In a sport where speed thrills, Ashley Lynch’s patient style of play can wow an audience.
Her methodical play was at the center of Cold Spring Harbor’s 11-9 win over Sacred Heart in a non-league girls lacrosse game on Friday.
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She was the offensive focal point, scoring four goals and assisting five others, and there was nothing Sacred Heart could do to stop her.
The senior who has committed to Louisville has good speed, but you won’t find her zipping around. She positions herself behind the net with a clear view of everything unfolding in front.
If there’s a cutter, she’s sees it. If there’s a double team, she sees the advantage. If there’s no traffic near the crease, she sees the opening.
“It’s not just a game for her; it’s kind of like a craft,” coach Danielle Castellane said. “When she’s in the zone, she’s all in.”
Sacred Heart jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first 4:06 on two goals by Maggie Casey and another by Cara Urbank.
The Seahawks (3-1) cut the lead to 3-2 when Katie Hudson took a groundball the length of the field and scored.
Then Lynch either scored or assisted on the Seahawks’ final five goals of the first half. She scored three times from 13:47 to 10:46, with the final goal putting the Seahawks up one. They took a 7-5 lead into the break.
When play resumed, the Spartans (1-2) came out firing again and scored three quick goals to take an 8-7 lead.
But Lynch was unflappable.
She assisted the game-tying goal by Sam DeBellis (three goals), then watched as Kate Kotowski scored the go-ahead goal. Not satisfied, Lynch found a cutting Caroline DeBellis for another strike.
Urbank brought Sacred Heart back within one at 10-9 with 7:16 remaining.
Lynch remained patient and took her position behind the net and waited for the offense to set in front of her. After nothing materialized, she broke for the right post.
“I just made a fake, saw I was open and put it there,” Lynch said of the final tally with 5:14 remaining.
From there, it was smart defense from a unit led by Shannon Logan (two groundballs, two caused turnovers) and Abbey Ngai (five saves) that secured the win.
“It’s really important to know our strengths individually and know who can keep up and who can guard,” Logan said.
Some athletes would have taken part in Friday’s April Fools’ Day festivities by pranking coaches. Not Lynch.
“Maybe tomorrow,” she said.
Because on game days, she’s focused on one thing: winning.