Western girls lacrosse shakes off delay, beats Salem for Region 4A title

Photo by Bart Isley

Western Albemarle’s girls lacrosse team had to wait a long time to take the field against Salem Thursday night in the Region 4A South championship. But the Warriors didn’t just sit around during the nearly three-hour thunderstorm delay.


“We were playing hide and seek throughout the school, we played card games and we even had the dance off with (Salem),” said Western’s Sammie Magargee. “So that was a little odd, something that I guess will never happen again, but it was all about the team camaraderie, it was all about being together.”


Once all those festivities wrapped and the teams warmed up in the school gym, Western got down to business, overcoming a slow start to roll to an 11-7 victory over the Spartans to secure the region title and a home game in the Group 4A state semifinals next week.


“I think when you’re ready to go when the day starts and then you find out there’s a delay you’ve got to deal with it,” said Western coach Tara Hohenshelt. “At this point in the season, you’re either ready or you’re not and you have to adjust on the fly.”


The Warriors and Spartans were still tied at 0-0 nearly eight minutes into the game when Kate Snyder scored to put the Warriors on the board. By halftime, the Warriors were up 5-2, but it was clear that it was taking a little while for Western to get in sync despite Kira Repich’s first half hat trick.


“As a team we kind of take awhile to get into our zone and really get going,” Magargee said. “But once we get going, we kind of control the game.”


The Western defense locked up the Spartans early in the second half while the offense methodically pulled away, building a 10-4 lead that proved insurmountable for Salem despite a strong late second half push.


Magargee scored twice in the second half to complete her hat trick while Repich tacked on two more to finish with five goals on just six shots. The Warriors have been able to operate under a whoever-is-open approach offensively of late instead of having one or two players force the issue, and Thursday Repich seemed to be in the right place at the right time.


“We share the wealth on attack,” Magargee said. “It’s really about the people who can get open, the people who want the ball and that was Kira’s game tonight, she really wanted it.”


In the closing minutes, Western managed to melt the clock extensively with the Warriors’ delay game, snuffing out any chance of a Salem rally.


Hanna Schuler finished with a team-high four draw controls while Magargee picked up five ground balls with an aggressive approach on loose balls. Bella Moriconi had four grounds balls, three draw controls and an assist.


Senior defender Hannah Curry scored once and Anne Patterson also had a goal to round out the Warriors’ offensive effort. Catherine Adams made four saves in the cage for the Warriors.


Salem goalie Maddie Bowman made things tough on the Warriors all night with 15 saves. Lilly Blair and Abbey Greer each had two goals for the Spartans.


Western will host George Mason in the Group 4A state semifinals Tuesday.