It’s often said that winning when a team isn’t at its best is the mark of a really good squad.
Cliché or not, the idea rang true for the Davis High girls lacrosse team on Tuesday night.
Despite being visibly rusty after a long spring break and playing without their star, USC-bound senior Kyle Drexel, the Blue Devils managed to overcome a late three-goal deficit to knock off Granite Bay, 9-8, at Ron & Mary Brown Stadium.
DHS (5-5, 2-2 in Sacramento Valley League play) fashioned its comeback on the heroics of Ceci Cajandig, who tallied three goals — including the go-ahead shot — and one assist in the final five minutes.
With the locals down 7-4, Cajandig found Kelly Chuck for a goal before scoring herself. Monica Berry found the net moments later to tie the game at 7-7.
Granite Bay countered the surge with a score of its own, but Cajandig continued to attack and netted the final two goals of the contest, finally putting the Devils ahead with 48 seconds to go. Berry then sealed the deal by winning the ensuing draw control.
“It was a struggle,” Davis head coach Jennifer Morris said afterward. “(Early on) you could tell we had been on spring break. We were really out of sync. (But) late in the game, we remembered how to play.”
The two teams gutted out the first half, with Granite Bay managing to take a 3-2 advantage into the break.
Overall, Chuck led the way for the Blue Devils with four goals, and Maia Polis and Berry each added one. Their efforts, along with Cajandig’s, were enough to make up for the absence of Drexel, who was missing due to prior family commitments.
On the defensive end of the field, DHS goalkeeper Chelsey Nickell notched six saves, and Natalie Serdahl and Bailey Gary harassed the Grizzlies in the open field throughout the contest.
The game was yet another in a series of tough matchups for the Devils as Granite Bay came into the encounter with just two losses all season. And it doesn’t get any easier next Tuesday when the locals take on Acalanes in Lafayette. Still, Morris feels the competition will serve her girls well in the long run, especially when DHS hits the postseason.
“This helps us improve,” Morris said. “This helps us get ready for the playoffs.”