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Rodgers’ 4 goals not enough for Kettle Run vs. Freedom girls lacrosse team

Tuesday, Mar. 12 | By Jeff Malmgren
Sophomore Morgan Rodgers scored a game-high four goals Tuesday, but her Kettle Run Cougars lost to Freedom, 17-7, in South Riding. --Photo by Adam Goings
Multiplicity doomed the Kettle Run Cougars during their season-opening girls lacrosse game Tuesday.

The Cougars had talented center midfielder Morgan Rodgers on their side, but Freedom had more versions of the all-Region sophomore who plays lacrosse year round unlike many of her Kettle Run teammates.

The result was a 17-7 Freedom victory in South Riding over the visiting Cougars.

Fast, skilled and aggressive, Rodgers scored four of Kettle Run's goals, but it wasn't nearly enough.

"If you take Morgan and multiply her, that's a pretty hard thing to overcome," Cougars coach Joanie DeGoosh said. "Freedom's a good team. … It's always a challenge."

Last season, for example, Freedom beat Kettle Run 12-7 and finished with a 12-3 record.

On Tuesday, the Eagles took a 2-0 in the first 90 seconds on consecutive goals by Ellie Fink. They expanded that lead to 6-1 before Rodgers scored her first goal.

Freedom then expanded its lead to 9-3 before Rodgers scored three of the next four goals to narrow the Eagles' lead to 10-6 with less than 20 minutes remaining in the second half. The Eagles, however, closed the game on a 7-1 run.

"I look at it as early in the season it doesn't do them any good to play an easy opponent," DeGoosh said of her Cougars. "This is what they need to see if they want to" succeed.

The Cougars expect to be more competitive when playing their Evergreen District schedule.

"I think by the end of the season we're going to be a very dominant team," said junior Addy Foudray, who scored two goals against Freedom. "You can just see our potential in this game. It was a confidence booster for the rest of the season because Freedom's a really good team."

Like many Freedom players, Rodgers plays lacrosse during the high school offseason. In fact, she's teammates with some Eagles, like Fink, as a member of the Cardinal Red club team.

For Kettle Run, Rodgers made the all-Region II first team as a freshman last season thanks to dedicating so much time to lacrosse, dating back to seventh grade.

"I didn't teach her what she knows. She brought that with her," DeGoosh said. "It's what she does when she's not playing for Kettle Run."

Shannon Mitchell scored the Cougars' only other goal, while a trio of Freedom players scored three goals each – Fink, Rachel Perrett and Mackenzie Cestare. Perrett added two assists, while Courtney Dineen had two goals.

Regardless, above all other players, literally, Megan Balog gave the Cougars the most trouble.

The freshman scored only one goal, but she used her height advantage to win most of the draws against smaller Kettle Run players.

"It was so hard because she's got her legs bent," Rodgers said, "and someone who's 5-3 like me, when I go up there I have to stand up and I can't get as much power."

Balog secured nine draws with her own stick and directed many others to her teammates, who scooped up the ground balls.

"The main rule is: you get a draw, you get a goal," Rodgers said. "If you don't get the draw, then it's the exact opposite."

That rang true Tuesday.
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