By Steven Watkins
For the Forsyth County News
Just under 13 minutes remaining in the first half of Wednesday night’s girls lacrosse game, something happened that hadn’t yet occurred for Lambert.
After a rare loss on the draw thanks to a mouthpiece violation, visiting North Forsyth scored a second consecutive goal on a tricky bounce shot that just managed to sneak by back-up goalie Reese Tabler, representing the first hint of a momentum shift against the Longhorns this season.
Tabler, a freshman, found herself playing her first varsity minutes of her high school career thanks to an injury to starting goalie Heidi Schaefer.
“This was her first game in net,” Lambert head coach Travis Church said. “Our starting goalie went down this week with a broken wrist, which is never what you want.”
The Longhorns, who began the season last week with a 20-4 road win at Forsyth Central, responded to their first semblance of adversity since losing last year’s state semifinals by one goal by scoring 13 unanswered goals and winning their second game of the season 20-2.
“Last week, I think we started off a little slow,” Church said. “I really wanted to defend our home turf, and I told them to come out firing on all cylinders.”
Lambert (2-0, 2-0 Area 5-6/7A) did just that, finishing the first half with a 16-2 lead, thanks in large part to senior Shelby Rumer, who finished the night winning a game-leading nine draws.
“We put the keys to the game on draw control again and (Rumer) did unreal,” Church said. “I think she won at least 85 percent of the draws tonight.”
In addition to controlling the ball for the majority of the night for the second consecutive week, Lambert out-shot their opponent by a wide margin, recovered more ground balls and rarely allowed their opponent to cross midfield.
Offensively, the Longhorns showed both patience and excellent stick work, moving the ball around the horn at will until openings became available.
“We wanted to be deliberate on offense,” Church said. “We wanted to work the ball around and pick and choose the opportunities that we wanted to take advantage of. We have our offensive sets that we want to run, and we want to execute those to a high percentage.”
Despite their 2-0 start, Church and his squad’s focus remain squarely on one game at a time.
“The first two games, being area games, were must-wins for us, and I could not have been prouder of the way they came out and took care of business,” Church said.