Eagles find scoring balance in win over Bobcats

Oak Hall junior Madison O'Leary tied for a team-best five goals in the Eagles' win against Buchholz at the Boys and Girls Club of Alachua County field.

Brad McClenny/Staff photographer
Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 10:38 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 10:38 p.m.

With Buchholz's girls lacrosse team focused on shutting down Oak Hall's primary scorers, particularly junior standout Madison O'Leary, the Eagles looked for others to step up in Tuesday's match.

Quite a few that did just that, led by seventh-grader Mason Yonge.

Yonge and O'Leary both had five goals each to lead eight scorers as Oak Hall beat the Bobcats, 21-9, in battle of District 5 unbeatens at the Boys and Girls Club of Alachua County field.

The victory, the Eagles' eighth straight after a season-opening home loss, gives Oak Hall a 3-0 record in the district and 8-1 overall. The Bobcats dropped to 2-1 and 6-4.

“I was incredibly proud of them,” said Eagles coach Gigi Roark. “They were man-marking our three big scorers. As a result of that, a lot other people on the team needed to step up to fill that role. This was Mason's biggest game by far.”

Oak Hall also got four goals from Kaitlyn Morse, two goals and three assists from Molly Muldoon and two assists from O'Leary, The Sun's two-time Player of the Year and daughter of UF women's lacrosse coach Amanda O'Leary.

The Eagles came out and seized control early, building an 8-0 lead after back-to-back scores from O'Leary. The Bobcats answered back their own back-to-back goals from Savannah King and Ashley Reul to pull within six, but Oak Hall reeled off four straight scores for a 12-2 lead at the half.

“We seemed to get a little intimidated by their skill level the first 10 minutes or so,” said Buchholz coach Ian Millinoff. “Once they calmed down and kind of found their stride, we hit them for a few goals and we were back in the game. They are a very skilled team. We still have a little work to do.”

Claire Murphy scored all three of her goals in the second half for Buchholz as the Bobcats tried to claw back into the match. But the Eagles scored the final four goals to post an impressive win.

“We have always had really close games with Buchholz, and I can see us having close games in the future,” Roark said. “Our kids have worked really hard at working the ball around, on playing good defense and just on the basics of lacrosse. Eventually, it always pays off.

“Lacrosse is a game of momentum. It can be a very different game the next time around. We are not going to take Buchholz for granted, that's for sure.”

Millinoff, who said his team was without three of its top offensive players, hopes to see the Eagles again in the district playoffs in April. Oak Hall will serve as the host.

“Hopefully we will make it a better game than it was today,” he said. “Our girls did a good job. Our girls are tough, and they showed a lot of grit tonight.”

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