There wasn’t a whole lot that separated the Timber Creek and Dr. Phillips girls lacrosse teams in their first round play-in game Tuesday night in Avalon Park. At least not until the Panthers jumped out to a three-goal lead with four minutes left in regulation.
But the Wolves responded with a miraculous comeback to close out the second half before going on to pull out an improbable 19-18 overtime win.
Ellie Yenor finished with seven goals and two assists while Haleigh Brooks added six goals and two assists for TCHS as each came up big for the Wolves when it mattered most.
Yenor, a junior already committed to Northwestern, scored two goals in the final minutes of the second half and added two more during the dual three-minute overtime periods. Her final goal came with just under two minutes to play.
Timber Creek ran out the clock from there and will travel to Oviedo on Friday for a second-round matchup against the Lions. Oviedo held off Timber Creek’s rally for a 15-14 win in their previous meeting on March 13.
Brooks, bound for Mercer University at the end of the school year, netted the most important goal of the night on a set-piece with just one second to spare to tie the game at 16-16. She also forced a key turnover that led to a goal while TCHS trailed by two goals in regulation.
“When it came down to the very end we really showed we could dig in deep and not give up on each other,” Timber Creek coach Tim Brewer said afterwards.
Dr. Phillips broke a 13-all tie with three consecutive goals by Jimena Davila, Piper Johnson and Cymber Larkin to claim a 16-13 lead with close to four minutes to play.
Rachel Ables scooped up a loose ball deep in Timber Creek territory in the final seconds, leading to the game-tying score from Brooks. Timber Creek carried the momentum the rest of the way.
Dr. Phillips briefly reclaimed the lead on a goal by Davila to start the extra periods. A goal by Ohio State commit Lauren Sherry quickly followed, as did another from Yenor, to give the Wolves an 18-17 lead entering the final overtime frame.
Larkin tied the game again at 18-all with two minutes to play before Yenor scored the game’s final goal less then 10 seconds later. The deciding goal came after TCHS took control of the draw, something that didn’t happen enough for the Wolves in the win.
“We’ve been winning the face-offs all season long and this is probably the first game where they didn’t go our way overall,” Brewer said. “But they really dug in and got the turnovers when we needed them.”
Timber Creek finished minus-9 in face-offs on the night but won seven of their final 10 chances. The teams entered the second half in an 8-8 tie. Dr. Phillips was led by five goals from Davila. Larkin and Elyse Decker each finished with four goals.