It was an all-too-familiar speech for Meg Hendy.
The Hilton Head Island High School girls lacrosse coach found herself once again preaching to her team on Wednesday night about playing hard until the final whistle sounds.
The Seahawks had just pulled out a season-opening, 12-10 win over archrival Bluffton, but it came in a game they controlled before watching the Bobcats cut a seven-goal, first-half lead to three on four separate occasions over the final 25 minutes.
"I think they let down," Hendy said afterward.
It was a similar situation that ended the Seahawks' season a year ago, when a premature celebration by Hilton Head High with less than a minute remaining helped Bluffton rally for a narrow 13-12 victory in the playoff opener.
That's why Hendy continued to urge the Seahawks to "run, run, run" until the game was over.
"I think maybe we came out a little cocky into the second half," captain Elaine Natoli said. "We had a happy huddle (at halftime). Bluffton has done that the last few games that I remember."
It was Natoli who helped the Seahawks claim Wednesday's win, as the senior tallied a career-best eight goals in the victory. She helped stake Hilton Head High to an 8-2 advantage at the break with five goals before adding another three after intermission.
"I didn't really expect to score so much tonight," she said. "But I'm happy. (Midfielder) Jenna Sheeran assisted me twice tonight, so I give her props for giving me good passes."
The Seahawks needed each and every one of Natoli's goals, as the Bobcats struck quickly to start the second half. They notched four straight goals -- including two from senior Hayley Dwyer -- in a span of 2 1/2 minutes to trim the deficit to three early on.
The two teams then traded blows over the next several minutes before Bluffton finally pulled within two with just under two minutes to play. But by then the damage was done.
"I'm not really concerned about the hole we dug ourselves because we came back," Bluffton coach Dani Tosky said. "They just were able to capitalize on the mistakes that we made."
So what changed in Tosky's team from one half to the next?
"I have no idea," she said, shaking her head. "Maybe my halftime speech, when I freaked out a little on them."
Both coaches spoke afterward about how 2012 would be a rebuilding year for their respective teams, which is why neither left in disappointment following Wednesday's outcome.
"I'm very proud of my team," Hendy said. "I had some girls that had never seen a stick before Jan. 23 playing out there."
Tosky echoed those sentiments.
"We lost some key players, (so) I'm super proud. But we've got a lot to work on."
Hilton Head Island High 12, Bluffton 10
Hilton Head High (1-0) -- Goals: Elaine Natoli 8, Carson Kendrick 2, Haley Matousek 2
Bluffton (0-1) -- Goals: Hayley Dwyer 3, Madison Aust 2, Charly Tatro 2, Charlotte Loper 2, Gabby Ciavolino 1
Hilton Head High's Jenna Sheeran, left, and Bluffton's Charlotte Loper vie for possession of the ball during Wednesday's lacrosse match at Bluffton High School.
A pack of Bluffton defenders, including Taylor Cocuzza (25), chase Hilton Head High's Haley Matousek (31) during Wednesday's cross-bridge rivalry match at Bluffton High School.