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HYATTSVILLE — The Eleanor Roosevelt High School girls lacrosse team used a relentless first-half offensive attack to run away with a sizable away victory, 20-7, over Northwestern High School on March 23.
Camille Lorente was a crucial component in the Lady Raiders’ scoring run in the opening 25 minutes of the game. The senior midfielder led the way with five goals and three assists as Roosevelt improved to 2-0 on the season.
“She’s a captain for a reason,” Eleanor Roosevelt Head Coach Charles Mills said, valuing Lorente’s leadership. “She’s a middie for a reason because she can play both sides of the field. And she’s a leader for this team, and she does it on the field and off the field.”
Also fueling Roosevelt’s offense was senior attacker Olivia Joachim, who weaved through the defense to score all four of her goals in the first half. The Lady Raiders won a majority of the faceoffs and remained aggressive, scooping up most of the ground balls as well put themselves in positions to make scoring plays.
Roosevelt’s ball movement and defensive communication, in particular, worked well for them early on, Mills said, as the Lady Raiders led 16-2 at the half.
“They’re doing something very very well. There are other things we need to work on. They’re still learning,” Mills said of his team who are the defending 4A south regional champions. “They (Northwestern) have a very fast team that really puts pressure on you defensively and working together and communicating defensively helps out with that.”
According to Lorente, Roosevelt’s defensive efficiency has more to do with the team’s chemistry and knowing everyone’s locations on the field.
“I think we’re all really like a close-knit team, and so we all work together, we all know each other on and off the field,” Lorente said of Roosevelt’s chemistry. “We’ve been working on our passing and our catching and our stick skills. And the chemistry on and off the field really helps us work together well.”
In the second half, however, Northwestern came out more assertive and found more of a rhythm on both ends of the field, outscoring their opponent 5-4 in the final 25 minutes.
Midfielder Jennifer Flores used her speed and agility to position herself to score three goals, leading the way offensively for the Wildcats, who played two exhibition games before dropping their season-opener. Midfielder Heidi Chicas finished the game scoring twice while Nathalie Hernandez and attackers Carina Ruiz added a goal each for Northwestern.
“We needed somebody to be vocal and think positive, so I was kind of trying to get the girls to get on the same page and keep thinking that no matter what the score is, we’re still in the game,” said Flores, a senior captain.
“I think the goals that we scored kind of helped us believe that we were capable of coming back, and I think it did. I think we did pretty well the second half. The first half, we needed a couple of tweaks, but the second half I think we came out stronger.”
Roosevelt totaled 32 shots on goal to Northwestern’s 17. Wildcats goalkeeper Melissa Soriano had eight saves while Lady Raiders goalie Zosia Nicholson finished with nine. Isabella Gandolph, a junior attacker, also netted five goals along with three assists to help Roosevelt to the big win, and midfielder Jeanette Betke pitched in with three goals and two assists.
“As you saw in the second half, they really brought it together. First half, I think they were a little scared. They just had to get their heads in the game because it’s our first official game, so they were a little nervous,” said Northwestern Coach Jeremy Beller, who is in his first year as head coach. “We kept losing the draw. They (Roosevelt) get possession, and they kept running it up, and our defense wasn’t set up correctly but (in) the second half, we fixed all that.”
The Wildcats can use this loss as a learning experience, Beller continued. Collecting ground balls and passes and winning draws were areas that hurt Northwestern in the first half and must be improved moving forward, Flores said.
“Because if we had the possessions, we had more chances to shoot on goal,” Flores said. “Some missed opportunities, but we’ll work on it.”
The Wildcats will take on C.H. Flowers next on March 25 at 5:30 p.m., then hosts Parkdale on March 27 at 5:30 p.m. Roosevelt hosts Laurel on March 25 before facing off against rivals Bowie on March 27; both games are scheduled for a 7 p.m. start time.