Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Wando girls lacrosse fell, 13-11, to J.L. Mann in the state championship game Monday at White Knoll High School in Lexington.
Facing a five-goal deficit early in the second half, Wando rallied back to pull within 9-8 with 13 minutes to play, and 10-9 with eight minutes left.
J.L. Mann (15-3) countered the Warriors' charge with three goals in less than 30 seconds to build a four-point cushion on way to its second straight state championship.
“(J.L. Mann) played a complete game and for the first 10 minutes, we weren't playing the game we had the capability of playing,” Wando head coach Jessica Stralkowski said. “We were forcing the ball, turning it over and weren't able to get control on the draws. Unfortunately, that racked up the score a little bit for J.L. Mann.”
Wando (13-2) came out firing with back to back goals from Jessie Bunting and Skylar Horner in the opening minutes of the game but then went on a scoring drought that lasted three minutes into the second quarter. J.L. Mann took advantage with six straight goals and carried a 7-4 lead into halftime.
“It really came down to ground balls and who could convert,” Stralkowski said. “They won the ground balls and capitalized. We would win and lose it. Against this level of competition, you win the draw, you win the ball, you win the goal.”
J.L. Mann struck twice in the first two minutes of the second half to open its five-goal lead before Bunting powered Wando with three goals on its rally back into the game.
Bunting finished with six goals, Casey Costello added two goals and an assist and Horner finished with two goals. Wando defeated Spring Valley and Chapin before knocking off Bishop England in sudden-death overtime to advance to the state finals.
“In the second half, we calmed down and made some great plays to come back but unfortunately it was too far gone,” Stralkowski said. “We had some amazing achievements this season, some amazing moments. The girls will pick themselves up and brush themselves off after this and I couldn't be more proud of them.”
Frankie Mansfield, the sports reporter for the Moultrie News can be seen all around the state following teams to meets, games, and matches. For score updates, breaking sports news, and more follow @fjmansfield on Twitter and like Moultrie News Sports on Facebook.