Command and control were the keys to the second-half comeback that led to Midwood’s girls lacrosse victory last Thursday — and a rare defeat for a formidable opponent.
Ball control and patience were the marching orders given by Hornets coach Michael Giordano at the halftime break with his club down two goals against unbeaten Beach Channel. His team went on to do everything he asked even better then he expected.
Midwood kept the ball on the Dolphins’ end for nearly the entire second half. The only goal the girls allowed came in the final seconds of an eventual 10–5 win in the Public School Athletic League championship division game at Aviator Sports Complex on Thursday.
“That’s what makes a coach happy,” Giordano said. “We spoke about it at the half — keep the ball with us, possession, be opportunistic.”
Star senior midfielder Janae Headly found a great deal of opportunity. She scored four of her five goals in the second half, where Midwood (6–2) scored eight straight, and added an assist. All of her goals came on restarts as Headly was able to wiggle her way through the Beach Channel defense and draw a foul to set up the clear shot. Her approach was simple to beating the Dolphins’ backup keeper Adedoyin Famajuro each time.
“With the goalie you just stick fake and stick fake again,” Headly said. “It helps you get a good opportunity to shoot.”
Naillenela Harris added three goals for the Hornets and goalie Basma Attieh had another big day in net, making 12 saves. Midwood won all the hustle plays and ground balls in the second half and often kept Beach Channel (8–1) from even getting a shot off.
“They won every ground ball,” Beach Channel coach Eric Wozniak said. “All the credit to them. We didn’t play our game. They beat us up.”
Midwood celebrated the victory like the big one that it was. Beach Channel has been a perennial league power in recent years and best so far this season. The Hornets chanted, “Change the Channel” after each goal and stormed the field after the final horn. It’s a win they can build off of.
“It was just a great boost of confidence,” Headly said. “I thin we are really ready to head into this next half of the regular season.”
Reach reporter Joseph Staszewski at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter @cng_staszewski.