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Fort Mill girls dominate Nation Ford, advance to second round of lacrosse playoffs

Fort Mill beat Nation Ford 12-3 in the first round of the SCHSL girls’ lacrosse state tournament Tuesday night.

The Yellow Jackets got off to a fast start, scoring three goals in the first four minutes of the contest.

Nation Ford’s Caitlyn Stolarek put the Falcons on the board with 6:52 left in the first quarter to make it 3-1.

Nation Ford made some offensive pushes over the rest of the quarter, but neither side could break through before the buzzer.

The second quarter was big for Fort Mill, as the Yellow Jackets scored four unanswered goals in a six-minute span to extend their lead to 7-1 heading into halftime.

“We just had to keep reminding each other that hey, we need to push the ball, we need to be fast with the ball,” Fort Mill head coach Kirsten Terry said. “It finally clicked today, and I think they just did a really good job of that.”

More of the same occurred in the second half, as Fort Mill continued to control the game, outscoring Nation Ford 5-2 over the last two quarters.

Freshman CeCe Shia and senior Grace Sandler led Fort Mill with four goals each, while sophomore Molly Bennett scored three.

Nation Ford never led in the first-round playoff game and the Falcons fell to their in-town rivals for the third time this season.

“I feel like we just had a few mistakes to start,” Nation Ford head coach Emily Daly said. “Our defense wasn’t talking to get the ball rolling, and I think once they got a head start on us, we just kind of let go. I don’t want to say the girls gave up, but they weren’t playing with as much grit as they are usually playing with.”

Stolarek and seniors Catherine Barhorst and Georgia Sharpless each scored a goal for the Falcons.

Fort Mill (11-5) will take on the winner of T.L. Hanna vs. Byrnes on April 18. Nation Ford finishes the season as 12-5.