coughlin rally and win, 11-8, for their third straight victory.
Dallas (4-3) climbed above .500 in league play for the first time this season. It’s done so with an offense that’s scored 10 or more goals in every victory.
“Since our (last loss), our defense has picked it up a little bit,” Dallas coach John Delamater said. “Our attack is really finding its groove now. ... We’ve been able to really pick it up the last three, four games.”
Lauren Delamater led Dallas with four goals, while Sam Banks and Ratchford scored twice.
Jolene Ulichney notched a hat trick for Coughlin (2-3). Kendall Pearage and Ashley Chase also had a pair of goals.
Coughlin fell behind 5-1 within the first seven minutes but brought its deficit to 5-3 late in the first half.
But Dallas’ offense then started to roll and kept penetrating the Coughlin defense.
Ratchford took a pass in the middle of the attacking zone and beat her defender to the net for a goal with 1:20 to go. On Dallas’ next trip downfield, Ratchford waited in front of the net for a pass and quickly flicked in another goal for a 7-3 halftime lead.
After the break, Young countered a Coughlin goal with one of her own. She kept at it and scooped a ground ball off the ensuing draw to get another attack in motion.
Running down the right sideline, Young sent a long pass to Banks, who then shot and scored from the middle.
Just like that, Dallas was back up 9-4.
“I like to call (Grace) a ground ball machine. She’s very active out there. She has great speed, great skills,” Delamater said. “She’s really starting to see the field well.”
Coughlin was inexperienced and went winless in 2017 but has shown signs of growth this season. It kept fighting and scored four goals in the last nine minutes.
But it was too late, partially because Dallas goaltender Bailey Slacktish hasn’t let inexperience slow her down. The first-year player asked to try out goalie because of her catching background from softball, Delamater said, and she’s been a natural fit for the team.
Delamater estimated his goalie’s save percentage is north of 60 percent, and Slacktish stopped a number of close shots as the Crusaders tried to come back.
“Today was, I think, her seventh game,” Delamater said. “She does JV, too, because she wants to get as many reps as possible.”
Dallas’ next WVC game is at undefeated Lake-Lehman on Monday. Now’s a perfect time for everything to be clicking.
DALLAS GOALS: Lauren Delamater 4, Sam Banks 2, Melinda Ratchford 2, Christina Leu, Grace Young, Sydney Strickland.
DALLAS ASSISTS: Sam Banks, Melinda Ratchford, Claudia Leu.
COUGHLIN GOALS: Jolene Ulichney 3, Kendall Pearage 2, Ashley Chase 2, Ali Tedik.
SAVES: Bailey Slacktish (Dal) 8; Raven Bozek (Cou) 12.
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Crestwood 17, Pittston Area 2
At Pittston Area, Natasha Koslop scored six goals and Emily Roberts added four to lead the Comets.
CRESTWOOD GOALS: Natasha Koslop 6, Emily Roberts 4, Taylor Tomalinas 2, Sam Brumagin, Katie Coslett, Julia Johnson, Julia Rose, Jill Taleroski.
PITTSTON AREA GOALS: Lily Savoy, Bailey Jordan.
SAVES: Julia Filchak/Avery Bogdon (Crest) 6, Brooklyn Pedana (PA) 15.
Wyoming Area 7, Abington Heights 6
At Wyoming Area, the Warriors rallied from a 6-5 deficit with two minutes left in the game.
Cassidy Orzel won the faceoff and scored on a fast break to tie the game with 1:21 remaining, then Orzel got another faceoff, passed to Tierney Porfirio on a give and go to give Orzel the winning goal with a minute left.
ABINGTON HEIGHTS GOALS: Ashley Deriso 3, Abby Brown, Lauren Simakaski, Leia Parry.
WYOMING AREA GOALS: Cassidy Orzel 3, Tierney Profirio 2, Emma Kelleher, Lila Donnelly.
WYOMING AREA ASSISTS: Tierney Porfirio, Lindsey Poziac, Madi Johnson.