Olivia Cook of Norwood (left) is marked by an Ancillae defender. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher

Early on in last Thursday’s Girls Catholic Academies League lacrosse match, Norwood Fontbonne Academy was tied up, 1-1, with host Ancillae Assumpta. The NFA Bears went ahead for good after that, gaining a 7-4 lead by halftime and going on to win, 16-8.

With its offense powered by eighth-graders Charlotte Hodgson (seven goals) and Campbell Donovan (five goals), Norwood attained a record of 5-1 within the GCAL, the only blemish on its record being a one-goal loss to league leader Gwynedd Mercy.

The Bears have been performing without one of their top players, seventh-grader Alexis Ventresca, who suffered a season-ending knee injury. She is a team captain this spring, along with Donovan, Hodgson and eighth-grader Olivia Cook.

At Ancillae last week, the NFA girls were also temporarily playing without their regular starting goalie, eighth-grader Emma Gelone. Her classmate, Madeline Eiser, played in the cage and recorded three saves.

With the first of her goals, Hodgson had Norwood on the scoreboard in the opening minute of Thursday’s game, but it wasn’t long before Caroline Foley brought Ancillae even at 1-1.

“Ancillae’s Ella Curcio (center) is hemmed in by Norwood’s Campbell Donovan (left) and Charlotte Hodgeson (right). (Photo by Tom Utescher)

The next three markers would belong to Norwood, which remained ahead the rest of the way. For the visitors, a 7-4 halftime lead was comprised of four goals by Hodgson and one each by Donovan and fellow eighth-graders Kate Kelly and Morgan McMenamin. The host Gators had received two goals from Foley and one apiece from Brooke Chipman and Kaitlyn Melinson.

A goal by Donovan got Norwood going again in the second half, and without being able to score consecutive goals at any point, it was hard for Ancillae to try and catch up. Hodgson and Donovan kept adding to their totals, and the Bears received their last two goals from seventh-grader Ava Rossi.

For the afternoon, the Gators got two goals each from Foley, Melinson and Molly Brennan, and one apiece from Chipman and Ella Curci.