Girls Lacrosse: Explosive Second Half Leads Woodgrove Past Salem in VHSL 4A State Semifinal

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Purcellville, Va. — Salem High School had the right game plan in their VHSL 4A state semifinal on June 10 in Purcellville: double team University of Virginia-commit, U.S. Lacrosse All-American and LoCo’s leading scorer, Woodgrove High School junior Nora Bowen.

Bowen – who scored only once in the state playoff game – drew defenders all night long, allowing Woodgrove teammates Cincinnati-commit Courtney Olivier and Detroit-commit Emma Leszczak to rattle off 13 goals in route to the Lady Wolverines’ 18-6 win over the Spartans.

“They doubled and tripled our biggest scorer Nora Bowen which was a smart game plan by their coach,” Woodgrove head coach Bob Fuller said. “I just said someone has to step up. I told them to stay relaxed and play their game and they did exactly what I asked them to do.”

After Woodgrove went on a 4-0 run to start the game, Salem showed why they were a state championship contender scoring three of their own and closing the Wolverines’ lead to one.

“Salem called a timeout and gave me an opportunity not to call a timeout. I told the girls this is a dog fight. You have to come out and bring your best game,” Fuller said. “I said they’re a good team, they got here for a reason and you need to defend.”

Luckily for the Wolverines, their net is arguably the best defended goal in the state.

Woodgrove senior Ashley Morris – who was just named the VHSL 4A North zone Player of the Year – protects the Wolverine goal and allowed just six goals to the VHSL 4A South runner up Salem Spartans.

“I think she is the top goalie in the state: absolutely,” Fuller said. “Some Division I school really missed out on her: she’s a great girl, a great citizen, a great athlete, a great team leader. She really steps up when it’s time to play.”

An 8-5 halftime lead quickly expanded for the Wolverines as Woodgrove outscored Salem 10-1 in the second half.

The win means the Wolverines will get a chance to defend their VHSL 4A state title on Saturday, June 13 when they travel to Liberty University to take on Western Albemarle High School at 10 a.m. for the state championship.

“It means it wasn’t a fluke, that you really have a good disciplined program and that we work hard. It just pays off in the end,” said Fuller who stuck true to a promise after last year’s state title win and continues to rock a diamond stud in his left ear. “It’s hard to get to the top, by try staying at the top: it’s even harder.”

Scoring:
1H 23:47 WG Courtney Olivier
1H 21:41 WG Courtney Olivier
1H 19:59 WG Emma Leszczak
1H 18:51 WG Courtney Olivier
1H 14:53 S Nicole Quinn
1H 13:56 S Lilly Blair
1H 11:29 S Lilly Blair
1H 9:48 WG Courtney Olivier
1H 8:32 WG Emma Leszczak
1H 6:56 WG Emma Leszczak
1H 5:21 WG Courtney Olivier
1H 1:50 S Kayla Winstead
1H :26 S Jordan Hayes
2H 23:05 WG Emma Leszczak
2H 22:56 WG Sarah Pantaleo
2H 21:12 WG Courtney Olivier
2H 16:54 WG Sarah Pantaleo
2H 16:33 WG Taylor Saville
2H 12:16 WG Emma Leszczak
2H 11:27 WG Courtney Olivier
2H 9:41 WG Courtney Olivier
2H 7:48 WG own goal
2H 5:05 WG Nora Bowen
2H 3:06 S Lilly Blair

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Owen Gotimer has a passion for helping people grow and self-educate through new media. Owen spent his college years at Syracuse University, where he studied broadcast and digital journalism in the renowned Newhouse School of Public Communications. In his "free time", Owen volunteers as a varsity baseball coach at John Champe and is the president of the Jeffrey C. Fowler Memorial Scholarship.

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