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Sister Act Thwarts Prince George in Opener
By JACOB VAUGHAN, Sports Editor
Aug 30, 2012, 23:14

Prince George High School field hockey players Lindsay Varga (6) and Meaghan Elliott (12) surround a Manchester player near midfield on Tuesday in Prince George.


PRINCE GEORGE – The Prince George High School field hockey team started and ended its season opener against visiting Manchester in electrifying fashion, but the game was decided by a mid-game surge spurred by the Lancers’ Courtlyn and Caitlyn Warren.

Faced with an early deficit after senior Lindsay Varga gave the home team a 1-0 lead inside three minutes, the twin duo responded by helping to manufacture four unanswered goals as Manchester rallied to win 4-2 on Tuesday.

“We had a little bit of a lapse,” Prince George coach Ann Lambert said of the game-defining stretch. “Maybe we were a little bit more tired than we should be, and that’s something we have to work on.”

Boosted by Varga’s early strike, the Royals held their own in the early going and even dominated the contest at times.

The breakthrough came with 27:45 remaining in the first half after Manchester goalkeeper Sarah Johnson repelled a point-blank shot from Prince George junior Caitlin O’Hare with a kick save. Varga pounced on the rebound and dispatched a well-struck effort past Johnson’s left shin pad.

“As soon as I got in the circle, the first thing I thought was, ‘We need to get on the board,’” Varga said. “I saw the opportunity to score and put all my power behind it.”

One of three team captains, Varga is making the jump from midfielder to forward this year. She said opening her scoring account quickly will ease that transition, but one goal was never going to be enough to top the Warren sisters on this cloudy afternoon.

Courtlyn Warren brought the Lancers level four minutes later after a period of sustained pressure earned the visitors back-to-back penalty corners. The senior corralled a loose ball in the circle and rolled a finesse shot into the bottom right corner of the goal.

Not to be outdone by her sister, Caitlyn Warren notched her first goal of the season with 8:25 remaining in the first half, giving the Lancers a lead they would never relinquish.

That tally, which came seconds after Johnson denied the Royals with a reaction save, proved to be the turning point in the game.

Whereas the first half saw Prince George dominate at times in an otherwise back-and-forth affair, the second half began with Manchester dictating the play. Savannah Filer doubled the Lancers’ advantage four minutes after the intermission.

The midfielder took a feed from Courtlyn Warren and let loose a rising shot that found the top right corner to make the score 3-1. Courtlyn Warren once again played provider in Manchester’s final goal, setting up Emory Read from close range.

That put the game firmly out of reach, but the Royals exhibited a never-say-die attitude that Lambert hopes will pay dividends in the future. Sophomore Serena Triscari scored with 1:07 remaining to provide the final margin.

“The last goal was a powerful point for us because we didn’t give up,” Lambert said. “It showed that they are going to be a team.”

While Prince George fell to 0-1 on the season, the outcome was still an improvement over last year when Manchester won the fixture in a rout. The Royals will get another crack at redemption on Sept. 13 when they travel to Midlothian for a rematch with the Lancers.

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