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Lady Saints’ lacrosse team is getting better

Nansemond-Suffolk’s girls lacrosse team lost a tough match, 12-10, to visiting Cape Henry Thursday afternoon.

No one would’ve guessed it was a narrow defeat from the Lady Saints’ head coach.

Susan Quier’s the new head coach for NSA and after two lopsided losses last week Thursday’s game was a huge step in the right direction.

“We had a different team on the field today. We really gelled. We started to work together and trust our teammates,” Quier said.

Neither side led by more than a goal until Cape Henry back-to-back goals, only 24 seconds apart, to make the score 10-8 Cape Henry as the clock ticked under six minutes left in the match.

NSA goals by Abby Mathews, then after another Lady Dolphin goal, by Alyssa Grigg, brought NSA back within a goal.

Cape Henry scored with 1:57 remaining, then won the ensuing faceoff and held onto the ball in the NSA end of the field for most of the last 1:57.

Cape Henry kept a majority of the possession for much of the game, but NSA was extremely efficient when it got the chance to attack. The Lady Saints scored their 10 goals in 20 shots overall and 14 shots on goal.

NSA’s first two goals came from nothing more than sprints down the field and smart shooting.

Alex Mertes opened the scoring 1:19 into the match, taking the ball on a restart from the sideline on the midfield stripe and sprinting straight for Cape Henry’s goal. Mertes got to a few yards from goal and bounced a shot into the net.

Cape Henry got the next two goals. On the faceoff following the second goal, Abby Mathews controlled the loose ball, raced down the middle of the field right in on Cape Henry’s goal and scored.

A couple minutes later, just under 11 minutes into the match, Julia Rapoport scored directly from a restart around the Cape Henry circle.

The teams traded goals with Grigg’s first goal of the match, coming at the end of a 60-yard dash by Grigg, making it 5-4 NSA. Cape Henry scored with 4:30 left in the half and the halftime score was 5-5.

Kayla Sclater, off an assist from Cassie Meakin, tied the match at 6-6 with 21:05 left in the second half. Meakin carried the ball behind the Cape Henry goal, then passed to Sclater a couple steps in front of the cage. Sclater made a jumping volley at the pass, knocking the ball down into the goal.

Grigg’s second goal of the match made it 7-7 with 13:22 left and Kaitlyn Tuck scored to answer another Cape Henry goal, making it 8-8 with 10:31 left.

One of the few stretches of the match that lacked offense followed, but Cape Henry broke through with goals at 6:01 and 5:37 remaining.

Grigg finished with a hat trick to lead NSA’s attack. Abby Mathews scored two goals. Ann Manning Cutchin made “at least 13 saves” Quier said.

“She was fantastic. She was the foundation of our defense today,” Quier said.

The Lady Saints (0-3) will take part in Norfolk Academy’s Play Day Saturday afternoon. NSA hosts Trinity Episcopal Tuesday at 4 p.m.