By Lesley Graham
The Ocean City High School girls’ lacrosse team lost to Garnet Valley, Pa., Tuesday evening, 19-7.
Danielle Donoghue led Ocean City with three goals and two assists. Maddie McKee led Garnet Valley with nine goals.
The loss dropped the Red Raiders to 7-2 overall, with both defeats coming to non-conference opponents this season.
Eighth-ranked Ocean City jumped up in the state rankings after a big win over Eastern High School last Saturday.
Ocean City Coach Alyssa Morrison made it a point to let her team know she was proud of them.
“You have nothing to lose, you have proven yourselves this season and that’s what you should take with you,” Morrison said.
“The team fought hard, never giving up, even after they got up quick on us to start the game. That’s something to be proud of,” she added.
Ocean City fell into a 4-0 hole during the first five minutes of the game. The Red Raiders then started to find their groove and chip away at the lead, with Donoghue adding the first goal and assisting on the second. Garnet Valley then added five more goals in the next five minutes to bolster its lead to 9-2.
Ocean City struggled to get the ball out of the defensive third of the field, allowing the Jaguars of Garnet Valley second opportunities at the cage. Abbey Fenton made some fantastic saves in net for Ocean City throughout the game, but the offensive firepower was too much for the team to handle.
The Red Raiders chipped in two more goals with a beautiful feed and finish from Donoghue to Emily DiMarino low off the crease to cut the lead to 9-4.
With under five minutes remaining in the first half, the Jaguars tallied four more goals, expanding their lead to 13-4 to enter halftime.
As the second half got underway, Ocean City attempted to mount a comeback, coming out strong early on. Both teams traded goals in the middle of the second half before Garnet Valley added the final three of the game to seal the victory.
In assessing her team’s performance, Morrison said, “This was a highly competitive game that will help the girls prepare for states in the upcoming weeks and we can learn from our mistakes going forward in the season.”
Ocean City is back in action Wednesday to face conference foe Lower Cape May with a 5:30 p.m. start at Carey Stadium.