The Spartans put down a feisty Ballard team to win their first game of the state girls lacrosse playoffs, 20-4, Monday at Bainbridge High Memorial Stadium.
“We executed our plays and we finished when we had to,” said Spartan Assistant Coach Barb Reibsamen.
“I thought they played aggressive, and that was good,” Reibsamen said of the Beavers.
“The deeper we get into the playoffs, the more aggressive teams we’re going to see,” she added. “So to have any competition that’s going to really pressure us and cause us to react, I think is great thing.”
The game started on a somewhat surprising note: Ballard scored first, with just 28 seconds gone off the clock.
Kendall Havill evened the score, however, a minute later, the first of her six goals in the game.
And 25 seconds later, Havill came up with the ball during a frantic scramble for a loose ball in front of the Ballard goal and put the Spartans in front for good at the 22:23 mark of the first half.
Bainbridge quickly put Ballard in the rear-view mirror, with Spartan scoring leader Mackenzie Chapman scoring twice over the span of two minutes to give BHS a 4-1 advantage.
The Spartans scored two more before Ballard answered, with Tayt Rattray scoring for the Beavers to cut the lead to 6-2.
Bainbridge put four more on the board before Ballard would score again. At halftime, Bainbridge was ahead 14-3; the last goal of the half coming from Maggie Sweeney with 55 seconds remaining.
Reibsamen said Bainbridge came into the game with a single focus: “To play our game.”
“To play Bainbridge lacrosse: to make sure we run our plays; we get the ball off the draw right away; our defense is communicating, talking, working together,” she said.
Ballard, to their credit, never let up.
The Beavers had seven caused turnovers in the game, compared to the Spartans’ four.
Bainbridge dominated the midfield, though, and won the draw 17 times (Ballard, eight).
The Spartans also scooped up most of the ground balls during the matchup, 23 to the Beavers’ 12.
Chapman led the Spartans with eight goals and four assists. She also had three ground balls, six draws and two caused turnovers.
Havill finished with six of the Spartans’ 20 points, and she also had three assists and two ground balls.
Sweeney finished with four goals, three assists, four ground balls and seven draws.
Also adding points to the board for Bainbridge: Eleanor Collins and Eleanor King, who each scored a goal against the Beavers.
The Ballard offense was led by Rattray, who finished with two of the Beavers’ four goals
The victory was the 13th win for Bainbridge this season. Undefeated, the only asterisk is a 1-0 forfeit win over Garfield late last week, when the Bainbridge team’s trip to Seattle was delayed by a bomb scare at the Seattle ferry terminal and the Spartans were stranded in Puget Sound on their ferry for two hours, waiting for the terminal to reopen. (Garfield declined to play a late game, or reschedule it for the following day, and took the forfeit.)
The win was also the Spartans 28th victory out of their last 29 games, with their only loss in the last two seasons coming in the state championship matchup last year against Eastside Catholic.
Next up for Bainbridge in the playoffs was Issaquah, scheduled for Thursday at home. The winner of that game will advance to face the winner of the Bellevue-Eastside Catholic matchup.
The other four teams still in playoff contention were Snohomish, Lakeside and Mercer Island.
For now, the Spartans are only thinking about their next playoff game, and not another shot at the state title.
“We just did one lap of a mile,” said Spartan Head Coach Tami Tommila. “Thursday will be another lap and then, if we get through that, then we get to run another lap.”
“And then, hopefully, the final lap will be the state championship. We’ll stay focused that way,” Tommila said.