Monticello girls lacrosse goalie Sarah Frances Krebs is always looking to get better, always looking for ways to help the Mustangs.
“This is her first varsity season as a goalie and she has just brought so much to this team mentally and physically,” said Monticello’s Caleigh Smith. “After every goal we usually try and bring it together and talk and every time she’s asking questions about what she can do better and it’s so amazing.”
Wednesday night, all those questions and effort paid off as Krebs stuffed Western Albemarle a career-high 12 different times, sparking the Mustangs to a 14-12 victory over the Warriors. It was a huge win for the Mustangs, who also picked up a big victory over Albemarle a week ago.
“This is huge after beating Albemarle, this is definitely a mind-blowing experience for all of us,” Krebs said.
Krebs’ stops were particularly critical in a game where the Warriors managed to hold a 22-12 advantage on ground balls and a 16-12 advantage on the draw. Krebs made up for those lost possessions with those saves, giving Monticello enough chances to pick up the win. In a rivalry that often seems to come down to who has the ball last, every little play, every save, every turnover counted.
A four-goal run by the Warriors where sophomore Mattie Shearer scored twice and assisted on the other two to start the second half put the Mustangs in something of a bind. Monticello trailed 10-6 with a little more than 20 minutes to play at the end of that spurt.
“We started to get down on ourselves a little but we realized it’s not going to be one person’s fault, it’s going to be everyone all together,” Smith said. “The only way we were going to win was doing it all together.”
Josie Mallory — who finished with a hat trick all in the second half — popped in a couple of goals to keep Monticello within striking distance and then Meghan Walin led a tremendous surge over a five-minute period, scoring three-straight goals from different angles to put Monticello ahead 12-11 with 7:51 to play.
Shearer struck again though on a free position shot and knotted the game back up at 12-12.
That’s when Smith figured out a way to close the door. The speedy junior who scored six of Monticello’s 14 goals while dishing out two assists took over in the closing minutes. Her last two goals were decisive, with what became the game-winner coming with 4:12 left to play and an insurance goal on a fastbreak with 47 seconds left.
Smith had already given the Mustangs a huge jumpstart from the opening draw when she scored Monticello’s first three goals to post a 3-1 lead and force an early Western timeout.
“For me, I like to know how it’s going to go at the beginning,” Smith said. “Games can always change in seconds, but for me, knowing that we could come together and score that many that fast I knew we’d have a good chance of winning this game.”
The Warriors couldn’t hang on to that second half lead despite controlling the draw and finished with 17 turnovers to the Mustangs’ 12, and a few of them were critical down the stretch.
“Starting slow in the first half didn’t necessarily set us up for success in the second half and Monticello is a good team and they’re competitive,” said Western coach Dana Boyle. “Unfortunately we kind of fell apart.”
Shearer finished with five goals and two assists for the Warriors while Anna Kreienbaum had four goals and Erica Repich had a goal and an assist. Reid Ferguson finished with two goals.
Allie Swartout had a goal and an assist for the Mustangs to round out Monticello’s offensive production.
The Warriors will look to bounce back on the road against Rockbridge Friday night while Monticello will host Charlottesville Monday.
— scrimmageplay (@scrimmageplay) April 18, 2019