WESTERLY — Thanks to six goals from senior Lauren Dobson, and a dominating possession game off draws by senior Kata Cummings, Westerly High jumped out to an early, commanding lead and surged to a 16-3 win in Division II girls lacrosse against Portsmouth on Wednesday at Augeri Field.
Dobson also chipped in an assist, as Portsmouth (1-1, 1-1 Division II) struggled the entire game to properly mark and cover her on runs to the goal.
Cummings had three goals and an assist, and sophomore Grace Armstrong finished with three goals and two assists. Seven Westerly players scored and nine of the 16 goals were assisted.
“They're been working really hard on all parts this season – offense, defense, and working together as a team,” Westerly coach Meg Paisley said. “That's one thing they do really well. We don't have one girl who scores all of the goals.”
The Bulldogs (3-0, 3-0) dominated possession in the first half from the opening draw, jumping out to a 7-0 run and not even surrendering a serious offensive possession until seven minutes had elapsed. Dobson started the scoring with 20:11 left in the first half, running past two defenders at midfield and scoring unassisted with a shot from just outside the goal circle.
Cummings scored just 13 seconds later, winning the draw and sprinting in without resistance for a shot on goal. Dobson scored her second goal with 17:14 left, on another run past defenders from midfield.
Cummings notched her second goal with 12:46 left, assisted by sophomore Grace Armstrong, to give the Bulldogs a 4-0 lead. Junior Ashley Amato had a nice assist to Dobson as they ran together in transition, with Dobson scoring her third goal with 8:47 left.
Dobson said the team has made a concerted effort to make better passes, after moving up to Division II this year.
“Definitely for attack, it was about moving the ball well, staying spread out and using smart passes, but also staying composed,” she said. “We know it's a lot faster and there are better defenses, and we really have to keep our composure on the field with making the smart pass and not just throw the ball around.”
The Bulldogs' strong passing continued for their next two goals – senior Abby White finishing a pass from Diana Turano (6:59) and Armstrong converting on a pass from senior Hedy Goodman (5:44). Portsmouth's lone first-half goal came on a crease roll by Kylie Donovan with 3:04 left. It was the last goal of the half, and Westerly took a 7-1 lead into the locker room.
Portsmouth did not get closer than six goals in the second half.
Freshman Carly Chretien, Turano and Ashley Amato also finished with goals.
“Definitely winning the draw was a big part of dominating possession, but also important was our re-defends and our attack in the midfield,” Dobson said. “That's when we defend, after they get the ball from us, and they won't even have a chance to transition up the field.”
In goal, senior Lexus Falcone had four saves.
Paisley and Dobson both mentioned getting lower on ground balls, and continuing to pass well, as points of emphasis as they got deeper into the league schedule.
“I know we had a lot of goals off assists today, but I think we can get even more goals off assists and spreading the field out, and if we win our ground balls,” Dobson said.
Westerly is off until Wednesday when it hosts Prout at 5 p.m. The Crusaders are considered one of the stronger teams in Division II.