SPRINGFIELD — Effingham County’s girls lacrosse team took a big step toward becoming the consistent winner it wants to be during its Feb. 24 opener against Savannah Christian.
The Lady Rebels, who trailed by at least three goals seven times and four once, had possession of the ball and were charging toward the goal when the contest ended in a 16-15 defeat.
“That gets your heart going,” Effingham County head coach Jane Trzaska said immediately after the match.
The Lady Rebels didn’t have many close games during the 2020 season, their first as a GHSA-sanctioned squad. That campaign ended prematurely because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s exciting to see the girls embrace the sport and grow in it. It’s been fun,” Trzaska said. “I think they were definitely nervous but excited for the first game.”
The Lady Rebels surrendered a goal just seven seconds into the contest and trailed 4-1 before their resiliency started to surface.
“Once they got it going, I don’t think they were nervous anymore,” Trzaska said. “They were just going after it.”
Effingham County was unable to get a first-half lead but clawed to an 8-8 deadlock at intermission.
The Lady Raiders briefly reclaimed control early in the second half. They held a 12-8 advantage with 17:45 left.
Ten minutes later, Caleigh Eubanks capped a Lady Rebels surge with a goal that forced a 13-13 tie but her team was never able to get over the hump.
Trzaska was proud of her team’s effort and credited new assistant coach Amber Roe, a former lacrosse player, for helping to make it happen.
“(Roe) has brought a whole new light and world into the program,” Trzaska said. “It’s been amazing. For me, I think I am learning just as much as the girls.”