GLOUCESTER — For a Gloucester girls lacrosse team that’s grown accustomed to a certain run-and-gun style of play, the first half of yesterday’s game against Cambridge Rindge & Latin came as a bit of a shock.
The Falcons arrived at Magnolia Woods intending to slow the game down and control possession, and for half of the game, it worked. Cambridge held Gloucester to just one first-half goal and entered halftime knotted at one.
From there, though, the Fishermen made the necessary adjustments and took control of the game’s pace. Melodie Orrell led the way with five second-half goals and Gloucester held off a late Cambridge push to get back to .500 on the year with a 9-8 win.
“We definitely had a bit of a slow start in the first half,” coach Amanda Levie said. “To have a girls lacrosse game at 1-1 at halftime is very low-scoring. We weren’t moving the ball on offense and weren’t playing our game. In the second half, I thought we were finally able to get things rolling on the offensive transition.”
While the Fishermen found a way to bring the game back to their style of play in the second half, yesterday’s win was far from easy. Each time Gloucester looked to be on the verge of putting the Falcons away, Cambridge found the counter-punch.
Two moments in the second half stand out. Midway through the stanza, consecutive goals by Orrell and Angela Marino gave the Fishermen what looked like a commanding three-goal lead at 7-4.
Cambridge responded with two quick goals of its own, however, as midfielders Kristin O’Loughlin (five goals) and Jane Irving pumped in two quick goals to cut the lead back down to one.
After that stretch, however, Gloucester once again appeared to put itself in the driver’s seat. The Fishermen gained control of the ensuing draw and Levie used a timeout, where she emphasized the possession’s importance and told her team “if you have it, go, but don’t do anything risky.”