Farmington High girls lacrosse finds itself on winning end

By: Christian Davis | Farmington Press | Published May 3, 2016

 Farmington goalie Willow Elser makes a save against Athens. She stopped 14 of the Red Hawks’ 18 shots.

Farmington goalie Willow Elser makes a save against Athens. She stopped 14 of the Red Hawks’ 18 shots.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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FARMINGTON — The Farmington High girls lacrosse team is starting to find its form. 

Coach Michael Mehall saw the largest body of evidence that the squad is improving in its 7-4 victory April 27 at Troy Athens. 

“We’ve really tried to concentrate on the catching and throwing, and this game it really started to show it,” he said. “It was the first time we really started to connect as a team, I think.” 

The win moved the Falcons to 5-3 overall and 2-0 in the Oakland Activities Association White Division.

With just four seniors on the squad, Mehall expected his team’s maturation to take some time.

“We had a slow start, but we have a lot of young girls that I brought up,” he said. “They’re starting to jell; they’re starting to play as a team. I have a lot of girls that were JV players last year, so it’s taken a while for them to get acclimated to the varsity.” 

The win against Athens was the Falcons’ first since 2012. The Red Hawks controlled much of the action, outshooting the Falcons 18-10, but Farmington goalie Willow Elser stood tall.

“Today she was really in tune to what was going on. She had a good practice yesterday, and I think she’s really starting to see the ball,” Mehall said. “That’s something that goalies have to slowly get into.” 

Farmington’s Rachel Hume opened the scoring with a bounce shot in front of the net with 21:28 left in the first half. Abigail Smentoski assisted.

Farmington controlled the ensuing faceoff and struck again just more than a minute later when Analiese Schneemann scored unassisted to make it 2-0.

Athens responded and had its chances, but Elser kept the door shut on the Red Hawks, stopping three point-blank shots in the matter of two minutes. 

The Falcons then pushed the lead to 3-0 on another goal by Hume and again assisted by Smentoski with 10:47 left in the half.

The Red Hawks cut the lead to 3-1 with 7:05 left in the first when Danielle Stanichuk found the back of the net on a pass from JoJo Ruit. 

The Falcons extended their lead back to three to open the second half with a goal from Smentoski 38 seconds into the frame.

Hume then gave Farmington its biggest lead of the night, making it 5-1 with 18:17 left.

Athens battled back, getting three goals from Megan McHugh in the last eight minutes of the game to cut the lead to two, but that’s as close as it would get.

Hume added two more scores in the final six minutes to close out the contest.

The Falcons are on pace to have their first winning season since 2010. Up next, they take on Rochester Hills Stoney Creek at 7 p.m. May 9 on the road.

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