The Middle Creek boys had the more comfortable win Friday night as both of the Mustangs’ lacrosse teams came up with victories in the second round of the NCHSAA 4A lacrosse playoffs.
The girls (15-1) will travel to Cardinal Gibbons for a tough matchup in round three after holding off a furiously rallying Millbrook team, 17-14.
Middle Creek’s boys (15-3) will host Heritage Tuesday after riding a strong second quarter to their 18-7 win over Jordan.
Middle Creek girls 17, Millbrook 14
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Millbrook trailed 16-7 with under 10 minutes left in the game, but went on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 16-14 with 1:31 to play and make the closing minutes interesting.
But a nice save by Mustangs goalie Haley Whitfield with 1:17 left to play and then Megan Marschewski’s fourth goal of the game with 19 seconds left clinched the win for coach Rosemarie Piccirillo’s crew.
Millbrook also threw a scare into Middle Creek by jumping ahead 3-0 in the first six minutes of the game.
“We did get off to the slow start, but we knew we had to win,” said Mustangs senior Maddy Boudreau, who scored five goals in the win. “We knew we just had to use out talents and work well together as a team. Sometimes we have to get a fire going under us to play our hardest and get in the zone.”
Millbrook coach Matthew Cope was not surprised by his team’s rally that was fueled by Dana Florian and Natalie Brooks.
“We knew that Middle Creek was really skilled and hard to contain,” said Cope, whose team is 12-5. “We had to wear them down and the last nine minutes all we were doing was running as fast as we could and passing as fast as we could, trying to use our speed to beat them. Winning draws is very important and we were doing that.”
Florian had four goals for the Wildcats, Brooks and McCaine Brandt had three each, and Bayley Olson had two.
“Haley was playing well in the goal for us, but Millbrook was beating our defense and catching us out of position,” coach Piccirillo said. “And there were times when we were lost a little bit on defense and had to get back to playing Middle Creek lacrosse. But we knew Millbrook would be a tough matchup, they’re well-coached and do the right things.
“We know Cardinal Gibbons is a great team and we’re ready to go play them.”
Middle Creek boys 18, Jordan 7
The Mustangs are a young team but are gaining a lot of good experience to go along with the talent.
Jordan (4-15) is also young, starting six freshmen, and was tied with Middle Creek 4-4 midway the second quarter. But the hosts scored nine goals in a row to take control of the game.
“After they tied the score at 4-4, we made some adjustments,” Middle Creek coach Nick Holota said. “We changed up some things on the face-offs and it helped us.
“Then we got some momentum and it was hard for them to come back with the conditions, wet and sloppy, like they were.”
Owen Caputo had four goals for the Mustangs and Charlie Doetzer added three more.
“Offensively, Owen Caputo is doing well in controlling things and decision making,” Holota said. “Jared Medwar did a good job drawing penalties. And our longstick A.J. King gives us so much effort out there.”
Holota also pointed to the defensive play of goalie Jonathan Kelley and seniors Brendan Weinberg and Camden Duchesneau.
“They’re our anchors out there and with a playoff team you have to build with defense,” Holota said.