MADISON — Usually Hand girls’ lacrosse coach Kevin Siedlecki wants his Tigers to race up the field and shoot as quickly as possible.
Deadlocked at 4-4 with archrival Guilford Monday night, he took a different tact.
Guilford goalkeeper Claire Hall (20 saves) was stopping a lot of Hand’s rushes up the field, so Siedlecki decided his team needed to take more time and move a lot in front of Hall. It worked perfectly as the Tigers erupted for 13 more goals en route to a 17-10 victory at the Surf Club.
“We made adjustments to move her in the second half,” Siedlecki said. “We kept feeding across her face, faking and shooting against our momentum to beat her. Those little adjustments make it hard for any goalie.”
Hall stopped three shots in the opening minute of the game, but Hand came back to take a 4-2 lead with 13:55 left in the first half when Cameron Ruberti fired a one-bouncer past Hall.
But Guilford’s Nicole Raccuia and Marnie Jacobs (two goals each) each scored to tie it at 4-4 with 10:09 to play in the half.
“Claire Hall had a phenomenal game and she’s stepped up for them this year,” Siedlecki said. “Without her in goal, it would have been 8-2 instead of 4-4. She made a lot of saves she’s not supposed to make.”
At that point, the Tigers took control, outscoring Guilford 4-1 before intermission. And Hand even fought off a 2-minute penalty to Erin Mammele.
“At halftime, we were frustrated,” Siedlecki said. “We didn’t feel we were playing to our standard.”
Lauren Cole scored five of her game-high six goals in the second half, while Mammele added four of her five goals in the second half.
“We calmed down in the second half,” Cole said. “We took a few deep breaths and put the ball where we wanted to put it.”
Hand controlled the ball almost the entire half with the game being played mostly in the Guilford defensive end.
“They have two or three strong players that connected, and when they are they connecting, they are hard to stop,” Guilford coach Steve Jewett said. “They just found our gaps.”
Brenna Hobin also had three goals for Hand, while Edy Moritz added four goals for Guilford (2-3) and Emma Jewett had one. Emily Wargo stopped 15 shots in goal for Hand.
Hand (4-1) now goes to play another rival in three-time defending SCC champion Cheshire Thursday night.
“We go into Cheshire feeling good,” Siedlecki said. “This was a big win. Guilford has given us a tough time the last few years.”