TOWNSEND -- Friday afternoon's make-up match between Groton-Dunstable and North Middlesex was all knotted up at 1-1, headinginto the second half.
Lady Crusaders' junior captain Lindsey Werner caught fire, scoring two goals, three minutes apart to propel her team past host North Middlesex, 4-1.
"Moving Lindsey up top made a big difference," Groton-Dunstable head coach Steven Naboicheck said. "Lindsey had a standout game. I think we definitely have to give her more opportunities up top because that's her normal position. She is an amazing athlete."
The Lady Crusaders struck first, 6:23 into the first half when Brianna Considine started a quality run at goal with senior captain Brittany Belanger. Considine struck a brilliant through-ball that found the foot of the running Belanger, who chipped it over senior North Middlesex goalkeeper Julia Murray to make it 1-nil, Groton-Dunstable.
It would not be long before the Patriots got on the board. 1:22 later, North Middlesex midfielder Shaylee Callahan boomed a 40-yard outlet pass to Julia Murray atop the 18-yard box. Murray shifted into overdrive, streaking down the far side of the pitch before blasting a shot over the head of Groton-Dunstable goalkeeper, Elyssa Briggs, to knot the game at 1-1.
Groton-Dunstable had a pair of chances in the 11th minute to take the lead. Werner blasted a slicing shot toward the left post, but Murray gobbled it up and made the diving save.
The match remained tied until midway through the second half when Naboicheck moved Werner up top to striker, and it could not have worked out any better.
"The communication was missing and the passing accuracy was mediocre at best. It wasn't the team they normally are," said Naboicheck. "At the half, their attitude changed and I think they got more intense."
Werner secured a pass yet again from Considine and drew Murray off her line. Werner advanced the ball in from the left side and hammered it over Murray's outstretched mitts to give Groton-Dunstable the lead at 22:32 of the second half.
A heavy shower wetted the Sterilite lower field just enough to make it a bit sloppy for both teams. Werner secured a cross from co-captain Olivia Rubeski and connected with a majestic diving header to put her team out in front 3-1.
Werner was involved in the next Groton-Dunstable goal scored by Rubeski at 35:02. Rubeski baited Murray out of position and peppered home a blistering strike to put the match well out of reach.
"It was a very well-played game," North Middlesex head coach Charlie Valacer said. "I think Lindsey Werner kind of killed us. She is very skillful with her getting those two quick goals there. It kind of took the wind right out of our sails.
"We have some new players back on defense. Hopefully, they learn from this. We had some opportunities," he said, "and didn't quite cash in."