NORTH SALEM, N.Y.— It was the perfect exclamation point on an impressive victory.
Lydia Werlau cut through from behind the cage, took a perfect pass and was all alone in front, one-on-one against the Edgemont goalie. She calmly flicked it behind her back passed a stunned goalie to the delight of her teammates.
“In practice we try it when working on our stick skills, but this is the first time I tried it in a real game,” Werlau said of the goal. “It was the perfect angle, so I just took it.”
The game was already decided as that goal made it 13-2 and the Tigers would finish it off for a 17-2 victory on April 5, but that shot summed up just how much the Tigers were able to dominate the game from start to finish. It was game over for Werlau at that point, her fifth and final goal of the game with 19 minutes left to play in the second half.
And while the behind the back shot may have been the best shot, it wasn’t the biggest goal of the game for Werlau. She had a hat trick with three goals less than five minutes into the game, including her 100th career goal.
“I knew I was close, but it wasn’t my main focus going into the game,” Werlau said of her 100th goal. “My teammates helped me get to this point. We really help each other and today the team was more together.”
By scoring her 100th goal, she joins her sister Paige on the list of 100-goal scorers for North Salem. Lydia was on the field when Paige scored her 100th goal, and she admits her sister and older brother have both played a big part inspiring her throughout her lacrosse career.
“Seeing my sister get her 100th, I knew I wanted to get it,” Lydia said of Paige. “Both of my siblings have been an inspiration to me growing up. Over the course of my career she always pushed me. She always played hard defense on me in practice, she wants me to get better.”
As the North Salem varsity coach, their mom Christine Werlau was there on the sideline to see all their goals.
“With me as their coach, I get to experience the ups and downs—watching them achieve this is great,” coach Werlau said. “You have to have a mindset to achieve that and they work hard. Not just Lydia and Paige, but all the girls. The girls she plays with now have played together since they started. They’re her best friends and they’re all nice and supportive of each other.”
Mom also sees the drive that Lydia gets from Paige, who graduated last year as the leading scorer in the history of North Salem girls lacrosse with over 200 points and now plays at SUNY Albany. And she also credits big brother Christian for inspiring the entire family to get involved in lacrosse.
“Definitely there is and it’s a good thing if it doesn’t get in the way,” Christine said of the friendly sibling rivalry for her daughters. “Paige would really push her to get better, always encouraging. My son also plays in college at Stevens Institute and he’s got a wealth of knowledge of the game that he always shares with them.”
That wealth of knowledge came in handy for Lydia and her Tiger teammates as they took on Edgemont.
North Salem had suffered a 17-7 defeat to Bronxville in its season opener, so the Tigers were looking to bounce back strong on the road.
They wasted no time as Lydia and Grace Curran took control right from the opening draw. With Curran and Werlau taking the draws, North Salem seemed to have possession of the ball the entire game, especially the first 10 minutes.
Curran won the opening draw and Werlau picked it up and scored for a 1-0 lead. Next it was Curran as she scored to make it 2-0, then a minute later Werlau made it 3-0. It took just 32 seconds for the next goal as Lydia had a hat trick at the 20:02 mark of the first half and her mom called a timeout for her teammates to acknowledge her 100th goal.
It took just 15 seconds for the Tigers to score again as Jane Fetterolf scored to make it 5-0. Then it was Curran scoring her second of the game, followed by another goal from Jane Fetterolf to make it 7-0 with 16 minutes left to play in the first half.
Edgemont finally got on the board to make it 7-1, but North Salem answered right back with goals from Werlau, Jane Fetterolf and Amy Fetterolf to make it 10-1.
“Edgemont has been a really good team in the past so we didn’t know what to expect, but we played really well,” coach Werlau said. “This was only our fourth time on a field with the weather, but they played together well. We’ve been working on possession and that was a big deal coming out here today. We got some quick early goals and I wanted the girls to keep working on possession and moving the ball around.”
The host Panthers scored again to make it 10-2 at the half, but any thoughts of a second-half rally were squashed in a hurry as North Salem took control. Haley Vermette scored the first goal of the second half, followed by a goal from Curran as she joined Werlau and Jane Fetterolf with a hat trick for the game.
Next it was Werlau’s behind the back goal for a 13-2 lead and that shot seemed to totally deflate Edgemont as the Tigers finished it off. Jenna Murphy scored the next two goals, followed by a goal from Katie Wagner and Amy Fetterolf scored her second of the game.
It was an impressive performance all around for the Tigers as they bounced back from the defeat at Bronxville. Opponents know what Werlau and Curran are capable of doing, and this game showed that there are several talented players on the field for North Salem.
“Jane Fetterolf is the first eighth-grader we ever had on varsity. She has a lot of skill and I see great things in the future for her,” coach Werlau said. “Lydia and Grace work together well. They all do. Haley Vermette, Katie Wagner, Kelly McCarthy, they all know what each other can do and they’re very supportive of each other.”
Lydia kept her scoring spree going with six goals in a 17-6 win over Valhalla on April 7. Curran (3G, 1A, won five draws), Murphy (2G), Vermette (1G, 3A) and Wagner (2A, won six draws) also had big games for North Salem (2-1). Ashley Farraj also scored her first career goal.
North Salem hopes the effort against Edgemont carries over to this week as the Tigers were scheduled for their first home game of the season on April 12 against Pleasantville. The Tigers then travel to Brewster on Tuesday, April 18.