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The Coppell Lacrosse Girls Varsity team played host to North District rival McKinney this past Wednesday night at Coppell Middle School North. The game featured several of the top high school players in the district including McKinney Attacker Megan Carny and Coppell Midfielder Courtney Anderson. Despite a valiant first half comeback by the Cowgirls, McKinney pulled away in the second half for the 16-13 win.  Carny, who is committed to play for Syracuse next year, scored 4 goals and Ali Van der Ziel had a team high 5 goals along with 4 goals from Coco Creedon for the Lions. The Cowgirls were led by Anderson with 4 goals and 1 assist, Senior Claire Wilson (3g), Freshman Samantha Whiting (3g, 1a), Senior Keilyn Michaelis (2g,2a) and Senior Jenna Greaves (1g,2a). The Lions improved to 5-1 on their season while Coppell drops to 1-1 after a win over Plano and several rainouts earlier in the month.

The Lions scored quickly to start the game when Carney took the opening draw groundball and dodged all the way to the goal for a score just 30 seconds into the first period. On the very next faceoff, Carney grabbed another groundball and found Van der Ziel over the middle for another quick goal to put the Cowgirls on their heels early. Despite several face-off wins by Coppell over the next several draws, the Cowgirls were denied a score by outstanding goalie play from McKinney’s Emily Davidson. The Lions pushed their lead to 8-0 on Carney’s 3rd goal of the game with 14 mins left in the first before Anderson kick started the Cowgirls with a nice dodge and score from 5 meters out to put Coppell on the board.

Anderson, who is committed to play for the Stanford Cardinal next spring, added a second goal off the following draw control win followed by a score from Wilson on a nice cross-crease pass from Michaelis. McKinney slowed the momentum by scoring three of the next four goals to gain an 11-4 advantage with just under 7 mins left in the half. The next McKinney possession, however, featured a pair of saves by Coppell Junior goalie Sophia Olson against McKinney’s Emma Guerra, the second of which from right on the doorstep. Michaelis took the outlet pass the full length of the field and scored to get Coppell back on the offensive. Whiting began to take control of the draw circle for Coppell by winning 4 of the next 5 draws and Olsen stood tall in goal as Coppell picked up steam. A steal by Greaves and a long pass to Wilson for an easy shot and score cut the Lions lead to 3 with 1:23 left in the half. The Cowgirls continued the assault with a score by Greaves and another by Whiting with 11 ticks remaining to end the 1st half scoring. McKinney clung to a 1-point lead at the break.

Despite the swing in momentum for Coppell, the Lions came out of the gate to start the second half just as they had done to start the game. Creedon won the opening draw for McKinney and it took just 30 seconds for her to take a pass across the middle from teammate Avery Van der Ziel and score over Olson. The Lions proceeded to score 3 more goals over the first 5 minutes of the half and extend their lead to 15-10. The Cowgirls’ Michaelis answered with a goal less than a minute later, but Creedon’s goal with 16 minutes remaining left Coppell in need of another late half surge.

Both Carney and Anderson continued their head to head battle as the two tried to give their respective teams an advantage throughout the second half.  The two players have no lack of familiarity with each other as they have been playing lacrosse together and against one another all through high school. Former Coppell Head Coach and club team coach Molly Ford has coached both for several years. “You would never know that Megan and Courtney are best friends off the field because of their fierce competition on the field. I’ve been lucky enough to watch them grow as lacrosse players and see their hard work pay off. Lacrosse has given them the opportunity to go to an incredible university and has formed a long-lasting friendship between the two.” In addition to their success as college recruits, Carney has also been selected as one of just 44 high school girls from across the country to participate in the 2018 Under Armour All-American Lacrosse Classic All-Star game to be held in June.  

As Coppell’s defense began to exert itself (Olson tallied 7 second-half saves against the Lions), McKinney began to slow the pace of the game to protect the lead. The Cowgirls managed to score 2 more goals, but the second half rally was not enough as McKinney walked away with the hard-fought victory. Both teams now look to tackle the meat of their regular season schedule in the tough North district. The Cowgirls will take on the defending state champion Eagles from Episcopal School of Dallas on Monday, April 2nd at Coppell Middle School North at 6:00 p.m. For a complete list of upcoming games, be sure to check out the Coppell Lacrosse Association website at www.coppell-lacrosse.com.