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Brighton Bests Juan Diego in Late-Game Thriller (+video 3/14)

It was an exciting game between two of the state’s premiere lacrosse programs, Brighton got the better of Juan Diego despite a late-game run by the Soaring Eagle.

Video Highlights

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Juan Diego controlled the majority of the draws early. The Soaring Eagle were patient on offense and appeared to dominate the time of possession in the first half. Juan Diego had a couple of good opportunities early, but the Brighton goalie turned away shot after shot to hold the Soaring Eagle at bay.

Brighton converted on the majority of their possessions in the first half, but a late push by Juan Diego saw the score nearly even at the break 5-4 in favor of Brighton.

Brighton head coach Melissa Nash said of the early game run, “I wish we could have kept that run. We didn’t, but we fought back and got the ‘W’.”

The Brighton offense then picked up where they left off in the first half by scoring right after the opening draw of the second half. Another early half run by Brighton saw Brighton go up 8-5, with a goal by Grace Rappl capping off the sequence.

Juan Diego was not ready to give in yet, however, as a four goal Juan Diego run tied the game up with about a minute-and-a-half to play.

Rappl would then score her biggest goal of the night with 1:06 remaining to put Brighton up by one.

“Grace is a freshman that is going to have a great impact on our season this year,” Nash said. “These girls just stepped it up and played hard. Those goals made a huge difference.”

Juan Diego gained the subsequent possession, and proceeded to drive down the field. However, a Brighton defender knocked down a Juan Diego pass, got the ground ball, and drove down the field to clear the ball for Brighton, appearing to put the game to rest.

“That was a huge play,” said Nash. “One of of the things we’ve been working on all season is ground balls. The fact that she got that at such a critical time in the game is huge.”

However, a late shot was saved by the Juan Diego goalie, and the Soaring Eagle were back on the move. Juan Diego had a chance to tie it up in the final seconds on a fast-break situation, but they were unable to get the shot off. Brighton sealed the victory, 10-9.

Nash talked about what was key to the Bengals’ victory. “Winning the draw,” said Nash. “I feel like once we started winning the draw we started winning the game.”

Brighton had four yellow cards in the game and nearly had to play a man down in the second half. “That was scary,” said Nash. “We have a lot of aggressive girls on our team, so we just need to learn to rein in our penalties. But we played pretty well.”

Gabby Horner of Juan Diego led all scorers with four goals.

Brighton will next play Viewmont on March 13. Juan Diego will take on Alta on March 12.


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