SILVER SPRING TWP. — Lower seed? No problem.
At least for No. 5 Governor Mifflin, which took to the field Wednesday night against No. 4 Cumberland Valley in a District 3 Class 3A quarterfinal clash at Bobby Rahal Toyota Stadium at Eagle View Middle School.
Although head coach Lilli Kane preached to her team that they weren’t the same team that took the field in the beginning of the season, the Eagles came out flat, and it showed in an 18-11 loss.
According to Kane, they even came out in the first half looking scared.
“I told them that we’re a better team than we were the very first game,” said Kane, whose Eagles dropped a 15-8 decision to these same Mustangs in the season opener. “(Governor Mifflin and us are) very evenly matched. It just looked like they went out there kind of scared. We didn’t go out as strong as we usually do.”
“I know the team was really nervous, but we were really excited as well,” Amanda Willigerod said. “We actually wanted to leave it all on the field, which was actually our (phrase) today. We watched their game film and I feel like we worked on a little bit yesterday with what they had done. We knew they were a really good team so we were nervous coming into it.”
The Mustangs (14-7) racked up a total of 11 goals to CV’s four at the end of the first half, a half which caught the Eagles (14-5) flat-footed more than once. Every time an Eagle ball carrier entered the circle to get a shot off, three separate Mustangs were there to surround them.
“It was too late by the time we picked it up, it was too late,” Kane said. “We started to notice towards the end of the first half (Governor Mifflin’s game plan). I told them that they need to be ready for that girl to pressure them hard. You need to move the ball or you need to pass the ball quickly.”
CV did step it up, at least for a moment.
Kyra Place notched two goals to go along with goals from Willigerod and Emma Eberly to get within five, 16-11, with 4:32 remaining — plenty of time in lacrosse for a comeback.
But that spark of energy soon faded thanks to a late Governor Mifflin goal, hammering the final nail in the coffin.
“The story of the first half — we didn’t really communicate on defense very much, we didn’t really look like we knew what we were doing,” Kane said. “I think if we could have kept winning the draw controls in the second half we could have had them, but they held the ball and it was hard.”
This isn’t how CV would have liked to end the season, but there were some positives.
“We won the Mid-Penn Championship and got a bye, so we got to the second round,” Kane said. “But, yeah, this could have been a closer game, a better game if we just showed up the second the whistle went off.”
The Eagles lose nine seniors to graduation, seven of which were starters this season. Willigerod, one of CV’s seven sophomores, hopes to be back in a similar spot next season, if not further.
“Next year I see us going even further than this year,” Willigerod said. “I’m really excited to see where we end up because we’ve got a lot of people coming up. I think we have a bright future next year.”
Governor Mifflin will face off against No. 1 Wilson in Monday’s semifinal in Exeter Twp. at 6 p.m. The Bulldogs (20-1) beat South Western 17-7.