ReLAX -- just one more game

All-American Christen Faltermeier scores the final goal in Spartan’s semi-final win Tuesday.  - ROGERICK ANAS/Staff Writer
All-American Christen Faltermeier scores the final goal in Spartan’s semi-final win Tuesday.
— image credit: ROGERICK ANAS/Staff Writer

The scoreboard malfunctioned at the start of Tuesday’s girls lacrosse state tournament semi-final game. So did the Bainbridge defense, giving up four quick goals to an energized Panthers team.

The scoreboard required an entire half to fix. The lacrosse team needed only five minutes, smothering the Panther offense for the rest of the game en route to a 16-7 thumping that propelled them into last night’s championship game against Overlake.

Christen Faltermeier’s penalty shot was the only Bainbridge score during the initial Panther blitz, but Caitlin Kiley’s goal eight minutes into the game ignited a four-minute, four-goal run to put Bainbridge ahead 5-4.

The teams settled down after that, with the Panthers getting the equalizer on a blocked shot that dribbled into the goal. But Bainbridge responded with another four-goal run for a 9-5 halftime lead.

The onslaught continued in the second half with Caitlin Holliday, Kiley and Jen Utley scoring in the first five minutes to put the game out of reach. Goalie Amy Harrington played what coach Tami Tommila termed “an incredible game – she really stepped up to the occasion.” Harrington made 15 saves, many of them from point-blank range.

In a nice bit of symmetry, Faltermeier – who learned earlier that day that she was one of two local players named as an All-American – closed out the scoring as she curled around the goal and sliced the ball into the net with a minute remaining.

“I’m glowing right now,” she said after the game. “My number-one goal was to win state, and number two was to make All-American.

“I have a lot of faith in my team, so I wasn’t worried when we were behind. I knew that we knew how to play. The defense really stepped up and slid well. Everything just clicked.”

“The Panthers came out with a lot of confidence and energy,” Tommila said. “But I was confident that our skill level and experience would take over.

“Mehgan (Colkitt) had an excellent game. She stopped their No. 1 scorer. Paulina (Blackinton) and Mikal (Hemingway) were awesome on defense. And having Caitlin (Kiley) in the game makes a big difference. She’s hurting (from an ankle injury) but very experienced.”

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