Eight players score as Egg Harbor Township outlasts Cedar Creek in girls lacrosse
EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — The Egg Harbor Township girls lacrosse team is trying to work its way toward being the type of team that can compete for the top spot in the Cape-Atlantic League. Getting over the .500 mark is a step in the right direction for the Eagles, who fought off a scrappy Cedar Creek squad Tuesday, winning 14-9 to improve to 3-2.
The win was the third straight for the Eagles, who dropped their first two games of the season to Mainland Regional and Middle Township. Mainland, Middle and Ocean City are a combined 14-0, while EHT has climbed into fourth place in the CAL.
"We have good girls, and I feel like this was a good win. It comes down to the draw. If we win the draw, we pass the ball a few times and get it into (the offensive zone)," said EHT senior captain Kelly Tran. "This is our first time being over .500 in a couple of years, and I feel like this year we can do really well."
The Eagles were led by Jess Sheffer, who scored four goals, and Erica Kacpyzykowski and Erin Hogan added two each. But the key for Egg Harbor Township was a balanced offense. In all, eight different players scored.
"We expected to play well, but they did really well against us. It was a fun game. Our whole team has played together for a really long time, so we work well together," Sheffer said. "(Scoring diversity) is important for us because we try to play as a family. When we are passing the ball around and scoring evenly around the offense, it really helps us gel. It's exciting. I think we are playing well as a team, but we definitely have more work to do, especially with Mainland tomorrow and then eventually Ocean City. But we're getting there."
EHT got off to a hot start, jumping out to a 7-1 lead in the first 15 minutes. Five different players scored the first seven goals, as Sheffer had three and Madison Barney, Kacpyzykowski, Angelica Dagit and Nicole Jandras also scored. The Pirates (0-3) cut the lead to 8-3 on a goal by Alina Nelson, and Nelson scored again with 34 seconds left in the first half to cut the deficit to 10-6. The Eagles got a big goal from Hogan, however, with just two seconds left before halftime to take an 11-6 lead.
Cedar Creek got within 12-8 with 17:51 to play when Taylor Emmell, who led the Pirates with four goals, scooped up a loose ball in front of the Eagles' net and got a shot past sophomore keeper Mia Monacelli. Monacelli played a strong second half, though, making eight saves. Junior Elyse Derbyshire made three saves for EHT in the first half as head coach Franklin Williams employs a two-goalie system.
"Mia is just a sophomore and she made some pretty good saves, so I'm happy about that," Williams said. "I wasn't real happy with our play in the second half, but I feel like with a young team we're getting better with every game. Hopefully that keeps up. We really promote the team mentality. There are 11 girls on the field, so you don't necessarily need one star. We like to spread it out and give everybody a little taste of scoring."
Williams said stopping Emmell was a big priority for the Eagles.
"I knew they had some athletes. (Emmell) is fast and she can shoot, so we knew we had to match up with them on defense and get in their face a little bit," Williams said. "We had some plays on defense designed just to stop (Emmell).
Egg Harbor Township travels to Mainland on Wednesday at 4 p.m., while Cedar Creek looks for its first win when it hosts Our Lady of Mercy Academy.
Contact Dave O'Sullivan: firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter @GDsullysays