Senior Dessa Dunn scored five goals and sophomore Meghan Mills added four goals for the Panthers (12-2-1), who had their five-game winning streak snapped.
“It was a tough game,” Starr’s Mill coach Joseph Perrotta said. “An emotional game of downright gritty lacrosse. We just came up on the wrong side of it.”
Junior Leslie Espenschied had six goals and senior Jessie Wolfe added five goals for the Lady Lions, who avenged a March 22nd loss to Starr’s Mill.
“They played tough last time and played tough this time,” Perrotta said. “We knew they were going to come out and jump on us.”
But the Lady Panthers were prepared, striking first with six of the game’s first seven goals in the first 17 minutes of action. (Dunn had four of the Lady Panthers’ six goals.)
However, Lovett would respond with a 6-2 run before halftime to trail 8-7 with 25 minutes left. Then after the break, the Lady Lions maintained that momentum with another 6-2 burst, capped on a goal by Sally Ann Mitchell for a 13-10 lead with 11:52 remaining.
Following a timeout, senior Hannah Feltner scored and Mills found the net again to cut the margin to one with 6:50 left. Over two minutes later, Katie Bazzel stretched Lovett’s lead back to two but Mills responded with a bouncing shot past Camille Ward.
“I told them you got to dig deep,” Perrotta said. “I asked them how bad do you want it and I think they came out and responded. It didn’t go our way but I saw them play some of the toughest lacrosse they’ve played all season and work harder than they worked all season.”
With 3:35 to go, Rachael Treon made one of her biggest saves of the game but the Lady Panthers never got another solid chance to challenge Ward before Wolfe and Espenschied both scored to put the game out of reach.
“I’m excited for the girls who are coming back,” Perrotta said. “They will have the summer to play lacrosse, build their skills and come back stronger next year.”
The game was delayed an hour due to lightning.