The Duxbury girls’ lacrosse team felt they showed that they belong in Division I in their loss to Needham on April 24. On Saturday, they proved it by knocking off the fourth-ranked team in the state.
The Dragons jumped out to a five-goal lead and held on the rest of the way to defeat the Westford Academy Grey Ghosts 11-7 at the high school in one of their biggest wins of the season.
Despite the early lead, the Dragons needed a late rally to secure the win after the Ghosts cut the lead to two with less than seven minutes to play. Lily Smith answered the call with a goal at the 5:48 mark, and after Westford controlled the ensuing draw, Smith picked off a pass that set up Riley Buonagurio for a goal with 4:13 to play that put the nail in the coffin for the Grey Ghosts.
Buonagurio then put the icing on the cake with another goal as time ran out.
“We knew going into it that it would be an evenly-matched game because they’re a good team,” head coach Kelly Jurgens said. “We just capitalized on our game plan and ex- ecuted it perfectly. I told them that that we have girls that can score on this team and we’re going hard until the very end, and they love doing it.”
Duxbury jumped out in front with two goals in the first two minutes, forcing Westford to spend an early timeout to regroup. The Ghosts were able to get their chances when play resumed, but goalie Charlotte Wahle stopped the first six shots she saw, which allowed the Dragons to continue padding their lead on the other end of the field.
“[Going ahead 5-0] was huge, but we owe a lot of that to Charlotte’s play,” Jurgens said. “She had an awesome second half as well, but in that first half, she stopped the first five shots and that took the wind out of their sails.” Jane Dudley sent up Smith for the Dragons third goal, and Katherine Smith made it a four-goal Duxbury lead off a free shot 12 minutes into the game. Smith then found Dudley wide open to the side of the cage with 10:20 left in the half to make it 5-0 and force the Ghosts to regroup again.
Westford finally solved Wahle with 3:22 left in the half, but Katherine Smith got the goal back with another free shot. The Ghosts scored again 50 seconds before halftime, but Steph Harvey made sure they didn’t carry that momentum into the second by burying a shot in the back of the cage six minutes into the final frame.
Westford scored the next four goals before Smith and Buonagurio squelched their rally and delivered the win for the Dragons. With the win, the Dragons took the number four spot from the Grey Ghosts in the Boston Globe rankings while knocking Westford down to six.
Duxbury didn’t have much time to savor the win, as they had to turn right around and prepare for the third-ranked Notre Dame Academy Cougars. With the heat and humidity on the rise and the top-ranked Westwood Wolverines looming next week. Jurgens said conditioning and rest are of the utmost importance going forward.
“We have a really big game against NDA,” she said. “So we have to rest up.”