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Only the title game will satisfy
Lacrossers look to rebound after last years playoff exit to Issaquah.
Last season, the Bainbridge boys lacrosse team did something they hadnt done since the 20th century: miss getting to the championship game.
The Spartans went 12-4 and finished first in the Sound Conference, but were knocked out by Issaquah in the state semifinals last year, losing 11-10 in overtime at Memorial Stadium.
It was the first time they did not make the championship game since 1990, and its been two years since theyve won the title.
All of which gives this years team extra motivation to make it back.
This is my third year on varsity and we havent won the championship yet, senior midfielder Sean Forsyth said. Im pretty set on winning. Were not going to go quietly.
Bainbridge loses five seniors in scorer David Vander Hoek (who broke the record for most points in a season last year with 108, previously held by Adam Smith), midfielder Zach Smith, their top face-off man, attacker Cody Bludorn and defenders Austin Brawner and Zach Kornfield, but several returners are ready to take their place.
Offensively, Forsyth, junior attacker Dylan Masi, senior midfielder Willy Delius, senior midfielder Ryan van den Meerendock, sophomore midfielder Max Olson and junior midfielder Clayton Knight are ready to make up for the loss of Vander Hoek.
Weve got a bunch of strong offensive players, Forsyth said. Weve got a great bunch of middies (midfielders) and attackmen, and were looking stronger than ever.
Delius, the senior veteran, agreed.
Its improved from last year, he said. Last year we had one guy that could score and now weve got a lot more balance offensively. (Theres) just a ton of talent.
Defensively, junior defender Bryan Gilbreath is part of a young group that is looking to make their mark.
I think since we have a young defense we need to get better to know whats going on, he said. We dont have really big stars, but if we work together, well be a lot stronger.
Thats the theme for the team, as everyone must pull together to take on a balanced league, highlighted by tough teams like Seattle Prep, Garfield, Bellevue and Issaquah, along with Mercer Island, Bainbridges main rival and the two-time state champions.
Forsyth feels that their work in the offseason is one of the keys to heading back to the championship game.
We came into the season a lot tougher this year because we had good offseason conditioning programs, he said. Leadership from the seniors is important and there are a lot of juniors and sophomores ready to step up.
Delius doesnt want to see their season end the way it has the past two years, and feels the Spartans are in stride with the other teams talent-wise.
We might have an underdog mentality, he said. But we absolutely want to get back. Its been one year since weve been there, but two years since weve won it, which hasnt happened since the 80s. We got some work to do.
Bainbridge travels to Curtis March 16, to Lakeridge March 18 and to Vashon March 20 before making their home debut against the Islanders March 24.
Game time for their first home contest is at 7:30 p.m.