The Olympus Titans hosted the Waterford Ravens at the beautiful Titan stadium on Tuesday night. Olympus is coming off a fantastic weekend where they won the Gathering of the Tribes tournament by going undefeated by winning five games over Friday and Saturday. The Titans boasted a 2-0 league record going into their game against Waterford. Waterford, on the other hand, was playing in their first game of the season. Each year, Waterford High School has their spring break over the first two weeks of the lacrosse season giving them a huge disadvantage as they are still gaining their bearings as other teams already have a few games under their belt.
Waterford appeared rusty to start out the game as Olympus scored two quick goals by Alissa Johnson, giving the Olympus Titans an early 2-0 lead. After that, it didn’t take long for the Ravens to find their groove. Waterford’s Jaimeson Meyer scored two goals of her own to tie the score at two goals apiece. Over the next few minutes, Waterford started to take over the game with a prolific offense coupled by multiple turnovers and defensive miscues by the Titan squad. Meyer scored her third goal of the night for the Ravens, assisted by Sarah Child. Child then scored a goal of her own followed by two more goals by Meyer to put Waterford up 6-2.
In an attempt to halt the scoring onslaught by the Ravens, Olympus called a timeout. After the timeout, Waterford continued right where they left off as they scored two more goals before halftime (a goal by Hanna Bruce assisted by Child, then an unassisted goal by Sophia Taylor). This gave the Ravens a big 8-2 lead after the first half.
Overcoming a six-goal halftime deficit is a hard task for any team, especially when playing an opponent that was playing as well as Waterford. The silver lining for Olympus was that they were winning the draw. If they could only cut down on their turnovers, they could give themselves a chance.
The second half started out with Olympus winning the draw and a goal by Tatum Meier. Olympus won the ensuing draw, but another sloppy turnover lead to a Waterford goal by Taylor Schmidt assisted by Ziying Wang.
Olympus was able to continue to win the draw in the second half and was finally able to secure the ball by reducing their turnovers. The Olympus Titans scored back-to-back goals by Johnson to bring them within four goals. Waterford fired right back with a goal by Child put the Ravens back up 10-5 with 15 minutes to play.
Olympus knew there was enough time left in the game for a comeback, but would need to play almost perfect lacrosse to do so. Over the next 10 minutes, the Titans secured the ball, maintained possession, and patiently ran their offense which led to three consecutive goals, one each by Johnson, Meyer, and Meredith Clark. With five minutes left in the game, Waterford’s lead was cut down to 10-8 with Olympus having all the momentum.
As they had been doing all second half, Olympus won the ensuing draw and was looking to score. But Olympus couldn’t close the gap as Waterford’s goalie Meredith Miller had a fantastic point-blank save to give the Ravens back the ball. Waterford ran a fast break of their own that ended with a goal by Taylor. That goal seemed to be the biggest goal of the night as it gave the Ravens a three-goal lead with only three minutes left. Olympus scored one more goal with under two minutes left to make it more interesting, but Waterford was able to come up with a key draw control and ran the clock down to secure the victory, 11-9. This was an impressive victory for Waterford as they knocked off a quality team on the road, all while overcoming a huge scheduling disadvantage.
Waterford Coach Betsy Weidner couldn’t be prouder in how her team played. “Olympus is a really great team, and we knew this would be a hard opening game for our girls.” Said coach Weidner, “Waterford always gets off to a slow start in the season due to our different school calendar. My goal for this season was to make sure the team was as prepared as possible for our first game, even though we were starting our games a week after everyone else in the league.”
Waterford was led by Jaimeson Meyer with five goals. Sarah Child contributed two goals and two assists, Sophia Taylor scored two goals, while Taylor Schmidt and Hanna Bruce scored one goal each. Ziying Wang also added two assists. The Waterford Ravens had a 69 percent shooting percentage scoring 11 goals on 16 shots. Goalie Meredith Miller had an impressive night with seven saves to give her a 44 percent save percentage. Waterford will try to keep up the momentum as they host Alta on Thursday, playing another high caliber team in the opening week of their season.
Olympus was led by Alissa Johnson with 5 goals and an assist. Tatum Meier scored three goals, Meredith Clark had a goal and Roxie Crandall added an assist. The Olympus Titans shot just 43 percent scoring nine goals on 21 shots. Olympus did win 73 percent of the draws, securing 16 out of 22 draw controls. Olympus will have time to regroup as they don’t play again until March 29th at Juan Diego.