The first half is good. The second half is not so good.
That’s how Pittston Area’s girls lacrosse team has fared during games in its second season in existence. But Wednesday’s PIAA District 2 opening round game against Delaware Valley was quite different.
The Patriots scored just one goal in the opening half, eventually falling to the Warriors, 21-6, and ending the team’s second season as a program.
“They did a lot of good things and played really well,” Pittston Area coach Emily Foley said. “The scores don’t always show how hard they worked and they always left everything on the field.”
Delaware Valley and Pittston Area met once before this season, with the Patriots giving the Warriors all they could handle.
Just two weeks ago, Pittston Area was tied at the half with the perennial lacrosse powerhouse, only to see a sloppy second half turn away the win in a 19-8 loss.
This time, the Patriots struggled to get any offense going in the first half. Haley Norwillo put the Patriots on the board with just four minutes gone in the first half. That cut DelVal’s lead to 2-1. But it was all Warriors from there in the first half.
The Patriots found themselves down 14-1 at the break, much to the dismay of coach Emily Foley. During the intermission, Foley was up front with her players: She was disappointed.
But a halftime speech straight out of a movie motivated the Patriots, mainly Ruby and Norwillo. The two combined for five second-half goals - they each finished with three - and the Patriots were showing great signs of improvement.
“I’m just glad we pulled it together and left it all on the field,” Foley said. “They played with their hearts like the team that I know they are.”
Still, Pittston Area was playing in just its second playoff appearance. Most of the girls on the team haven’t been part of anything like that. But with experience and perseverance, anything is possible.
“I think a lot of people tend to forget that (it’s our second season),” Foley said. “They go into a lot of games and out of a lot of games with their heads down because the score didn’t show what they wanted. They’ve definitely came a long way from last year.”
The Patriots will lose three seniors from this year’s squad. “I am proud of them,” Foley said.