The Times West Virginian

April 25, 2014

FSHS girls’ lacrosse wins on Cancer Awareness Night

By Matt Welch
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — “Ring around the rosey, a pocket full of posies. Ashes to ashes, we all fall DOWN.” 

With that last word, “down” filling the air around East-West Stadium Thursday night, Fairmont Senior put a new play into motion and scored one of its 17 goals on the night in a 17-2 win over visiting Wheeling Park.

The play was implemented just the night before in practice, but it worked to perfection for the Polar Bears’ girls’ lacrosse team Thursday night.

“I started singing really creepy songs in practice. I don’t know why,” Fairmont Senior’s Adrianna Constable said of the birth of the team’s newest play. “Maddi (Craig) and I just thought, what if we run around the goal? During spring break, we all got together and we did a circle drill and we were like, oh, that works. So we made a play out of it.”

The play featured just about the entire offensive front of the Polar Bears skipping around the goal, an ominous sight if you’re the opposing team trailing by double-digit goals, and the words to the first verse of the song coming from their lungs.

Then, before Park knew it, the Polar Bears (12-3) had scored a goal.

“We didn’t know if it was going to work, but we tried it because if you don’t try it, you never know,” Constable said. “We saw an open shot and we fired and it went through.”

Aside from the lyrics ringing across the field, the other sound of the night was that of the ball hitting the back of the net for several Fairmont Senior players.

Craig led the way with four goals and an assist. Constable scored three times and had an assist, and Sofia Sansalone joined the hat trick party and added three goals of her own. Maddie Stevenski added two goals, and Mariah Allen, Reina Edwards, Sarah Topardo, Tressa Bonasso and Claire Craig all scored once.

The win came on a night that had some added motivation for the Polar Bear players as they were dedicating the game as Cancer Awareness Night, collecting money for cancer research and selling T-shirts to fans from both teams.

“We’ve been doing it for a while. We do it every year,” Constable explained. “This game isn’t about playing for Fairmont Senior. It’s about playing for cancer. I think that’s an awesome thing. Just the fact that we’re not just playing as a team but for a cause. The whole season we look forward to Cancer Awareness Night because we love to give back.”

The game itself began sluggish by coach Jon Cain’s standards, but after finding a slight rhythm, the Polar Bears scored four goals in 0:43 to take a commanding 9-1 lead with 6:03 remaining in the first half.

“We’re trying to get our momentum back up to where it was before we went off to spring break,” Cain said. “We’re getting there, but some of our timing is off. Wins and losses matter this time of year, but as long we’re getting better on the field and we play the kind of game I know we can play, I think we’ll be fine.”

After taking a 10-1 halftime lead, the girls settled down and began to focus on running specific plays more in the second half, something that will help them with their upcoming slate of games with Morgantown and University next week.

Going along with the theme of progression, Cain said he has seen many of his players become more aggressive and look for more open shots and open passes as opposed to forcing things, making his team better prepared for what’s to come.

“We have to get back into where we’re catching and throwing on a consistent basis. Our offense is trying to get back into it again,” Cain said.

Fairmont Senior now turns its focus on Morgantown, which it will host next Tuesday night.

Email Matt Welch at mwelch@timeswv.com or follow @MattWelch_TWV.