Watauga Fashions Thrilling Win vs. Reagan, 13-9

Watauga Fashions Thrilling Win vs. Reagan, 13-9
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Sloboda (14) takes yet another shot on goal.

By David Rogers. April 10, 2015. BOONE, NC — Elle Sloboda slashed her way to six goals on nine attempts Friday evening to lead Watauga women’s lacrosse to a thrilling, 13-9 win over the visiting Reagan High School Raiders of Winston-Salem, but it was strong defense late in the second half that preserved the day for the home side.

COVER IMAGE: Sloboda takes aim on Reagan goal. Photographic images by Brad Batchelor for Blowing Rock News

Largely on the strength of early goals by Sloboda, the Pioneers jumped out to an 8-3 halftime lead, the Reagan fought back to a 9-9 tie midway through the second half before the High Country favorites regrouped to win going away.

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Tenacious defense won the day for Watauga

Watauga head coach Teresa Theiling admitted afterwards to Blowing Rock News that her young team got a little bit complacent early in the second half, perhaps resting on the laurels of the convincing first half advantage. “That,” she said, “and I think we were a bit tired.”

Noting that there are 12 players on the field from each team at any given time, upon questioning Theiling disclosed that she only used 14 players throughout the entire match. “As a league game,” she observed, “this one was significant and we just couldn’t afford to go very deep into our roster.  Overall, we’re still pretty young and relatively inexperienced.”

Watauga defender Emily Thompson earned “player of the game” honors for the Pioneers, contributing significantly to what Theiling described to reporters as an intense defensive effort. “Our defense buckled down when it needed to and really protected the creases.

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Watauga’s Katelyn Witherspoon (39) looks to beat Reagan player to the ball

“Emily played such a great game,” Theiling lauded, “and utilized so many of the new skills that we have been implementing on defense. Her positioning on the field tonight was impeccable as well as her ability to defend the goal. She was such an asset to the team tonight and a large part of why we claimed a victory.”

After one observer described Sloboda as “fearless,” Theiling smiled and acknowledged, “Elle will run right over you if you are in the way. She attacks the opponent’s goal.

Friday evening’s win comes on the heels of Tuesday’s 24-14 loss to R.J. Reynolds.  “The most goals anyone in our conference had scored on Reynolds before Tuesday was three, so we were pretty excited about our ability to score 14 goals against that very good defense. We continue to get better with every practice and every game. I am real proud of this team, of their effort and intensity.”

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Watauga prepares to take the field in the second half

Watauga improves to 4-2 overall, 3-2 in Conference 8, which is dominated by Winston-Salem area teams. R.J. Reynolds is leading the conference, and ranked 10th in the state by MaxPreps.com (91st nationally). Next up for the Pioneers is a Tuesday tilt vs. 2nd place West Forsyth, ranked 33rd in North Carolina.

WATAUGA SCORING

GOALS/SHOTS ON GOAL/PERCENT MADE

  • Elle Sloboda (6-of-9, 67%)
  • Katie Marks (2-of-3, 67%)
  • Gabby Knight (1-of-2, 50%)
  • Courtney Kapral (4-of-10, 40%)

ASSISTS

  • Katie Marks (3)
  • Courtney Kapral (1)
  • Molly Gilleskie (1)
  • Elle Sloboda (1)

CAUSED TURNOVERS

  • Katie Marks (1)
  • Emily Thompson (1)

INTERCEPTIONS

  • Katie Marks (2)
  • Elle Sloboda (1)

GROUND BALL CONTROL

  • Alyssa Perez (3)
  • Elizabeth Vilas (2)

DRAW CONTROL 

  • Elle Sloboda (7)
  • Courtney Kapral (3)
  • Katie Marks (3)
  • Gabby Knight (2)

SLIDESHOW by Brad Batchelor for Blowing Rock News

 

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