Albemarle girls lacrosse’s roster isn’t populated by many seniors or even upperclassmen.
But down the stretch in playoff games this week the Patriots, who advanced to the state semifinals last season, have played like seasoned veterans. Albemarle hasn’t panicked despite playing in some particularly tight games, and in the clutch, they’ve come up in a big way.
Friday night on the road against Douglas Freeman, freshman Anna Murray got the job done for the second game in a row, scoring in sudden death to lift the Patriots to a 10-9 victory and the Region 5A North championship. Earlier this week, Murray scored in overtime to vault the Patriots past Deep Run.
Murray didn’t score either goal on a set play, so Friday wasn’t a case of the Patriots going back into their bag of tricks. Instead, Albemarle simply settled down and worked for a chance, with Murray happening to get the best look in each situation.
“We were patient and she was the one the had the best opportunity both times,” said Albemarle coach Lauren Thraves.
Albemarle dropped into a 3-1 hole at the outset of the game, then broke back to tie the game at 4-4 before entering halftime down 6-5. From there the teams traded goals, with nobody leading by more than one the rest of the way.
Morgan Rose had a big night offensively for the Patriots as she poured in four goals while Kelsey Myers set the table much of the night with four assists as well as a goal of her own. Angie Chapman scored twice while Bridget Pinnata notched a goal. Sarah Hanssen and Lizzy Chapman each had an assist.
The Patriots are back in the Group 5A state semifinals Tuesday when they host George Marshall at 6 p.m.