SCRANTON — Abington Heights had several chances to gain the upper hand in the opening minutes, but the Lady Comets were unable to connect.
Scranton Prep sophomore Elisa Kopicki took full advantage of her opportunities, scoring two goals in a two-minute span in the first half, to help the Classics earn a 5-3 win over Abington Heights in a Wyoming Valley Conference girls lacrosse game May 3.
The Lady Comets took the first six shots of the game, but Scranton Prep goalkeeper Aidan Ann Sekely made three saves and the other three attempts missed the target.
“We had possession a lot in the first 8-10 minutes of the first half, but we struggled with getting shots on goal,” Abington Heights head coach Becky Davis said.
Kopicki scooped up a loose ball and fired a shot into the net to give Scranton Prep (3-5) a 1-0 lead with 16:41 left in the first half. She added another goal exactly two minutes later off an assist from sophomore Katherine Malone.
“I think Elise getting those two goals was a confidence builder for us,” Scranton Prep head coach Doug Knieser said. “We were able to relax and settle into the game a little bit, and let our abilities take over.”
After a few near misses, Scranton Prep junior Kerry McGrath found the back of the net to put the Classics ahead 3-0 with 7:11 remaining in the first half.
“We get the same effort out of (Kerry) every game,” Knieser said. “She’s a handful for teams to try to defend and she’s not afraid of contact, which is a great thing. She controls a lot of what we do on the offensive end.”
Abington Heights sophomore goalkeeper Sidney Horvath, who finished with seven saves, made two stops in the final minutes of the first half to keep the Lady Comets’ deficit at three.
“She’s been stellar all season and usually comes up with some really big saves to keep us in the game,” Davis said.
Lady Comets junior Brennan Tates scored the first of her two goals, off an assist from senior Lauren Simakaski, less than two minutes into the second half.
Scranton Prep regained a three-goal advantage on senior Emma Perih’s unassisted tally with 20:58 left in the second half.
Simakaski scored 30 seconds later to keep the Lady Comets within striking distance.
“We were trying to create more space in the eight-meter (arc),” Davis said. ”(Prep) was doing a nice job of collapsing and sliding to our girls, so I was trying to get them to open up more space so they could drive in.”
McGrath scored her second goal of the game with 17:04 remaining in the second half to give the Classics a 5-2 lead.
“We said at halftime that the game was far from over,” Knieser said. “We knew Abington would come out pretty motivated and focused. We tried to withstand that stretch and I thought we did. The girls did a good job of not getting too frustrated or shaken. They hung in there and we were able to get our feet back under us, and keep playing.”
Tates’ second goal pulled Abington Heights (2-7) back within two, with 11:27 left in the game, but Sekely, who made eight saves, held the Lady Comets off the board for the rest of the contest.
While Tates is Abington Heights’ most productive scorer, Davis has been pleased with the development of many other girls as the Lady Comets compete in their second varsity season.
“She leads the team in goals, but over the last two seasons we definitely have become a little more versatile,” Davis said. “We don’t try to rely on her so much to carry the entire attack.”
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.