Sad but true: lacrossers fall to Lions

The Bainbridge lacrosse bench, including Megan Mendenhall (18) and Mary Vasta (16) are in disbelief as time runs out during Saturday’s state championship game against Lakeside. - Julie Busch photo
The Bainbridge lacrosse bench, including Megan Mendenhall (18) and Mary Vasta (16) are in disbelief as time runs out during Saturday’s state championship game against Lakeside.
— image credit: Julie Busch photo

Bainbridge suffers its first loss of the season at the worst time imaginable.

SEATTLE CENTER – There’s a reason why many teams don’t win three titles in a row: It’s hard.

The Bainbridge girls lacrosse team were dealt the harsh reality of that when the final horn sounded and their 11-9 loss to the Lakeside Lions Saturday in the Varsity A state championship game at Leon H. Brigham Field in Seattle became official.

The loss not only ends their season long 16 game winning streak, it ends their quest for three titles in a row to tie Laurie Usher’s record.

“It just wasn’t our day,” midfielder Colbi Brawner said afterward. “You can’t get everything you want.”

It looked like their day at the beginning, as Sally Baumgartner scored twice, once off an assist from Brawner, and Natalie Evans and Mariah Walk scored as well to put the Spartans up 4-0.

Defensively, goalie Dimi Lotakis made several key saves, but turned the ball over when she couldn’t find an open player and was forced out by Lakeside.

Lisa Baldini scored off an assist from Brett Eisenhart after the restart, which was followed a few minutes later by a goal from Lauren McAndrews.

Marley Horne and Brawner – who took one of her patented jump shots over four defenders – scored to put the Spartans up 6-2.

But Lakeside went on a 3-0 run near the end of the half, as Eisenhart scored twice and Ellen Fitzharris scored to close the lead to just one, but more importantly, swing the momentum to the Lions.

“Momentum is such an important thing in sports in general,” head coach Tami Tommila said. “When the momentum shifted, Lakeside really capitalized on that, and having a young team like we have, it really threw us for a loop.”

Sally Baumgartner scored her third goal of the game in the opening minutes of the second half, but the Lions went on a 6-0 run to take the lead for good, as they constantly took control off the draw and seemingly scored at will on the Spartans.

Fitzharris and Tylie Cramer scored once while Eisenhart and Gracie Binder scored twice during the run.

“To credit Lakeside, they really took advantage of the opportunities (provided),” Tommila said. “They definitely deserved to win the game because they had that edge out there.”

Brawner and Evans scored to cut the lead to two late in the game, but that was all they had, as Lakeside kept the ball in their end to run down the clock and Bainbridge could only get a few more scoring opportunities.

Two different Spartans had shots while Horne had a great look in front of the goal, but her shot was off as she crashed into a few Lion defenders.

While Bainbridge took 26 shots on Lakeside goalie Lisa Schomaker, the Lions did their part to keep the high scoring duo of Brawner, the league’s leading goal scorer with 60 goals, and Sally’s sister Jane Baumgartner, who was second in league scoring with 54, contained by putting two defenders on whichever All-American had the ball.

Jane Baumgartner did not score, the first time all season that’s happened.

“They put on the double team a lot and I don’t think that we adjusted to it,” said Tommila. “We practiced against it to simulate what was going to be like playing them, but you never know how people are going to react in a game of this magnitude.”

While the loss ended their hopes of a third straight state title, Brawner took the loss in stride.

“Our team is so young and they have so much more lacrosse to play,” she said. “It (the loss) gives them something to work for next year.”

Tommila agreed.

“We got ourselves in a hole and we really tried to get ourselves out of it,” she said. “So I give my team a lot of credit for leaving it on the field. There’s a lot of fire in that younger group.”

Both Bainbridge lacrosse teams also collected some individual honors last weekend.

Along with the All-American and all-state selections previously mentioned in the Review, Brawner, Lotakis, Abbey Pearl and Erin Gulbranson were named academic All-Americans.

For the boys, attacker Dylan Masi, midfielder Willy Delius and defender Bryan Gilbreath were named to the Division I All-State first team.

Defender Dayton Gilbreath was named to the All-State second team, while midfielder Max Olsen was an honorable mention.

The girls lacrosse team finished with a record of 16-1.

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