by Russell Cooks
The Blessed Trinity Lady Titans defeated the Starr’s Mill Lady Panthers 22-11 in the lacrosse state playoffs on Wednesday evening. The game marked the second Final Four appearance for Starr’s Mill in the last four years, and it was also the first time that the Lady Panthers ever hosted a semifinal game.
The loss hurts, but there is plenty to be proud of. First and foremost, Blessed Trinity is a state powerhouse in girls lacrosse. Furthermore, they have several players who have signed to play Division 1 lacrosse next fall, one of which will be playing for the prestigious Duke University Lady Blue Devils. The Starr’s Mill girls showed they belong with the state’s elite.
Starr’s Mill came out in full attack mode and practically lived at the Blessed Trinity goal for the first five minutes of the game, then there was a sudden shift and the Lady Titans scored at the 17:04 mark. After the initial goal, Blessed Trinity went on score a total of 5 goals in a less than three minute period and led 5-0 at the 15:30 mark.
Sophomore Caroline Broderick finally got the Panthers on the board at the 14:19 mark, then the Titans went on a 4-0 run and led 9-1 at the 8:50 mark.
Freshman Ansley Wallace scored a breakaway goal to make the score 9-2 at the 7:38 mark of the first half, then Blessed Trinity went on another 4-0 run to make the score 13-2 at the 3:10 mark.
The Panthers went on a mini-run as freshman Caroline Andrews scored back-to-back goals, one at the 1:05 mark and the second at 13 second mark. Blessed Trinity led 13-4 at the half, but Andrews took the Lady Panthers into the half with a little momentum.
The second half started off a lot more balanced for the Lady Panthers. Blessed Trinity scored two goals, but Wallace and Broderick answered with scores for Starr’s Mill to make the score 15-6 at the 20:12 mark.
The Titans scored two more goals and it Senior Alyssa Sack answering at the 13:05 mark to make the score 17-7.
Blessed Trinity went on a 3-0 run and Wallace and Andrews answered with goals at the 6:02 mark and the 5:02 mark to make the score 20-9.
The next five minutes saw each team aggressively push the action and each team scored two goals apiece. Sack and Andrews rounded out the scoring for the Lady Panthers.
The final score was 22-11, but it was truly a game of two halves. Blessed Trinity built up a large first half lead, but Starr’s Mill made critical adjustments and left their hearts and souls on the field in the second half.
Senior Alyssa Sack said, “I feel like we played like a team, and it was a good way to end my senior season.”
When asked what advice would she give her teammates for next season, Sack said, “Always play with the heart and intensity that we played with in the second half tonight and they will capture multiple state championships. I am so proud of our team for continuing to fight like champions.”
Senior Rachel Pilato said, “I feel proud of our team for making it this far. We worked very hard, and that’s all that we could do.”
Senior Emily Beardsley added, “It is surreal. I am proud of the way the team played. We played with a lot if heart, and we left everything out on the field.”
Freshman Caroline Andrews said, “It was a fun game. I am really proud of our team. I am looking forward to building on this year’s success and winning it all next year.”
Freshman Ansley Wallace said, “I feel like we had the game under control in the beginning, and it got out if control after they scored the first goal, but we never quit. We played with a lot of heart and determination. We have come a long way since the beginning of the season. I am really excited about next year.”
Sophomore Caroline Broderick added, “I like the way we went out and gave it our all. We will rebound and with it all next year.”
There was absolutely no quit in the Lady Panthers. In the first half, there were multiple three and four point runs by the Titans. In the second half, Starr’s Mill battled point-for-point with a state powerhouse that was led by a senior-laden team, while seven of the Lady Panthers goals were scored by two freshmen and a sophomore. The future for Starr’s Mill girls lacrosse is very, very bright.