The wait is over for Millbrook’s Women’s Lacrosse team. Sophomore, Livy Luckinbill netted five goals to lead the program to its first playoff win in four tries as the Wildcats hung on to defeat Havelock 14-8 on Wednesday evening.
Millbrook came out of the gates hot as Luckinbill registered a hat trick in the first five minutes of play. After a pair of stops by Gracie Evans, Dana Florian skipped a shot lower left to increase the early advantage to 4-0.
“Livy got us off to such a great start” noted Millbrook’s head coach Matt Cope, “she got that first one, then really helped us put our foot on the gas with those early second and third goals.”
McCaine Brandt followed another Florian goal with a long run down field, and a shot through the five-hole of the Havelock goaltender. Two goals by Abigale Hughes, a top-shelf rocket by Emily Petersen, and Natalie Brooks’ 31st goal of the year gave Millbrook a 10-0 lead to start.
After the Rams tallied its only first half score, Bayley Olson scored to send Millbrook into the half with a comfortable 11-1 lead.
The Wildcats kept the momentum going at the start of the second half. Brandt and Luckinbill inflated the score to 13-1, all while reaching another offensive milestone. Luckinbill (40), Olson (32), Brooks (31), Brandt (31), and Florian (31) mark the most 30+ goal scorers on a single team in program history.
Luckinbill’s 40 goals and counting are already the most in a single season in school history. In only her second season, she now has 75 career goals. For Florian, her 31st goal is a career high, and it’s the second time in her career in which she has eclipsed 30 in a season.
Havelock didn’t go down without a fight. The Rams ended the game on a 7-1 run that forced Cope to make several sets of wholesale substitutions to hold on for the late victory.
Macie Shoun sealed the deal with a crucial ground ball with a minute to go, she found Florian who ran down the clock before finding Luckinbill for the back-breaker.
“It’s hard to put this win into words” said a Gatorade-drenched Cope after the game.
“For a senior like Macie, who caught her first big break in the playoffs as a freshman. Or for a girl like Natalie that has been through all of the ups and downs of our narrow playoff losses over the last three years; this makes me very happy for them”.
Millbrook advances through the play-in first round of the playoffs. They will travel to New Bern for round two. The Bears received a first round bye in the tournament.