Girls Varsity lacrosse crushes cross-town rival 13-2 in home opener

Mark Habelt, Staff Reporter

The BHS girls lacrosse team displayed a solid showing on Monday night in its home opener against Mercy (Burlingame), riding a wave of early scoring in both halves to destroy the Crusaders 13-2. The Panthers continued their strong early season run after having shut out Hillsdale last week 15-0, proving why they are one of BHS’ top athletic programs.

Mercy staged an early offensive attack right off the get go, but the Panthers stymied the effort with stellar defense, stopping a Crusader shot on goal to prevent an early deficit. Burlingame quickly ran a smooth counter-attack down the field that culminated in a goal by junior Diana Milne with 16:33 remaining in the half. Thirty-eight seconds later, junior Kelsey Nichols added a goal of her own, and everyone knew the onslaught was on once senior Allie Bottarini scored the first of her four goals with 15:13 remaining. The ball did not move much from Mercy’s side of the field for the next ten minutes, as junior Ann Fitzgerald made it 4-0 with 12:09 remaining and senior Izzy Bechwati tacked onto the blowout lead with 9:45 left.

Mercy finally came through with a goal of its own with 6:03 remaining, but any momentum they might have generated was quickly suppressed by a Milne goal less than two minutes later. BHS scored twice more in the 1st half to take an 8-1 lead into the break.

Coach Chris Chirico showed no interest in taking his foot off the pedal, as the Panthers notched four more goals in the first ten minutes of the second half to make it 12-1 with 15:03 remaining. Bottarini scored three of the four, while senior Jessica Johnstone tacked on one of her own. Burlingame still refused to let up, as junior Katerina Rally scored with 6:53 remaining to boost the lead to 12.

In good faith and to demonstrate positive sportsmanship, the Panthers allowed Mercy to score one more goal with 2:46 to go, and the game was officially decided by a score of 13-2.

Coach Chirico offered his insight into the Panthers’ keys to early-season success: “the key for us is the hard work that we’re putting in in practice. The girls recognize that we’re in a tough league this year and that they need to step up and work hard. A lot of young girls this season are recognizing the opportunities to step up when it’s time to step up.”

The Panthers will face Mercy again on Wednesday, April 10 at 4:00pm in their first game back from spring break on recently-renovated Murray Field.