My story on Pearl River’s second-half resurgence in its win against Clarkstown South.
WEST NYACK Pearl River girls lacrosse coaches Diana Gillule and Damon O’Keefe had a simple point at to make at halftime of their game at Clarkstown South Thursday.
After a slow first half that had the Pirates down by as many as three goals at one point, the two coaches let the girls know what needed to change.
“The message we put across at halftime was, ‘This is not them,’” Gillule said. “This is not how they play, so they knew they needed to step it up. They knew that that wasn’t their game.”
Pearl River responded, as a strong second half lifted the Pirates to an 11-9 win over the Vikings.
The Pirates (2-1) outscored Clarkstown South 7-4 in the second half, including a crucial 4-0 run that spanned nearly seven minutes and put Pearl River up 11-7 with 6:39 remaining.
“I have a group of kids that have tremendous talent and ability,” Gillule said. “They just have to start believing it.”
The Vikings (0-2) led 4-1 with 11:36 remaining in the first half. Gillule and O’Keefe both said the fact the Vikings were without three of their starters due to injuries and illness, including University of North Carolina-bound junior Erin Kelly, who was out with the flu, caused the Pirates to put their guard down.
“I think our girls kind of took that into consideration and didn’t respect their opponent,” O’Keefe said. “To (Clarkstown South’s) credit, they came out fired up and they took it down our throats.”
The Pirates responded with a three-goal run to tie it at 4-4. The Vikings were able to take a 5-4 lead into halftime, but the second half proved to be the Pirates’.
Strong play at the draw circle from Caroline Dolan (pictured above) (one goal, one assist), Lindsey Stephen (two goals, one assist) and Lea Miller, along with offensive production out of Kayla Moreau (four goals, one assist) and Maggie Davin (three goals, two assists) allowed the Pirates to control the second half.
“I think it just kind of popped in our head that we can’t just sit around anymore,” said Dolan of what changed in the second half. “We have to pick it up and want it and have urgency with everything.”
Photo courtesy of Mark Vergari/Journal News.