Bainbridge beat back Bellevue late last week and survived a duel with Lakeside Tuesday to advance to the state championship game in girls lacrosse Friday.
Against Bellevue in the quarterfinals Thursday, the Spartans marched back from a 2-1 deficit against Bellevue at the 20:05 mark in the first half and stepped out to a 8-7 halftime lead.
Bainbridge then held Bellevue scoreless in the second half to preserve the win.
“We switched up our midfield,” said Spartan Coach Tami Tommila. “We put upper classmen back in, and it seemed to do the trick.”
Keying in on the Wolverine’s Lily Weingaertner — Bellevue’s top scorer in the game — was crucial.
“They got a couple of draws but we kind of let down on them when we changed our strategy of marking out [Weingaertner] — she had four goals in the first half — and we said, ‘We can’t do that in the second half,’” Tommila said.
Maintaining the possession of the ball for most of the second half also put the victory out of reach for the Wolverines.
“Obviously, we wanted to get a certain amount of goals up on them before we went into our stall. Then, the stall was all about, if they got the ball back, they would be exhausted,” Tommila said.
Kendall Havill led the Spartans, saddling the Wolverines with six goals. She also had four assists, two ground balls, controlled five draws and made five caused turnovers.
Teammate Eleanor Collins added four goals and an assist, and Madeleine Sherry split the rails for two. Bella Jackson, Eleanor King, Lauren Pujolar and Abby Reibsamen contributed one goal each.
Weingaertner supplied most of the offense for Bellevue, with five goals. Mindy Weingaertner and Sophie Santora provided the other two scores for the Wolverines.
Bainbridge scored first in the game — a super speedy goal by Havill with just 32 seconds off the clock — and Mindy Weingaertner’s sole goal knotted the score at 1-1 less than a minute later.
Lily Weingaertner then put Bellevue ahead, 2-1, roughly five minutes into the game before Havill unloaded an equalizer at the 14:44 mark of the first half.
Sherry’s subsequent goal for the Spartans put Bainbridge ahead to stay less than a minute later, moving Bainbridge to 3-2 with 14:01 to play in the first half.
The Spartans scored six unanswered goals in the second half, the last coming from Havill with a little less that 10 minutes to go in the contest, and Bainbridge ran out the clock to preserve the win.
Still, the game was scrappy until the end, with three yellow cards — two to Bellevue — issued.
Bainbridge called two timeouts in the final moments of the contest at Bainbridge Memorial Stadium, but it wasn’t meant to underscore the agony of defeat for Bellevue.
Instead, the Wolverines’ frustrations on the field were starting to boil over.
“Our kids are getting hit and I needed them to get a break, and get some water, and keep their legs warm,” Tommila said.
“It’s unfortunate that kids get emotional in a game,” she added, but noted that Bellevue has a great young team.
The Wolverines, no doubt, wanted to end the Spartans’ state run, same as Bainbridge did to Bellevue in last year’s playoffs.
“Last year, they knocked off Eastside Catholic, which was great. We played Bellevue in the semifinal, so I’m sure they’re a little disappointed they didn’t get back to the semifinal, as we would be, as well.
“But hat’s off to their coach,” Tommila said of Wolverine Coach Emily Stanford. “I think she’s a great up-and-coming coach, and she’s done some really good things with them.
“They’ll be back next year, for sure.”
Earlier this week against Lakeside, the Spartans broke open a 6-6 tie at halftime to win 11-8 in the state semi-finals at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila.
Collins and King paced the Spartan offense, with three goals each.
Havill added two, while Pujolar, Reibsamen and Sherry contributed one goal each.
The semi-final victory put Bainbridge, the defending state champions, into Friday’s title match at Starfire.
The rematch against Mercer Island — who pinned the only loss on the Spartans this season — will be a replay of last year’s championship final, but with MI playing the role of favorite this time.
The game gets underway at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 17. It will be live streamed on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqrdhnwLCIE.