BERLIN- Worcester Prep’s girls’ varsity lacrosse team outlasted old rival Saints Peter and Paul, 16-12, in a driving rainstorm on Wednesday afternoon to claim their third straight Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference (ESIAC) tournament championship and fourth in a row overall.
The pouring rain did little to dampen the enthusiasm for yet another ESIAC title game between the old familiar rivals. The Mallards beat the Sabres in last year’s conference tournament championship game, 16-9, and topped Saints Peter and Paul in the 2013 title game, 14-8, which also completed a perfect 15-0 season. Worcester began their current four-year run as tournament champions by beating Salisbury School in 2013. The last time Worcester lost the conference championship game was 2012 when they fell to Saints Peter and Paul, 9-8, in the title game.
Adding to Worcester’s three-straight conference tournament championship run over Saints Peter and Paul is the Mallards’ mastery over the Sabres in title games this year. Worcester’s soccer team beat Saints Peter and Paul in the ESIAC championship game this fall to complete a perfect 11-0 season. This winter, the Worcester girls’ basketball team beat the Sabres, 34-33, in the ESIAC tournament championship. With the ESIAC tournament championship in lacrosse on Wednesday, the Mallards swept the Sabres in three conference title games this year.
Despite the recent dominance, the games are always tight no matter what sport and Wednesday’s title game in a driving rainstorm was no different. Worcester jumped out to an early 7-3 lead and led, 10-5, at the half. However, the Sabres came roaring back in the second half, scoring a goal in the first 36 seconds to cut the lead to 10-6.
Saints Peter and Paul scored again less than two minutes later to cut the lead to 10-7. Two minutes after that, the Sabres tallied again to cut the lead to 10-8 and the big home crowd that was braving the steady rain and dropping temperatures began to get antsy. With just over 16 minutes left, Saints Peter and Paul scored again to cut the lead to 10-9 and the momentum was clearly in their favor. The Sabres had scored four goals in the span of about eight minutes.
Worcester withstood the big early second half push by the Sabres and righted the ship. Julie Talbert stopped the Saints Peter and Paul run with a goal with just under 15 minutes remaining to extend the lead to 11-9. Leigh Lingo scored about 20 seconds later to extend the lead to 12-9. Goals by Talbert and Karlie Southcomb put Worcester ahead, 14-9, with just under 12 minutes remaining, but the Sabres would mount one more big threat.
Saints Peter and Paul cut the lead to 14-10 with goal at the 11-minute mark, but Talbert scored for Worcester to push it back to 15-10. Saints Peter and Paul scored two goals just 17 seconds apart to cut the lead to 15-12 with about four minutes remaining. However, Southcomb fired home a shot with just over three minutes left to extend the lead to 16-12. The Mallards were able to successfully kill the clock and celebrated their fourth-straight ESIAC tournament championship.