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April 16. 2014 9:45PM

Memorial girls stop Central in lacrosse

Sara Thompson of Central, left, gets a shot past Alyssa Croto of Memorial during an early season matchup between the two rivals on Wednesday afternoon. (Bruce Preston/Union Leader)

MANCHESTER — Manchester Memorial got an insurance goal with 26 seconds remaining to hold off host Manchester Central for a 13-11 girls' lacrosse win at Livingston Park Wednesday.

Bekka SanSouci circled the net and snapped home a shot for her sixth goal of the day to account for the 13-11 final and help Memorial improve to 1-1.

Memorial coach Ron Cote said he liked the way his team played with more focus in the final minutes of a tight game.

"The kids realize how important draws are, especially late in the game. When they realize that, I think they're more dialed in and they're willing to fight a little more and scrap for it," he said. "It's huge experience for us because it will translate into close situations in different games down the road."

Central (0-1) trailed 9-5 to open the second half, but quickly showed it was intent on a comeback bid. Sarah Thompson scored for the Little Green in the first minute to make it 9-6.

SanSouci and Caitlyn Petro scored Memorial goals around a Jordan McCown Central tally to make the score 11-7 with just under 14:00 remaining.

From there, the Little Green scored three straight, two from Thompson and one from McCown, to make it 11-10 with 8:16 to go.

Petro pushed the lead to 12-10 for Memorial, but Thompson tallied again for Central to leave the score 12-11 with 2:20 remaining.

"In the second half, Central really stepped up and started playing more aggressively. They were making nice connections and nice transitions. They had us on the ropes a little bit," Cote said. "Having lost to them twice last year, these kids were remembering that. It was two teams with a friendly rivalry. It was a good back and forth game."

Memorial was able to deny a Central possession in the Crusaders' end with just over a minute to play and then close out the win with SanSouci's goal.

"It was a great game. It was hard-fought by both teams," said Central coach Mark Compos. "It was good for us. Everyone played well for us. We're really happy. There's some things to work on, but we're excited about the rest of the season."

Central led 2-0 early on goals from Hailey Thompson (three goals) and Sarah Thompson (five goals). Memorial scored four straight from there to take a lead it would never relinquish.

McCown finished with three goals and Central goalie Shanika Mazan made five saves.

Memorial got additional scoring from Rachel Warren (goal), Jess Sweetser (goal) and Hannah Cote (goal). Crusaders goalie Alyssa Croto made five saves.


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