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Spartans nip Lakeside in classic lacrosse match
The girls lacrosse team almost certainly clinched first place in Division I by beating arch-nemesis Lakeside 10-8 on Wednesday evening in Memorial Stadium.
A crowd of nearly 300 saw Bainbridge take a 6-2 first half lead on some opportunistic goals, fall behind early in the second half, then score twice in the game’s final four minutes to remain undefeated and perhaps gain a psychological edge for the likely rematch in the state title game on May 16.
After Lakeside opened the scoring, Mariah Walk – the league’s leading scorer who was playing at what coach Tami Tomilla thought was 50 percent strength due to a recent bout with the flu – evened the score at the 19:15 mark. Jaclyn Biggers scored the first of her game-high four goals a minute and a half later when she slammed home a loose ball after a save by the Lakeside goalie.
Lakeside tied the score a minute later, but Bainbridge scored four times in a five-minute span. Biggers, who is one of the few Bainbridge players tall enough to match up with Lakeside, went high in the air to snag a loose ball then circled behind the net and scored.
Sidney Whitaker then stole the ball from the Lakeside goalie and easily put the ball in the net. Walk scored again from free position and the run concluded at 9:18 when Delaney Larkin stole the ball, fired a pass to Whitaker who in turn fed Biggers.
Lakeside wouldn’t give in. It scored twice from free position, then after an apparent Bainbridge goal was waved off for a crease violation, it scored with about a minute left in the half to close to 6-5.
About that time the game official had slapped the first of three yellow cards on Bainbridge, putting the team down a player. The card was symptomatic of the entire game, which some observers felt was called far too closely and resulted in frequent stoppages of play.
Lakeside appeared to tie the score a minute into the second half, but the referee waved it off for illegal procedure when the Lakeside player with the ball moved a fraction of a second before the whistle blew to start play. A defensive breakdown two minutes later – a Bainbridge player went the wrong way and gave Lakeside an open path to the goal – knotted the score at 6-6. Lakeside finally went ahead at 16:46.
Walk ended the Spartans’ nearly 20-minute scoring drought at 15:20 on a free position that began about 10 yards to the right of goal. Bainbridge took the lead two minutes later when goalie Jo Wallace saved a score, came way out of the goal and fired a long pass to Sarah Shea. Shea ran down the right side of the field, then scored in traffic in front of the goal.
Lakeside quickly tied the score and appeared to get a big break when Bainbridge drew a yellow card with less than five minutes remaining. But a few seconds later Whitaker curled around the net to give Bainbridge a 9-8 lead. With less than two minutes remaining, Lakeside was threatening to tie but committed a penalty near the Bainbridge goal.
Walk iced the game soon afterward when she fired a bullet to Biggers from free position and Biggers put the ball in the net.
“I didn’t have the greatest angle,” Walk said. “I trusted my teammate and she had a great shot.”
“The game was pretty much what I expected,” said Tommila. “We won the game but we made more mistakes than they did. We put them in free position too often. And they isolate nicely and overload in the goal area. Midfield was a tossup. We were pretty evenly matched. And the goalies kept the game low-scoring.
“I’m really proud of the community for turning out and supporting us,” Tommila said.
The team prepped for Lakeside by hammering Bellevue 25-2 on Monday and Mercer Island last Friday. Walk scored seven goals against Bellevue and a whopping 10 against the Islanders. Biggers had five in the Bellevue game and three against Mercer, while Whitaker scored four goals in each game.