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Westminster wins 'battle of wills' over Alpharetta to improve to 5-0

Westminster's Kate Quigley #9 and Cate Collier #13 defend Alpharetta's Phoebe Masters #1

On Thursday, the Westminster Wildcats girls lacrosse team looked to keep momentum as they have gotten off to a 4-0 start for the season and hosted the Alpharetta Raiders, who came into the matchup seeking their first win of the season. Averaging just over 18 points per game, the Wildcats have been a dominant force and would get off to a quick scoring start with three straight goals to take a 3-0 lead, but the Raiders would climb back within one point as they would take advantage of two free positions and make it a 3-2 game in favor of Westminster.

As the second quarter would get underway, the Wildcats would take a two point advantage, going up 4-2 thanks to a Cameron Hill goal just under two minutes into the period then nearly two minutes later, a Raiders turnover would lead to Kate Matheson's second goal of the night as Westminster would take a 5-2 lead. As the quarter continued the Wildcats appeared to be taking control of the match as a Kate Quigley goal would give them a 6-2 lead, but back to back goals by Alpharetta's Phoebe Masters followed by a connection on a free position shot by Annalise Sheley would bring the Raiders back within two goals as they trailed 6-5 at the half.

In the third quarter, with a man up advantage, the Raiders would even up the score thanks to a Laine Gregory goal, and despite the Wildcats answering with three straight goals to take a 9-6 lead, the Raiders would come right back with three straight goals to tie the game up once again at 9-9 with :57 to go in the third period of play. With the game still tied up 9-9 to start the fourth quarter, back to back goals on free shots would push the Wildcats back in front 11-9, but with about 4:12 remaining, Alpharetta would get back within one goal after a Izzy Sabatini would connect on a free position shot to make it an 11-10 advantage Westminster. However time would eventually run out for the Raiders as Westminster would pick up the win and improve to 5-0.

"We knew going into this game that this would be a challenge we haven't faced yet," Westminster head coach, Katie Mailhot, said after Thursday's matchup, noting that while the Wildcats had some time off since their last match a week ago, "the girls were ready," and that despite not knowing how the break would impact their performance, ultimately, "the rest did them well and did their legs well," Mailhot added. With Thursday's win being the smallest margin of victory thus far in the early part of the season, Mailhot would credit the win as a "battle of wills" for her players, praising the Raiders for keeping the matchup competitive down to the final seconds.

"Alpharetta's a good team. We've lost to them the past two, three years by some pretty close margins so we knew that tonight would be nothing but the same and we only get better by playing better teams," Mailhot said of facing the Raiders. Westminster will now have a few days off before returning to action on Monday when they take on Chattahoochee, who currently sits at 3-1 on the season.


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