Girls lacrosse | Bainbridge continues strong tradition

The Spartans cheer
The Spartans cheer 'Go Big Blue' during a second-half timeout at the state championship game May 15.
— image credit: Sue Larkin/Courtesy Photo

After coaching the Spartans through their seventh straight state final game May 15, Tami Tommila didn’t focus on what went wrong in the team’s 15-10 loss, but instead on how they got there.

Bainbridge, which fell to Lakeside for the fifth straight year, competed with only three seniors – Sydney Whitaker, Delaney Larkin and Joanna Shea – to Lakeside’s seven.

“The thing [the seniors] need to take away is it’s because of their leadership that we got to the state game with such a young team and did as well as we did this year,” Tommila said. “They bought into what we needed to do to get there. You can’t dwell on what we didn’t accomplish. What we need to focus on as a program are the great strides we made as group.”

In the teams’ previous meeting, Lakeside came out on top, 20-10.

“Where we were at the start of the year really showed the difference,” Tommila said. “One thing that is really hard when you play in a state game is knowing how far your team has gone. As a coach, I don’t feel like we gave Lakeside the best game we could have given them. Lakeside didn’t get an opportunity to see our best team.”

Prior to Bainbridge’s five state championship losses to Lakeside, the Spartans had won back-to-back titles.

“Every time you go [to state] you have a chance to be a state champion and I try to remind them of that,” Tommila said. “Nobody else has been at this end but you [for] the last seven years. You’d always rather get an opportunity to play in the game and have your chances.”

Looking forward

Bainbridge will return 2010 All-American Jacyln Biggers and starting goalkeeper Madeline Stevenson next season.

Biggers led the team with 61 goals and was selected to the all-state team for the second consecutive year.

Stevenson, a freshman, has made tremendous strides, Tommila said. “When you have a child, they have to learn to sit up and they have to learn to walk and run,” Tommila said. “For [Madeline], we asked her to come up and do it in reverse order in high school. Starting goalie as a freshman is huge. It’s a huge learning curve and we had to throw her right into the fire. I’m awfully proud of her.”

Junior Liana Olson, a three-year letter-winner, Grace Deery-Schmitt, Kelsey Mackin and Bea Sheffer will make a “dynamic group” of returners, Tommila said.

For five returning players, the season isn’t quite over yet.

Biggers, Stevenson, Deery-Schmitt, Olson and Chase McMahon were all selected to the Washington State Regional Team, and will compete in the U.S. Lacrosse Nationals in Baltimore over Memorial Day weekend.

“We’ll go and play three games on each day, and the girls get to go and watch the NCAA women’s final,” Tommila said. “It’s another nice acknowledgment that Bainbridge has the most kids represented on the regional team.”

All-state selections

First team: Stevenson, Shea, Biggers, Whitaker

Second team: McMahon, Mackin, Deery-Schmitt, Larkin

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