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CUYAHOGA FALLS -- They were missing two starters and had a rather sluggish start.
Nonetheless, it doesn't seem like anyone can slow down the Lady Explorers lately.
The Hudson girls lacrosse team won its ninth consecutive match after posting a convincing 18-7 victory over host Walsh Jesuit May 6 at Conway Memorial Stadium in Cuyahoga Falls.
With the win, Hudson improved to 10-2 in 2017.
The contest started about 15 minutes earlier than scheduled. The schedule changed disrupted Hudson's rhythm a bit. What made the situation even more difficult were the unseasonable chilly and wet conditions that made things slippery for both teams.
"We started a little earlier than expected because of the weather," Lady Explorers head coach Persy Sample said. "We didn't get a chance to warm up."
It's safe to say the Hudson players probably never did get "warmed up" until they found shelter after the match. Nonetheless, their play certainly heated up after a rather inauspicious opening minutes.
As a result, the Lady Warriors got the Lady Explorers' defense attention and struck first.
But Hudson, which was missing one of its top offensive players in Ari Bankovich and goalie Addie Gojdics due to injuries, soon got its machine in order and wound up scoring four unanswered goals. While Walsh kept attacking and had its chances, particularly in the first half, the Lady Explorers didn't look back once they found their offense.
"We were definitely able to turn it on," Sample said. "We knew this was a big game. Walsh is very competitive. They have some juniors and seniors who gave us a tough game."
The Lady Warriors made things interesting early in the second half as Hudson started off slow after the break.
The Lady Explorers led 8-3 at halftime, but Walsh got goals from Hudson resident Katie Clark and Megan Hissong to cut its deficit to three early in the second half.
The Lady Warriors never got closer.
Hudson put the game away with seven unanswered goals to take complete control.
Maddie Valko and Corinne Hunt each had five goals to lead the Lady Explorers. Hunt also scooped up four ground balls.
Sarah Keller finished with two goals, two assists and six takeaways and Piper Trattner had one goal and three assists for Hudson.
Kendall Paltani added one goal and two assists and Julia Stiles had one goal and one assist for the Lady Explorers.
Also scoring one goal apiece for Hudson were Elle Marquez, Sarah Hinkle and Elizabeth Hinkle. Tyler Vidmar had an assist and four ground balls and Marquez had three takeaways.
The Lady Explorers won 12 of 27 draws. Elizabeth Hinkle won seven of those draws.
Hudson goalie Kristin Potts made eight saves in the cage.
"I thought Piper had a nice game and Julia, who stepped in for Ari, played well," Sample said. "
Megan Hissong scored four times for Walsh and Clark had two goals. Hudson resident Mackenzie Lewis also scored and won all six of her draws for the Lady Warriors (8-8).
Walsh goalie Ellen Hudock, a Hudson resident, made six saves.
Hudson earned a thrilling 12-11 win over Cleveland Heights May 4 at Hudson Memorial Stadium.
Valko had four goals and Hunt added three goals to lead the Lady Explorers. Elizabeth Hinkle and Bankovich each had two goals and Keller had one.
"We were missing both of our goalies, so we had a freshman [Addy Judson] step up," Sample said. "We didn't play as well as we should have."
Hudson was scheduled to host backyard rival western Reserve Academy May 8 at Scott Malson Field. Results were not available at press time.
The Lady Explorers are set to visit Medina May 11 at 6:30 p.m. They are scheduled to visit Rocky River in their regular-season finale May 13 at 7:30 p.m.