Halftime usually offers a welcome respite for lacrosse players to catch their breath and come out fresh for the second half.
It didn’t work that way for Xavier Prep on Tuesday night (April 12).
The host Gators stormed back from an early 6-1 deficit for a 6-6 tie against Phoenix Pinnacle.
But halftime killed Xavier’s momentum. Pinnacle came out of the break and scored three times within the first 3:41. The Pioneers pulled away for a 14-7 victory.
Xavier dropped to 6-4 overall with another home game coming up on Thursday (April 14) against winless Scottsdale Desert Mountain. Opening draw is at 6 p.m.
Pinnacle, meanwhile, climbed to 10-2, good for second behind unbeaten Scottsdale Chaparral in the Arizona Girls Lacrosse Association standings.
Pinnacle’s Lauren Derminio had a dominant performance with eight goals. It was reminiscent of what Xavier’s Areta Buness did to opponents the last few years before moving on to Stanford.
Bella Johnson scored two goals in the first half for XCP, but the Gators went cold in the second half, scoring just once on a goal by Kayla Swanson with 1:44 left in the game. It was Swanson’s second goal of the night.
Pinnacle had defeated Xavier 14-8 at Pinnacle on March 7, so Gators coach Rachael D’Angelo knew the challenge her team would face in the rematch.
“We knew they would come out strong. They are always a tough team,’’ D’Angelo said. “I thought we would come out stronger than we did. We got back into it with those (five) goals in the first half, but we couldn’t do much after that.’’
The coaches implemented some new defensive schemes. The Gators had improved play, particularly Kate Howard, Arden Schraff and Meg Dedinsky.
“Our defense is getting better. Now we need to bring the offense up,’’ D’Angelo said.
It probably wasn’t the last time these two teams will see each other this season. D’Angelo believes they will square off again in the state playoffs.