Mired in a three-game losing streak, the Edgemont girls lacrosse team was able to come out strong in its final week of regular season play, sealing off a decisive 15-7 victory over Croton to snap the skid.
With only three games left in the season heading into the week, the now 9-4 Panthers knew that starting off this week strong with a win Monday would be crucial to ending the regular season on a positive note.
The Panthers viewed the losses as learning opportunitites to see what they really needed to adjust in their game with the competition only getting harder as the season moves on. Against both Briarcliff and Pawling, the Panthers got off to a very slow start, allowing opponents to put quick goals in the net. The hole was too much for the Panthers to dig out of.
“The losses were upsetting because they were all winnable games,” coach Katie Degen said. “We got into a funk where we weren’t playing a complete game and we got ourselves in a hole that we couldn’t get out of. We have low numbers on the team, which is hard, and we weren’t making the most out of each of our possessions.”
Before the game against Croton, the Panthers stressed starting off strong and putting Croton into a hole. Edgemont’s determination to win showed through the team’s play.
Senior attacker Sophie Scherr, who led the Panthers with six goals, knew she would have to set the tone right away in order to spur her team to a win.
“I knew it would be important for us to score goals on the attack right away,” she said. “We have been stressing doing our jobs on the field during practice and I knew since the midfield was doing their job in winning the draw control, I had to do my job and score.”
Scherr wanted to reverse the trend. “We started the last three games really slow,” Scherr said. “It took us almost a full half to really start playing the way we want to as a team and teams have been capitalizing on those slow starts, so I knew it was really important to give the other team a slow start.”
Scherr has been a top scorer for the Panthers all season, a reliable player they know will produce when entrusted with the ball.
It all started with the draw and the midfield. As Degen has been stressing all season, winning the draw control is crucial. The three midfielders for the Panthers, junior Ava Pizzurro and senior captains Becca Klion and Emma Hoesterey, answered the call and combined for 16 draw control wins.
“When you win the draw, you can really control the tempo of the game and it makes it a lot harder for the other team,” Hoesterey said. “We were able to slow them down on defense and also make the most of each of our offensive possessions, which is something we have been struggling with recently. We have been putting in a lot of hard work in practice to get out of our losing streak and it was exciting to see it pay off.”
Coach Degen agrees that some of the biggest factors to this win for the Panthers was not only “starting the game playing hard and winning the draw controls,” but also “taking care of the ball on offense, making the most out of every scoring opportunity.”
The attack knew that valuing each possession would be really important, and they shot at an impressive rate today with over 65 percent accuracy. Scherr scored six goals, Klion five.
“In practice we have been working hard on waiting for the right opportunity to score and once we get that opportunity, placing our shots well so that it is not wasted,” junior attacker Peyton Welker said.
Welker also credits the rest of the attack in that “everyone knew how important each possession was, no one made silly passes and everyone took good shots on goal. We definitely did a good job keeping in mind all that we have been working hard on in practices”
Losing streaks can often be hard to break but, instead of getting down, the Panthers used the three losses as motivation. Knowing they are nearing the end of what has been a very special and successful season, the losses only made the Panthers work harder to win and end the regular season off on a good note, putting themselves in the best position for sectionals.
It was important for the Panthers to start this week on a good note as they had two final home games against Irvington on May 8 and Dobbs Ferry for their senior game on May 11. Dedicated to ending the season on a high note, the Panthers will continue to work hard in practice every day and do all they can to win.