In the world of sports, “defense wins championships” has been one of the most commonly promoted theories over the last several decades.
On Tuesday, the Davis High girls’ lacrosse team’s 12-3 win over Bishop O’Dowd was further proof in support of the sports hypothesis.
The Blue Devil defense shut down the Dragons’ offense in a Bay Shore Athletic League postseason game at Ron & Mary Brown to advance to the conference’s finals. DHS (15-4), which is now 11-0 this season against BSAL opponents, will host Piedmont on Friday at 6 p.m.
“Defensively, we did a good job,” said Devil head coach Jenn Morris. “In (lacrosse), you almost never get a shutout. To keep it even below five goals is always really good for any goalie.”
Davis goalies Briki Cajandig and Kelly Richmond switched places against the Dragons (9-8), with Cajandig manning the cage in the first half and Richmond closing the game. Throughout the season, the Blue Devils have used both goalies, but Richmond usually starts the game.
“Kelly actually got hit on the wrist during warm-ups so she wanted a few minutes to ice it,” Morris said.
The switch didn’t hamper the goalies whatsoever. Cajandig allowed only two goals before intermission, and held Bishop O’Dowd scoreless for the first 14:22 of the contest.
In the second half, Richmond didn’t surrender the final goal until DHS was already leading 12-2. The Devils were fortunate to get the strong goalie play as their offense took a while to get going.
“They made the saves they needed to make,” Morris said of her keepers. “(Offensively) we were sluggish (Tuesday). It was hot, and we were adjusting. We definitely started slow. Our passing wasn’t as good as it usually is.”
The Blue Devils didn’t light up the scoreboard until 20:34 was left in the first half. That’s when Kylie Drexel, who finished with a hat trick, scored down the middle after a foul.
Moments later, Drexel threaded the needle to hit a cutting Mari Cajandig with a pass along the side of the goal. Mari Cajandig never broke stride to score the first of her two goals on the day, and give DHS a 2-0 advantage.
The barrage continued with Kiki Tanaka and Kelly Chuck scoring for Davis, before Drexel slashed through the side of the Dragon defense and fired a strike into the net. When Tanaka scored her second goal, off a pass from Mari Cajandig, the Devils went up 8-2 and took that lead into the break.
DHS continued to pull away in the second half, highlighted by another Chuck goal, and one where Mari Cajandig stutter-stepped her way around a Bishop O’Dowd defender, broke free, and converted while running along the goal. That score made it 11-2.
Richmond’s stingy goalie work made the lead stand up. Morris is hopeful the strong defensive showing will continue on Friday.
“When we’ve had games that have started close, usually on the defensive end it took us a while to get into a groove,” Morris said. “(Tuesday), we started right away and hopefully that will carry over.”
Caron Miller added two goals and Ashley Pugh had one to round out the Blue Devil scoring.
— Reach Will Bellamy at [email protected]