LacrosseThe Flying Fluco girls’ lacrosse team got off to a strong start on Friday (April 28) against the Eagles from Liberty Bealton High, but it was the Eagles who came out on top 10-9.

Fluco Coach Heath Hughes noted after the game that the Eagles managed to wear the Flucos down as the game wore on. The Flucos had only three substitutes due to a rash of injuries, while the Eagles were able to substitute much more freely with a bench of eight.

The game opened with Fluco junior goaltender Morgan Maupin stopping a point blank shot by an Eagles attacker only 45 seconds into the game. Two minutes later the Flucos were on the board, as senior attacker Natalie Hughes scored on a hard shot off a penalty. After another good save by Maupin, Natalie Hughes scored again with 15:37 remaining in the first half. This score came on a tough shot from in front of the goal with Hughes surrounded by defenders. A minute later Liberty bounced back with its first goal.

A mere 10 seconds after the Eagles’ first goal, sophomore midfielder Sadie Conner fired home a scoring shot on a good pass from Natalie Hughes. The Flucos were up 3-1. Fluco freshman Alison Sawyer bounced a shot off the goal post with 9:46 remaining, then made a strong run down the field to score an unassisted goal at 9:21. A minute and a half later senior Fluco attacker Brianna Wagner made a similar long run down the field to score for a 5-1 Fluco lead.

At that point it looked like the Flucos had the game well in hand. However, that was not to be. The Eagles bounced back with three goals in the final six minutes of the first half, so that the Flucos only led by 5-4 at the half.

The second half began with Liberty Bealton winning the face-off and rushing downfield for a score to tie the game. After three minutes of up and down play, Wagner scored her second goal for the Flucos and the home team was back in the lead. Unfortunately, the Eagles were undeterred and they ran off three quick goals to jump into an 8-6 lead. With 8:44 remaining, Natalie Hughes got her third goal on a nice spin move and shot from directly in front of the goal. The Eagles responded, scoring on a similar spin move to make the score 7-9. With 6:53 remaining, the Eagles scored again from in close and their three-goal lead looked pretty secure.
However, the Flucos were not done. With 4:31 left in the contest, Natalie Hughes found an opening from in close in front of the goal, and her score cut the lead to two goals. With a mere 1:17 remaining Wagner scored from in close with a clever backhanded shot with her back to the goal. The Flucos had a chance, with the score at 9-10.

Unfortunately, the Eagles won the ensuing face-off. The Flucos gained possession briefly, but the Eagles received a favorable call from the referee to regain possession, and they managed to run out the clock for the victory.

After the game, Coach Heath Hughes noted that he was pleased with the defensive play of goalie Maupin and of senior defenders Nyomi Mbuyisa and O’nae Harris. On the offensive end, seven of the Fluco goals came from Natalie Hughes and Brianna Wagner. Natalie Hughes had four goals and an assist and Wagner had three goals.

On May 2 and May 3, the girls’ lacrosse team traveled to Western Albemarle and to Powhatan. They will finish up their regular season with home games against Monticello and Albemarle on May 11 and May 16.