Hopewell enjoys big win over Lawrenceville

Girls Lacrosse

By: Matt Nalbone
   The past week featured three very different games for the Hopewell Valley Central High School girls lacrosse team.
   The Lady Bulldogs had a very big win, a disappointing loss, and a lopsided victory after a slow start.
   The featured girls game in the county so far this year had Hopewell going up against Lawrenceville with both teams going into the game with undefeated records.
   HoVal came out strong, scoring the first three goals of the game, and never trailed on their way to a hard-fought 7-5 win.
   One of the area’s best scorers, Melissa Conley, scored three goals to lead the offense, with Abby Brewster, Caitlin Lane, Amanda Bradshaw and Shirah Hamor each scoring once for the Lady Bulldogs.
   Brewster added two assists, while Sue Bielamowicz was brilliant in goal once again, making 11 saves on the day.
   "They (Lawrenceville) always have a good team," head coach Sara Wagner said. "It was a good match-up between two undefeated teams who never saw each other play.
   "We got the early lead, which meant they had to play catch up all day. We held the ball for a while on offense, which frustrated them, but we never really put them away like we should have."
   Lawrenceville scored a goal with 12 seconds left in the first half to gain momentum, but Hopewell stayed tough on defense led by Bielamowicz and Megan Hagerty at the point.
   "Megan played great," Wagner said. "She is the last line of defense on the field and she kept great body position and made some crucial stick checks towards the end of the game.
   "Neither team played their best game, but it was good to get the win."
   The only blemish on the Lady Bulldogs’ record came a few days later as they dropped a 16-6 decision to the No. 2-ranked team in the state, Shawnee.
   "At times we played great and at times we didn’t," explained Wagner. "They were a very fast team and it was when we didn’t play well that they took advantage of every mistake we made."
   Hopewell may have left the game feeling a little down, but had their spirits lifted in their next game against Princeton.
   Hopewell (7-1) came out slow and even trailed briefly, but regrouped and went on to win, 17-5.
   HoVal had four girls who scored three times, including Conley and senior tri-captain Kaley Bell. Also scoring three were Bradshaw and junior Allison Moriarity.
   Brewster scored twice, as did Alissa Molinelli, and Lane added a single goal to round out the goals.
   Conley also had five assists on the afternoon, while Lane and Bradshaw had two each and Brewster added one. Bielamowicz started in net making five saves before being relieved by Kim Raschdorf, who finished with two.
   "We did some good things in this game," Wagner said. "We did a great job on attack setting picks and moving off the ball. It was good to see that because it is something we have been working on a lot this year. After the Shawnee game they realized that we needed to work better off the ball."