Girls Lacrosse vs. Arrowhead
It was like climbing a mountain for the University School girls’ lacrosse team. The Wildcats got near, but couldn’t quite make the final push to the very top. In the final game of the season, they faced the five-time state champion team, Arrowhead Red, in the Wisconsin Lacrosse Federation State Tournament Championship game on Friday, June 7th at Schneider Stadium at Carroll University in Waukesha and lost the biggest game of the year, 11-8.
It was a great year for USM. The Wildcats finished the season at 15-2. Their only two losses were to Arrowhead, one in a close game during the regular season and the other in Friday’s state championship match.
Senior Michaela Fritz, one of USM’s captains, was proud of the Wildcats’ effort in 2019, “It was one of our best seasons yet. We had so much talent from each grade and used that to our advantage. It was a great season, and although we did not get the state title, it was still an honor to make it to the championship game.”
The Wildcats held their own in the first half of the contest. It was a defensive battle at the beginning. Although each team had chances, neither scored for the first 11 minutes of the game. Freshman goalkeeper Dara Omoloja frustrated the Warhawks by making several key saves in the span. She made 8 saves in the first half and 13 total. Arrowhead’s senior goalie, Abby Rick, made 7 saves in the game.
The defensive action allowed the USM attack to eventually score the game’s first goal with 13:14 left in the first 25 minute half, when junior Audrey Engman made use of a free position opportunity to move in and whip the ball past Rick.
The Wildcats further cheered their partisans in the large crowd attending the game by taking a 2-0 lead off the following draw. Freshman Molly Janssen scooped the ball and charged down the right side. She cut in on Rick and zinged a shot past her at 13:03.
Arrowhead eventually responded. Sophomore Kylee Manser scored at 11:03. Then senior Jacklyn Batley took a pass from her classmate Coryn Tormala, and fired the ball into the USM net at 9:04 to tie the score.
Janssen gave USM the lead once again with 2:20 to go when sophomore Anna Guttormson passed the ball out front to her for a quick shot.
The Warhawks then made a state champion statement by scoring twice in the half’s final 25 seconds.
Tormala scored with 25 seconds left on a free position. She won the ensuing draw, ran the ball to the USM end and passed it to senior Ellie Bonk who gunned it in with 14 seconds remaining to give Arrowhead a 4-3 lead at halftime.
The Warhawks furthered proved themselves title worthy by scoring three goals in the first four minutes of the second half. They also began to dominate the draws to gain control of the ball and keep it away from USM sticks.
Arrowhead went ahead by two goals when senior Madelyn Dingman scored on a free position chance at 24:07. Bonk scored off a pass from Manser at 22:36. Tormala gave Arrowhead a 7-3 lead at 21:06.
At 18:43 USM freshman Brooke Robinson scored on a rush inside after the Wildcats moved the ball around in the Arrowhead end.
Batley put Arrowhead back ahead by four goals with a free position goal at 16:18.
Janssen moved the Wildcats a bit closer with a free position goal at 14:47.
Taking the very next draw, Tormala, who was deservedly named All-Amerrican earlier in the week, won the ball, sped down field, and fired a pass to Dingman who took a quick shot to give Arrowhead a 9-5 lead at 14:38.
Arrowhead went further ahead a little over a minute later when Tormala scored another goal at 13:14.
Janssen scored her fourth goal of the game after angling to the net to finish a long sideline run at 11:03.
With just 5:38 in the game, junior Sydney Schutz scored Arrowhead’s 11th goal off a pass from Manser.
USM refused to quit. The Wildcats scored two goals in the game’s final minute off of two shots by freshman All-American Grace Tuttle. But it was not enough to catch the Warhawks, who soon lifted the WLF State Championship trophy for the sixth year in a row.
After the game, Samantha Adey, USM’s head coach, summed things up by saying, “It was a tough way to end an otherwise outstanding season. These players worked so hard and to lose In the final game, in the state championship, is so difficult. However, I believe that this is an outstanding team, a team of girls who put the team above the self, and worked hard every day to get better. I’m very proud to be their coach.”