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The Westminster Bi-Line

Girls lacrosse claims state “threepeat”

The Girls Lacrosse team has been beaming about their “threepeat,” or third straight state championship victory on May 19. This win was no easy victory for the LaxCats, who fought against a gifted McIntosh team into overtime.

“McIntosh was tough,” said senior Eve Knapp, “because not only do they have a few exceptional players, but they are a team that is extremely similar to ours.”

The team came into the game confident from a highly successful season, but preparing to face the strong program.

“McIntosh was ranked number one in our division before we played them,” said junior Anna Silverstein, “so going into the game, we knew it was going to be a fight.”

The team built up to the final showdown with lengthy, difficult practices. Although they went into the championship with a record of record, head coach Jay Watts made sure that the team focused on power and speed in the final practices.

“We really focused on playing all the way through the full 50 minutes,” said junior Caroline Heys. “Earlier in the season, we lost a huge game because we couldn’t pull all the way through the end.”

With a season of almost four months with practices five to six days a week and frequent games, the team has plenty of time to bond.
“One thing that is very special about our team is that we are, in every meaning of the word, a team,” said Silverstein, “On and off the field, all 31 players had and still have each other’s backs.”

When it came down to the final game, the Cats were trailing 6-3 with only 13 minutes left in the second half. Instead of giving up, the team put up their strongest fight of the season.

“All of our hope came back in full force,” said Silverstein, “and we put everything we worked for since the winter on that field.” Before overtime, Knapp had scored two goals, Heys had scored three, Silverstein, one, and junior Sara McGahan had also pressed through tough McIntosh defense. Defensively, senior Sarah Cordle boxed out the fast competition and senior goalie Katie Rush’s quick saves in the cage throughout the game proved to be invaluable for the Cats, allowing them a chance to fight the fast shooters at McIntosh in overtime.

“Going into overtime was stressful, but our whole team had confidence in each other,” said Silverstein, “we were determined to come out of this game as champions.”

With 1:18 left in overtime, the LaxCats were losing 9-8 before scoring two goals within a little over 30 seconds. The first was scored by McGahan, which tied it up, before Knapp scored the final goal of the game, leaving just 46 seconds for McIntosh to recover, which the strong Cats defense stopped.

Knapp’s final, championship-winning goal was the 100th goal of her senior season, a new single-season record for Westminster. She will also be leaving the program with 187 goals, another record.

In the moments before her goal, Knapp said, “I tried not to think, but to just let myself do what I had practiced all year and what I knew I could do.”

Knapp and her senior classmates will be missed on the team for both their lacrosse prowess and leadership.

“They really gave their hearts and souls to this team,” said Silverstein, “Collectively, they know how to have fun and work hard and get the work done.”

Next year, the Cats hope for another winning record as well as a fourth consecutive state championship. Armed with the experience of many strong rising seniors, Westminster is once again poised to dominate the 2013 season.

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