Masuk girls lacrosse’s great comeback effort falls just short

Bailey Bajda, left, and Devon Kreiner go for the ball during Saturday's hard-fought loss.

MONROE, CT — Don’t count the Masuk High girls lacrosse team out of any game. The Panthers may have lost 12-10 to defending South-West Conference Champion Newtown at home Saturday afternoon, but the way in which the Panthers battled back further proves how competitive this team is.

Trailing 10-2 at the half, Masuk’s first SWC loss of the spring appeared certain. Then the Panthers turned it on and netted five consecutive goals to make a game of it.

Newtown answered with a late-third quarter goal and the Panthers trailed 11-7 going into the fourth quarter.

Abby Troesser, right, moves up field with the ball.

Another NHS tally pushed the lead to five before the Panthers netted the next three and had possession with two-plus minutes remaining, only to turn the ball over on a false start violation. NHS ran out the clock.

“Winning a half is a good moral victory, but if we want to continue to be an SWC Championship contender we’ve got to win both halves against teams like this,” Masuk Coach Rob Troesser said.

There was no specific thing Masuk did to spark this turnaround. NHS dominated possession in the opening half and Masuk started getting the ball with frequency in the third and fourth quarters. That allowed Troesser’s squad to chip away.

Bailey Bajda netted one of her five goals, on a free position shot, for her team’s third goal of the second half. That made the score 10-5 just past the mid-point of the third.

Devon Kreiner and Sam Henry followed with goals, (Henry finished with three) and suddenly the Panthers were within three with 3:30 left in the third quarter.

Bailey Bajda, left, scored five times against NHS.

Lilly Cameron and Bajda (two more times) found the net in the fourth to give the Panthers a chance.

The Panthers stand at 11-2 overall with three games to play as they look to bolster their strong conference and state playoff standing.

Masuk will host Weston Tuesday at 5 p.m., visit Pomperaug of Southbury Thursday at 7 p.m. and host Daniel Hand of Madison Saturday at 11:30 a.m.

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