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Lacrossers shoot for tough trifecta
"Bainbridge may pull off a rare triple play - in lacrosse. The girls' varsity and JV teams are on their way to the state championship finals, while the boys are flashing the form that has earned them six consecutive titles.Wednesday evening, the varsity girls won a closer-than-expected state semifinal game against Forest Ridge, 6-4, while the JVs held on for a 12-11 squeaker over Holy Names.We came out flat-footed, varsity coach Tami Tommila said, with the Spartans spotting their opponents three early goals before scoring. But then we got our focus, and started playing OK.Aggressive defense by the visitors kept the Spartans scoreless for an agonizing 18 minutes. Rebecca Williamson finally broke through with 6:57 to go, flipping the ball in amid heavy traffic in front of the goal.The hosts tied the game at halftime on two outstanding individual efforts. Lindsay Newlon and Ashley Pedersen took the ball near midfield and weaved their way into the arc for point-blank shots.Bainbridge then took control in the second half. Pedersen put back a shot that had bounced away from the Forest Ridge goalie. Then Lauren Hume came out of the corner to score on a solo effort, followed by Williamson, who got into the middle for a short shot.The visitors didn't give up. Forest Ridge cut the lead to two with seven minutes to go, and continued to press the attack. But the Bainbridge defense was equal to the occasion, shutting the door the rest of the way.For the game, Bainbridge recorded 30 checks, in which they dislodged the ball from Forest Ridge attackers. Jessica Spivey had eight checks, and Alana Martinez registered six. Goalie Alli O'Connor finished with 10 saves, six in the second half.This was a good eye-opener for us going into the championship game, Tommila said. It showed us that we need to be focused.The unbeaten Spartans, winners of 15 straight games, traveled to Mercer Island Friday evening to meet Overlake in the championship game. Bainbridge has beaten Overlake twice this season.JVs down Holy Names: After trading goals in the first half, the JV girls opened a four-goal lead over Holy Names in the second half. But then Holy Names went on a run.We went into a stall, and just held on for the last five minutes, coach Laura Newlon said. Eliza Davison led the Spartan offense with six goals, and Caitlin Holliday added three. Kat Berfield and Nicole Schaub were the defensive leaders, according to Newlon, and Amy Harrington went all the way in the goal.The JVs met Mercer Island Friday for the state championship, a team that beat Bainbridge 8-4 in the season's opening game. Boys rout Mercer: The varsity boys pounded Mercer Island 23-5, behind Peter VanderHoek's nine-goal performance.On paper, it looked like the team would be in for a tough game on the road. While the Sparts did beat the Islanders earlier this year, the 14-10 margin of victory was narrow - and that game was at Bainbridge.But any Spartan concern was short-lived.We came out firing, coach Dave Low said, and we were hitting on all cylinders the whole game.VanderHoek was particularly comfortable with the locale. He played a great game last year in the finals at Mercer, Low said. He just seems to like this field.The nine goals were the most registered by a Spartan in a single game this year, and Low believes for a considerable time before that.I imagine it's happened before, Low said, but I can't remember anybody ever scoring that many.Apart from VanderHoek's outburst, Bainbridge displayed a balanced offense, with Jesse Pratt, Adam Smith and Kelten Johnson all logging three goals.Bainbridge had the opportunity to avenge its only loss last night when it hosted Lakeside, a team that beat the Sparts 14-7 earlier this season. At stake is the number-one seed going into next week's state tournament, which Bainbridge could grab only if it won by more than seven goals.It shouldn't make too much difference, Low said, because we've beaten both the number three and four teams twice.Date and time for the semi-final game has not been announced, but it will be in the first part of next week, possibly at Bainbridge. The finals will be Saturday at Mercer."