What a difference a half makes.
Down 10-4 at the break, the Olentangy Berlin girls lacrosse team flipped the script in the second half, outscoring visiting Olentangy Orange 10-3 on the way to a 14-13 non-league win Thursday night in Delaware.
The difference wasn’t just how many shots found the back of the net, it was how many draws the Bears won. In the first half, the Pioneers’ Ellie Beck, who scored a team-best four goals in the setback, won the bulk of them. In the second half, though, Libby Cuckler was dominant in the center circle, winning nearly all of the draws to help her team take control of things down the stretch.
The comeback started less than three minutes into the second half, when Cuckler scored to cut the deficit to 10-5 with 22:31 to play in the game.
After winning the ensuing draw, Berlin got a little closer when Courtney Suchan scored less than 30 seconds later. Three minutes after that, Olivia Eisenhower cashed in on a free-position shot to close the gap even more.
Dacey Redman scored with 16:15 left to make it a one-goal game and, after Orange’s Jordan Sullivan stopped the bleeding with a goal at the 15-minute mark, Cuckler zipped a shot into the top of the net before Lily Thompson scored to even things up at 11 with 11:09 left in regulation.
Two minutes later, after winning yet another draw, the Bears took the lead for good when Grace Bossetti scored in close. A procedural penalty gave possession back to Berlin on the ensuing draw — a possession capped off by a goal from Eleanor Walsh with 8:54 left.
Redman scored again to balloon the lead to 14-11 with 6:55 left and, after back-to-back Orange goals — the first from Emma-Cait Cogan and the second off the stick of Jenna Durst — Berlin gained possession, winning the ensuing draw before calling a timeout with 2:35 to go.
From there, the Pioneers never got another look as the Bears were able to maintain possession until the final horn sounded.
Delaware Hayes 16, Westerville Central 10
Lily Tope poured in a team-best six goals and Lindsay Wolverton added four goals and a pair of assists to lead the Pacers to a non-league win over the host Warhawks Thursday night in Westerville.
Also: Olentangy Liberty 15, Worthington Kilbourne 7.
Blake Fingerhut and Nolan Pienta scored and Connor Brant finished with nine saves to highlight Buckeye Valley’s effort, but visiting Jonathan Alder rolled out to a 6-0 lead by the end of the first quarter and parlayed the early edge into a 16-2 non-league win Thursday night in Delaware.
Also: Dublin Coffman 19, Olentangy Berlin 7.