Madeline Heeg spearheaded a huge first-half surge of seven straight goals for the Crescenta Valley High girls’ lacrosse team that created separation from rival Glendale.
The junior attacker began and ended the offensive output, finishing with three goals in a near-13-minute stretch to help visiting Crescenta Valley post a convincing 15-8 Pacific League victory against Glendale on Tuesday night at Moyse Field.
Crescenta Valley (11-4, 2-0 in league) also received five goals from Leah Crowther to turn back Glendale (9-7, 0-2).
Crescenta Valley fell behind, 2-0, before getting back on track.
“That’s the second game in a row where we were down, 2-0,” Heeg said. “It was like a hit to the face and then we came together and started to score on a lot of our chances.
“We found that urgency to push toward the goal and we got good results. Once we get one or two goals, then we start to get on a roll. Getting those seven straight goals was huge and it just boosted our confidence.”
After the Nitros, who advanced to the United States Lacrosse Southern Section Los Angeles Division II championship match last season, got goals from Erika Lopez and Xcaret Salvador in the opening minutes, the Falcons mounted their comeback.
Heeg scored to make it 2-1 with 16:10 left in the first half. Samara Yarnes gave the Falcons a 3-2 lead with 12:36 to go and Heeg made it 4-2 just 32 seconds later. Heeg capped the seven-goal stretch with 3:27 remaining in the first half to give the Falcons, who qualified for the Division I playoffs last season, a 7-2 lead.
“We came out a little slow,” Crescenta Valley Coach Boz Crowther said. “Then we got on a roll and that’s the beauty of this team in that they stay with it and push one another to be successful.
“Our defense then tightened up and we knew we’d have to make Glendale work too hard and force them into making mistakes. We got a big effort from Madeline. She’s the anchor with our midfield and it then comes all together.”
Crescenta Valley held an 8-3 halftime lead.
After the Falcons built a 10-3 lead early in the second half, the Nitros responded with three unanswered goals to cut the deficit to 10-6 on a score by Rachel Fong with 1:12 remaining.
Crescenta Valley responded with five goals in a row. Crowther scored four goals in that stretch, with the final tally giving her team a 15-6 lead with 1:26 to go.
The Falcons got three goals from Lizzie Hales and two from Abby Sheklow.
Glendale got a team-high three goals from Lopez and two from Fong.
“CV has a very good team and we just got beat by a better team,” Glendale Coach Joe Campbell said. “They have a strong team and we couldn’t handle the ball well against a team like that.
“It’s a bad matchup. We seem to struggle against teams that are bigger than we are.”