Roswell puts Lions out of state playoffs

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

SUWANEE -- Peachtree Ridge's girls came into Tuesday's first-round Class AAAAA state playoff game on the strength of a solid regular season.

The Lions finished second in their area, won the Gwinnett County tournament and ended the regular season with three straight wins.

But their postseason run came to an abrupt end as the Lions (10-7-1) ran into on offensive buzzsaw as Roswell pounded out a 22-1 win, sending the Hornets to a second-round matchup with the Lassiter-McEachern winner on Friday.

"Everyone in that region (3-AAAAA) is in the top four in the state," Peachtree Ridge head coach Michael Thomas said. "It's good to get a playoff game and home game and we're hoping to get a little better next year. It's just a matter of getting down those basic lacrosse skills and we're not there yet like some of these North Fulton and Cobb programs."

Roswell (12-5) wasted little time in finding the net as Kelly Butters scored off an assist from Blair Ray less than three minutes into the match.

Seven minutes later, the lead swelled to 5-0 when the Lions broke into the scoring column off a goal by Rachel Harper.

Harper intercepted a pass just shy of midfield and worked her way through the Hornet defense, bouncing the shot in past the feet of keeper Sara Fagan.

But that was the only goal the Lions could muster as the Hornets crisp passing allowed them to keep the offensive pressure constantly turned up.

Peachtree Ridge keeper Erin Palanza, one of 12 Lion seniors, was kept busy most of the night and recorded 10 saves, but the onslaught of shots by the Hornets proved to be too much.

Butters was one of nine Hornets to score at least one goal and finished with five goals with two assists. Zoe Boger also scored five times with three assists, while Mackenzie Schoen (four goals) and Paige Tomassi (three goals, assist) also got in on the act.

"This year has been up and down," Thomas said. "We started really strong and kind of digressed through the year. It's been frustrating at times but we've gotten better. There's some programs that are on an elite level and that's our goal, to get to that point."

Mother Nature was the only thing that was able to halt the Roswell offense and rain and lightning prompted a delay of 35 minutes early in the second half.