I’m not gonna lie. I don’t watch a lot of girls’ lacrosse. Schedule-wise, I’m already testing the boundaries of Mrs. McNutty’s love, and adding another sport to the evening agenda wouldn’t go over well. Plus, there’s all the skirt-chasing jokes I’d have to endure.
But at last night’s game at Lakeside, when Lake Sammamish visited for a semi-final matchup, I was reminded of how poetic the game is when it’s played well. I suppose there’s a fair amount of spacing that occurs because of the rules, e.g. the three second rule for defenders, but crisp passes to cutting attackers seem so much more visually spectacular when done by the be-goggled. And I can’t figure out why, specifically, but there are a few mid-air shooting positions that are very specific to the girls’ game. I don’t know if it’s the pockets, the offensive play design, or just the gracefulness, but you never see a boys’ attackman twisting midair looking like a gazelle. Maybe it’s because they know they’re gonna get clocked. Anyway, I digress.
The game at Lakeside was for the right to play in the finals; a birthright, it seems, for Lakeside and Bainbridge. They’ve played every final for the last seven years, and between the two of them they own 21 of the 25 state titles. Needless to say, the Lions have big expectations.
But Lake Sammamish had high hopes as well, and no intention of ending their season on the field at Lakeside. They’re coming off a 10-2 season, riding the momentum of two lopsided playoff wins and they want to be taken seriously. It didn’t take long for them to get their wish.
To my rookie eye’s, the game came down to the athleticism of Lakeside’s individuals against the team play of the Lake Sammamish squad. Led by Katelyn Chirichigno’s hat trick, Lake Sammamish had goals by eight different players, and five of those goals were assisted. Lakeside, in contrast, only had three different scorers and ended the game without an assist. Time and time again, LakeSamm had great off-ball movement; three passes to a wide open shot from 4 yards out. There’s not much a goalie can do to stop that.
Grace Hamilton, in contrast, stood tall in goal for LakeSamm, garnering nine saves for the game, including two spectacular doorstep stuffs that thwarted any momentum change. Lakeside tried valiantly to get back in the game, but was never able to get closer than three goals. LakeSamm moves on, courtesy of their big 14-8 win on the Lions home field.
They’ll face Bainbridge in the finals, to be held this Saturday at 2pm, at Eastside Catholic. The battle for third and fourth will occur at 11:00am, between Lakeside and Mercer Island. Come out and watch the beauty; a game without hitting, where stick skills and strategy usually triumph over brawn and individual effort.