High School Lacrosse
Lady Vikings hold off Newnan for first Cup crown
by Chris Goltermann
As much as it’s a team sport, lacrosse games can just as easily be decided by a hot goalie or a pure goal scorer.
But that wasn’t the case for Northgate’s girls on Friday night at Newnan.
With a chance to earn the program’s first Coweta Cup trophy, it took all 11 Lady Vikings on the field to withstand a final rush from the Lady Cougars and then come up with an end-to-end rush of their own to produce a 9-8 victory at Drake Stadium.
Four Northgate players carried the ball in a tie game with just over a minute to play as momentum swung from one end to the other en route to Abby Coe’s game-winning shot as the Lady Vikings claimed their first stake at lacrosse bragging rights in the county.
Chaya Murrell’s clear deep in Northgate’s zone connected with teammate Maria Smith, and Smith followed by moving the ball up to Ashley Passantino, who found Coe after crossing midfield.
Smith then clinched the victory with a final steal in the closing 20 seconds to take the ball away from the Lady Cougars after taking a timeout just beyond Northgate’s scoring circle.
In boys action, Northgate bounced back from an early three-goal deficit to defeat Newnan 17-7 behind five goals from both Chandler Warren and Mitchell Hutton, who each added an assist. Clayton Francisco also scored three times for the Vikings.
The round-robin tournament closed with its best-played girls game, one where each team grabbed the lead twice.
Newnan’s Jac Witt capped off a three-goal comeback by the Lady Cougars, who also trailed 5-3 at halftime. Witt’s tally gave Newnan its first lead since the midway point of the first half with only 7:41 remaining.
Down 3-1 early, Northgate tied the game on the first of two goals by Brenda Robertson.
The Lady Vikings then scored three more times to take a 5-3 lead into halftime.
Northgate’s lead grew as big a three twice in the opening six minutes of the second half on goals by Robertson and Reagan Cluff.
Newnan goalie Hope Overton kept the game from getting out of reach while making four saves during a four-goal surge. Savannah Ohliger scored twice during the span and added an assist on Dakota Overton’s goal that pulled the Lady Cougars to within one before tying the game.
Down 8-7 after Witt gave Newnan its final lead, Northgate’s Savannah Steffens tied the game with just over two minutes to play.
The Lady Vikings also picked up goals from Passantino, Abby Weatherford and Smith in the victory. Anne Jarrett had two goals and an assist while Ohliger finished with three goals and two assists. McKenzie Peace earned the win in goal for Northgate.
NORTHGATE 17, NEWNAN 7: The Cougars jumped out to a 3-0 lead on goals by George Coria, Spencer Smith and Austin Ohliger off an assist from Chris Mapel.
But from there, the Vikings chipped away at the deficit before going ahead for good on the latter of back-to-back goals from Mitchell Hutton with 4:28 left in the second quarter.
Ahead 5-3 at halftime, Northgate continued to push ahead while outscoring Newnan 8-0 in the third quarter starting with a goal 11 seconds off the faceoff by Jeff Sargent.
Christian Lowery, Jason Pealor, Zach Schrepfer and Dylan Roach also contributed to the Viking scoring while Pealor lead the team with two assists.