BEDFORD - When the dust had settled after seven ties and as many lead changes, Hanover emerged with a 14-13 win over host Bedford in NHIAA Division II girls' lacrosse action Saturday.
The Marauders (13-2) did not lead until more than halfway through the second half and then wore down the final 5:00 of the game by controlling the ball.
"To take the air out of the ball for five minutes at the end of the game at this level is unbelievable," said Hanover head coach Chris Seibel. "Especially against a team like Bedford."
Bedford (11-3) had one last gasp, but could not get a clean shot off in the final seconds.
"We knew it was going to be a battle," said Bedford head coach Christine Hodgdon. "It's always a close game with Hanover. They have a lot of skill players. I thought we were well-prepared."
Bedford led 5-2 early before Hanover came back to forge a 7-7 tie at halftime. The teams traded goals at an even clip with ties at 8-8, 10-10, 11-11 and 12-12 before Christine Croitoru gave Hanover its first lead of the game with 11:18 remaining. Bulldogs junior Kelsey Linehan tied the game at 13-13 with 8:57 to go but Hanover's Evie Keating scored the final goal of the game with 6:45 remaining.
"She plays defense and I told her before the game 'you're going to have to play some middie for us.' She said 'but I don't shoot. What am I going to do?'?" Seibel said. "She had one shot on net for a goal."
"Coming out of a timeout we tried to strategize against that and we just ran out of gas," Hodgdon said. "Stalling the ball and moving the ball, we didn't excecute our high-pressure defense at the end."
Seibel said that one of the major keys in the game was the play of freshman Lillian Stout, who was assigned to cover Bedford scoring threat Drew Shapiro and limited her to three goals and two assists.
"She's not someone to mess with," Seibel said. "For me to say to a freshman 'you've got to faceguard this kid' not a lot of freshmen will stand that type of pressure. That was a difference maker."
Shapiro led the Bedford attack and J.J. Daniel and Croitoru scored three each for Hanover.