Dramatic opener to season
Butler christens new year, coach with OT victory
BUTLER TWP — A new season and a new coach.
Both of them got off on the right foot for the Butler girls lacrosse team.
Alexis Leech scored her second goal of the game 43 seconds into overtime to give the Golden Tornado a 12-11 victory over Allderdice in the season opener at Art Bernardi Stadium Friday night.
Hanna Welty won the overtime draw, made her way behind the Dragons' net and waited for the streaking Leech, whose shot beat Allderdice goalie Hilary Serbin.
“We showed good patience in the overtime,” said first-year Butler coach Rachel Wilson. “We won the draw, which is something I have really been pushing with the team. We are without two key (injured) players in Mya Reese and Reanna Everton, but I thought we did well.”
Butler trailed for much of the game, including 11-9 in the waning moments of regulation. But Lauren Miller scored her fourth goal of the game to cut the Dragons' edge to one goal with 2:50 left. Shannon Douthett then tallied the equalizer less than a minute later.
Tornado goalie Rachel Gesin blocked a shot by Allderdice's Elizabeth Drake with 35 seconds remaining to force the extra period. Drake had scored four times earlier in the game.
Butler's defense, which graduated all but one starter from last year, experienced some growing pains. The Dragons scored two quick goals at the start of the game, then managed three straight scores to take a 6-4 lead with 4:38 left in the first half.
“We need to multi-task on defense,” said Wilson. “We have to keep our eyes on the (opposing) girl and the ball at the same time. We may switch to zone later in the season, but considering we've only been able to practice on this field once so far, it worked out for us today.”
Butler stayed in the game in the first half thanks to scores from Miller (2), Leech, Kayla Widenhofer, Douthett and Welty. At intermission, the team's deficit was just two goals at 8-6.
Allderdice also received four scores from Olivia O'Connor. The Dragons have an official head coach for the first time in four years in Natalie Lamanna.
“We did well in transition,” she said. “We took good shots and communicated well. It wasn't just one player out there. I see a lot of potential with this team.”
Gesin made five stops for Butler and Serbin eight for the Dragons.
Butler travels to Hampton on Tuesday.
“(Reese and Everton) both have their concussion tests Wednesday,” Wilson said. “Hopefully, they will be able to play Thursday (against Vincentian Academy).”
Boys Lacrosse Bethel Park 9, Butler 7
The Golden Tornado scored four goals in the fourth quarter, but their rally fell short in this loss to the visiting Black Hawks.
Jamison Smith scored three times and added a pair of assists for Butler.
Justin Jablonski tallied two goals while Nicolas Cicco and Sam Lex both scored once. Gavin Terwilliger contributed three assists.