Author: Dan O'Meara / Diane Jacobs
Brooke Ottaway is one of the players Mercy High School will look to lead the lacrosse team this year, and the Marlins were looking for her a lot Monday in the season opener.
The senior captain scored six goals and provided the spark that led to Mercy's 13-4 victory over host Farmington on a sub-freezing night.
With the thermometer reading 28 degrees at the start, both sides agreed to have a running clock throughout the game, which took little more than an hour to complete.
"It was a good first game," Mercy coach Lindsay Hoyt said. "We have a young team this year, and this is the first time we've come on to a field and played as a team.
"Overall, I thought the girls played well. There was a lot of passing, a lot of communication. We were a unified team, which was nice to see, especially in the first game of the year and a lot of girls being new to the team."
Ottaway scored five goals in the first half to stake the Marlins to a 9-3 advantage. Sophomore Natalie Masopust netted two, juniors Caitlin Somerville and Bella Shrader one apiece.
Ottaway scored the first goal of the second half, and junior Julia Shaw made it 11-3. Junior Lilly Blake and sophomore Edie Jones tossed in the last two
"I think our offense played quite well," Hoyt said. "We had some good passing and quick sticks right in front of the net, which made for some good scoring opportunities."
She added the Marlins used the first game to work on their transitions, passing the ball well and getting into position to create offense.
"In the second half, we really improved our transitions to make it smoother going down the field," Hoyt said, adding the Marlins made it a point to do that at halftime. "If we can improve upon the things we need to, we'll be a strong team going toward the regional."
Rachel Hume scored three goals for the Falcons, who are 1-2 with a victory over Grosse Pointe North (14-10) and a loss to Northville. Emily Meltzer accounted for the other Farmington goal.
The Falcons lost 11 seniors to graduation and are a young team with nine sophomores. They need time to develop passing skills and get up to speed, according to coach Mike Mehall.
"Mercy passes well and, when you have a team that is not yet a varsity team and is trying to get there, they can get picked away pretty easily and I think we did," he said.
"As the season progresses, I think the girls are going to start learning their positions better. I think the talent is there; we just have to mold it. We just have to get the team working as a unit rather than individuals."
Mehall added the Falcons couldn't power the ball at Mercy the same way they could Grosse Pointe North.
"You can play more of a driving game (against North)," he said. "With Mercy you can't do that, because they double team and they're in position. They know how to move the strong players off to the side.
"To move down the field, the women's game is a passing game. If you pass, you can get down and get behind the 'D' more easily. As soon as you do that, you have an uneven situation.
"(The Marlins) weren't dropping the ball. They were effectively getting the ball to their strong players, and those players could easily do a one-on-one to work past."
Victory for Unified
The North Farmington-Harrison girls won their season opener Friday over Waterford United, 8-4.
Taylor Gray led the team with three goals. Allison Darnell had two goals and two assists, Christy Battersby two goals and Hailei Neilson one goal.
Junior goalkeeper Jayla Windham made some key saves to limit Waterford and give NFH an edge.