In their first ever match up, an incredible second half highlighted by six consecutive goals by Alyssa Leonard helped the Baltimore Brave come out on top of the New England Command 15-6. While the score was tied 6-6 at the half, New England was unable to score in the second half.
Both teams took the field at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, PA, as part of the Summer Genesis Lacrosse Tournament. Coming off of a 6 goal performance in week one, Command attacker Kara Mupo opened up the game with an unassisted goal, giving the Command their only lead of the day. The next five minutes saw a flurry of three Brave goals, including an unassisted beauty by midfielder Marie McCool, the #2 overall pick in this year's WPLL College Draft. McCool, who scored on her first ever professional shot, fit in well with the Brave's system, ending the day with a goal, 2 ground balls, and a draw control. Command attackers Aly Messinger and Mupo responded with goals of their own, tying the score at 3-3, but Brave attacker Karri Ellen Johnson and midfielder Amanda Johansen closed out the first quarter with two quick goals, Johnson's with 1:34 left on the clock and Johansen's with 0:02 on the clock, leaving the score 5-3 Brave at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was marked by stingy defense on both sides. At the 7:39 mark, Steph Lazo was finally able to break through and tally her only goal of the day, cutting the Brave lead to 1. Leonard respond minutes later with her first goal of the game, followed by free possession shot goals from Command attackers Mupo and Taylor Hensh. Hensh's equalizer, which was scored with 0:11 left in the first quarter, was the first career goal for the 2018 Maryland graduate.
Though each team entered the second half tied 6-6, the Brave quickly took control and didn't look back. Goals by Laura Zimmerman (10:50), Brooke Griffin (4:50), and Alyssa Leonard (7:36, 4:05, and 1:02) gave the Brave an 11-6 lead. The fourth quarter belonged almost entirely to Leonard, who scored all four goals (12:46, 11:36, 9:58, 3:40). New England was not able to keep up with the Brave's 2nd half attack. Starting with draws, which Baltimore won 7-4 in the second half, the Brave were able to limit New England's scoring opportunities. Led by defenders Kelsey Sheridan, Kelly McQuilkin, and midfielder Taylor Thornton, the Brave held New England to just 8 second half shots opposed to the Brave's 20.
The Brave hope to continue their winning ways in their next game on June 23rd when they take on the New York Fight at Project 120 tournament in North East, MD, while the Command hope to bounce back with a win in their next game against the Upstate Pride on June 24th at the Capital City Classic Lacrosse Tournament in Albany, NY.