Great Valley and Unionville high schools both had their share of miscues and missed opportunities in their Southern Chester County League girls lacrosse matchup Thursday. Both teams came into the contest undefeated so the margin of error was already razor thin.
Great Valley struggled early in the first half, taking poorly placed shots, and trailed 5-3 going into the break.
Unionville's miscues, on the other hand, came as it held a lead late in the game and could not successfully keep the ball away from Great Valley.
The Patriots pounced on those mistakes, the same way the Indians did in the first half, and came away with an 11-10 overtime victory.
"Anytime you can win a game like this you have to be happy," said Great Valley coach Joe Tornetta, who notched his 200th career victory in the Patriots' last game, against Kennett on Tuesday. "I told the team after the game that we didn't play anywhere near our best lacrosse but they showed they have a championship-caliber attitude and effort and they stuck with that."
The Patriots (4-0 league, 9-0-1 overall) controlled the ball for most of the second, three-minute half of the six-minute overtime period after Melissa Nowaczyk scooped up a loose ball shortly after the opening draw.
After Great Valley controlled the ball after a missed shot, Mallory Tornetta found the cutting Megan Mosenson in front of the net for the game-winning goal with 1:14 left on the clock.
The goal capped a huge comeback effort from the Patriots, which started with a four-goal flurry early in the second half.
Trailing 6-3 after the Indians Kelly Kremer scored early in the half, the Patriots' Mallory Tornetta and the offense that averaged close to 15 goals per game heated up. Non-existent in the first half, Mallory Tornetta had three assists and a goal during a three-and-a-half minute span that saw the Patriots go on top 7-6 with 13:07 left.
The Indians (2-1, 7-1) responded, eventually retaking a 10-9 lead with 2:37 after Kaitlin Donovan, who had four goals, scored after getting free during a rush up the field.
While trying to close the game out, the Indians made their most crucial mistake. They failed in a pass attempt that allowed Katelyn Deese to scoop a ground ball with 1:07 left. Great Valley converted on the turnover as Mosenson scored with 47.2 seconds left to send the game into overtime.
"We made so many unforced turnovers, we did not deserve to win," said Unionville coach Lee Krug. "When we can't throw to someone, catch a ball when it hits you in the stick or pick up ground balls in front of you, we can't win. We had so many opportunities to win the game. We had a goal lead and threw a pass to the ground. The bottom line was you saw a team choke under pressure."
Though the team had won all its games up to this point, it was this game that Great Valley had circled on its calendars to send a message that they will indeed be a force in the league.
"We wanted this game so bad," said Mosenson, who tied with Amy Aquilante with a team-high four goals. "We have been working for this game all year and the one we have been pumped up for and we didn't want to let down."