WEST CALDWELL, NJ — A valiant comeback effort fell two goals short for the Caldwell girls lacrosse team on Tuesday, as a 13-11 loss to Kent Place gives the team its first slump of the season.
“We’re just not taking care of the ball, we have a lot of dropped passes, we have a lot of draw controls, we have a lot of ground balls, but we have a lot of turnovers and that’s it—it’s just us not taking care of the ball,” said Caldwell head coach Angela Giampino-Vasi.
Caldwell was down 13-6 late in the second half when the girls made their most impressive scoring run. Veteran leaders Allie Behre, Sam Gargiulo and Brittany Costigan led the Lady Chiefs on a five-goal-scoring run to cut the lead to two with only 51 seconds remaining in regulation.
“I think we just realize we’re [on the verge] of losing and we go,” said Giampino-Vasi. “It has worked in our favor for some games but not every game it does.”
Ultimately, a draw control by Kent Place on the game’s final faceoff burned out the clock for Caldwell. The Dragons found themselves with the game’s decisive scoring run with six goals in the second half to put them up before Caldwell changed the momentum. Colleen McAlloon was a key factor with six goals in the game for Kent Place.
“I feel like in the second half we got into this funk,” said Giampino-Vasi.
The Caldwell team was particularly disappointed, as it’s been a struggle all season to play a full game, according to their coach.
“The last four minutes and eight seconds we scored five goals…it’s the challenge of us playing two full halves,” said said Giampino-Vasi.
The Lady Chiefs were in control midway through the first half as an experimental start with players out of position baffled the Kent Place team leading the team to a 3-2 lead.
“I started the game and I switched everybody’s position just to give everybody a taste of what it feels like to be their teammate in a different position so I think they were challenged by that,” said Giampino-Vasi. “That set the tone for the game.”
For Caldwell, despite the loss, there were several bright spots throughout the game. Goaltender Lauren Rickenback, for instance, collected seven second-half saves to keep the hopes of a Lady Chief comeback alive.
“She had a lot of big saves for us, which was very helpful,” said Giampino-Vasi.
Additionally, during the Caldwell rally, a key factor was Allie Behre, who has had stellar performances throughout the last few games. Behre collected three goals and an assist to give her nine points in the last three games for Caldwell.
Behre’s play is directly correlated to her effort, according to her coach.
“Allie is a big hustler—she hustles all over the field for me,” said Giampino-Vasi.
The loss drops the Lady Chiefs to 6-6 on the year, as they’ve now fallen in three-consecutive games. The struggle can be attributed to a lack of rest, having played five games in seven days and a tough schedule of opponents in that timeframe.
“Between all of those games we haven’t had a chance to regroup and it’s tough,” said Giampino-Vasi. “It’s tough to go through a week like that and we’ve played tough teams.”
Caldwell will have a few days off before the next contest when the Chiefs will take on Cedar Grove on May 2.
“We’re going to have a couple of days off and I think that’s going to be good for us physically and mentally and we’ll be able to regroup and next week is a new week,” said Giampino-Vasi.
She concluded that the team is now looking to get back on the winning track.