Girls lacrosse takes down Mercer Island

Spartans’ Sally Baumgartner drives down the field Thursday. - Brad Camp/Staff Photo
Spartans’ Sally Baumgartner drives down the field Thursday.
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

It was such an impressive play, it left the league’s leading scorer on her knees genuflecting in respect.

But that’s what Bainbridge attacker Lucy Schlesser felt was appropriate after her teammate Natalie Evans pulled off an amazing score when she took the ball away from Mercer Island goalie Jessica Swarts as she was trying to clear it, and easily dropped it in.

“That was beautiful,” Schlesser said. “That’s what you want to do. You want to just smash the goalie’s confidence and what better way to be, like ‘oh, you can’t clear it, you can’t block it, have fun.’”

The Spartans did a fine job in smashing the Islanders’ confidence and any hopes of an upset by destroying Mercer Island 21-6 in a WSGLA Varsity A state semifinal game Thursday night at Memorial Stadium.

The Spartans move on to play arch-rival Lakeside Saturday at Seattle Center at 6:30 p.m. for the state championship.

Bainbridge led from the opening draw to the end, never letting Mercer get into its offense or allowing All-American Caroline Mahoney to dominate.

She scored four goals but wasn’t a factor for much of the game.

“Rachel (Harmon) was awesome on her,” head coach Tami Tommila said. “We played smart on her for most of the game.

“Defensively I’m really proud of how the team played today because that was our (main) strategy after our Lakeside loss (April 28) was, how do we want to play defense?

“They were really poised and patient.”

Schlesser got the scoring going when she intercepted a pass and got it to Evans who quickly dumped it to Mariah Walk for the score.

Walk rewarded Schlesser for her play with a feed for a score a few moments later.

Schlesser dropped in another score when she got a pass from Sydney Whitaker and muscled her way past a Mercer defender.

Evans and Schlesser scored again before Victoria Bachman finally put one in the cage for the score.

But Evans and Schlesser scored again, with Sally Baumgartner and Whitaker adding goals to round out the scoring in the first half.

In the second half, the Spartans went on a 7-0 run to effectively end the game.

Walk scored twice while Evans scored three times and Whitaker put one in as Bainbridge took control on the draw time and time again.

Mahoney scored while Erin Gibson scored twice, but that didn’t even faze the Spartans, as Schlesser scored twice while Sarah Shea and Whitaker put one in as well.

Both Schlesser and Tommila didn’t think they would make it look that easy.

“We worked hard; they worked hard, but in the end I knew we were going to win that game,” Schlesser said.

Tommila said they “got lucky” with the bye as Mercer had to make a comeback against Tacoma to move on.

“Today showed our conditioning, which was great.”

With the win comes another rematch against the Lions, who have won the last two times against Bainbridge in the title bout.

Tommila said she feels they have the edge.

“We’re peaking at the right time and we’re playing smart lacrosse,” she said. “We’re just going to go out there and give it our best shot.”

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