WALKERSVILLE — Last week, Urbana girls lacrosse coach Ann Lewis texted her sophomore goalie, Emma Regan, that she was closing in on her 100th save for the varsity team. Regan was both relieved and slightly annoyed.
“I hated it. It was all I was thinking about,” Regan said through a faint smile Tuesday night after helping her team pull out a 12-10 road win over Walkersville out of the fire.
As a freshman last season, Regan played roughly 10 minutes for the the Hawks’ varsity team and made one save. She wasn’t exactly sure she was ready to be the full-time varsity starter this season.
“I came into the year not very confident,” she admitted. “It was my first year on the varsity, and I wanted to make sure that I stood out. It made me work that much harder.”
So, when she looked down at her phone and saw Lewis’ text, she also felt relief because there was the proof that her hard work had translated into something significant.
Regan now has 102 saves to her name for Urbana after making 15 in the win over Walkersville, including a handful from point-blank range.
“I just focus on [the shooter’s] stick,” she said. “I try not to look at their face because that’s what gets me tripped up.”
Had Regan finished with any fewer than 15 saves Tuesday, the outcome might have been different.
She made her 99th save early in the second half. Urbana (7-4) led 10-3 with more than 21 minutes to play.
But then Walkersville (6-5) began to find its rhythm offensively after a poor start.
“We were much more composed,” Lions coach Julia McLellan said. “When we lost the ball, we got right back on it.”
Instead of watching Regan snuff out all of their shot attempts, the Lions started slinging it past her.
Over a span of 7 minutes, 14 seconds, they scored seven unanswered goals to completely wipe away their sizable deficit.
Senior Maddie Holley scored three consecutive goals as part of the run, and then sophomore Maggie Molnar pulled Walkersville even at 10 with 12:23 to play.
“I am really proud of them for coming back. I told them that,” McClellan said. “Erasing a seven-goal deficit is a huge deal.”
Junior Emily Goline had a chance to give the Lions their first lead with 11:06 to play. But Regan was up for the challenge and notched her 100th save. She then made two more big ones to keep the game from slipping away.
With a little more than two minutes remaining, sophomore Kiera Breisch scored the game-winner for Urbana on a free-position shot. Junior Brooke Collins added an insurance goal in the closing seconds.
“We are a team that really works well together,” said freshman Kasey Beach, who finished with four goals to lead Urbana.
When Walkersville rallied to tie the game, Beach said Urbana refocused and just played its game.
While Regan was able to reach her milestone, two of her teammates were closing in on their own marks.
Senior Lilly Stephens scored a pair of goals and is now one shy of 100 for her high school career, while junior Brooke Collins also scored a pair of goals and now has 98 points (goals and assists) for the Hawks.
“It’s super exciting,” Lewis said. “These girls are not very stat heavy, but it’s awesome that they have that.”