2023.04.26 Girls Lacrosse: Meridian @ Riverside

Lansdowne, VA (April 26, 2023) - You might find yourself asking why a VHSL Class 3 team like the Meridian Mustangs would be playing a Class 5 team, the Riverside Rams, in the heart of the district competition season. But if you watched this game you'd know it was a good scheduling choice for both teams.

Chas Sumser Photography was there to capture the action and emotion and posted a gallery of images from the game.

At first, it looked like the gap was as wide as could be. Although, Meridian's Zoe Gale opened the scoring, Riverside established a commanding 9-3 lead two-thirds of the way through the first half. The Rams were executing a quick and balanced scoring attack--led by two goals each from Audrey Ziff, Madison Broyhill and Kate Broad--that had the Mustangs unable to get out of their own end with regularity.

But in an astonishing flourish, including three goals in the 18th minute, Meridian came roaring back. Bolstered by superb face-off production from Ally Campbell, the Mustangs showed why they were a worthy opponent for just about anyone at any level. With goals from Campbell, Tilly Gale, Lila Deering, and Caroline Camody, Meridian was suddenly back in the game and threatening to take the lead. But at halftime, Riverside still led, 9-8.

The pace of the game slowed considerably after the break, a strategic decision executed to near perfection by the Riverside offense. The Rams used a flawless passing game to encircle the Meridian goal and wait for just the right time to shoot and score. They knew that the lead, though slim, was theirs to keep.

Although the Mustangs continued to score almost every time they had the ball, the problem was that they didn't have the ball enough. At one point, Riverside maintained possession for over three minutes before scoring and opening a two-goal lead, 13-11, with just seven minutes remaining.

Two more goals from Campbell had Meridian within striking distance of forcing overtime, but their final chance ended when time ran out as they neared the Rams' goal. Remarkably, Riverside had trailed only once, 1-0, but precision, patience, and teamwork allowed them to fend off an equally talented challenger.

Final Score: Riverside 14 - Meridian 13  

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