For the second year in a row, the Eastside Catholic Crusaders girls lacrosse team hoisted the state championship trophy.
The Eastside Catholic Crusaders, who were ranked No. 3 in the state prior to the title game, registered a 16-11 victory against the previously No. 1-ranked Bainbridge Island Spartans in the Washington girls lacrosse state championship game on May 19 at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila. The Crusaders, who led the Spartans 9-7 at halftime, outscored Bainbridge 7-4 in the second half to seal their second consecutive state title.
Eastside Catholic head coach Colette Foreman said her squad is known for being a second-half team.
“Once they get going, they are unstoppable,” Foreman said. “They are conditioned beyond belief and when they came back in the second half, they did a fabulous job and just executed. It was great.”
The Crusaders built a sizable 12-7 lead after a Maddie McMaster goal with 15:58 left in regulation. Bainbridge Island cut Eastside Catholic’s lead to 12-9 on a Sophia Hagstromer goal with 10:31 left in regulation.
The Spartans wouldn’t get any closer for the remainder of the game.
Eastside Catholic scored three unanswered goals to put the game away. Carlin Reilly, who finished with a team-high five goals, found the back of the net with 6:34 left in regulation, giving Eastside Catholic a commanding 15-9 lead. Reilly was overcome with joy during the post-game celebration with a sizable contingent of Eastside Catholic students on the field.
“It is crazy. Feeling this experience right now is once in a lifetime. I’m so proud of our team. It is my senior year and I could not have ended it better,” Reilly said. “I think we came into this game confident but not cocky. We came in knowing that we were the underdog. Everyone doubted us but we pulled through and we proved that we were good.”
Olivia Jacobsen, who scored four goals in the title game, believed her team made the most of its opportunities against Bainbridge.
“We just knew that we really had to convert on all of our offensive possessions because [Bainbridge] is obviously a good team and they were going to convert on all of their opportunities,” Jacobsen said. “Bainbridge is a really good team. They have great players and great coaches. Some of my best friends are on that team. They definitely gave us a good fight.”
Winning back-to-back state titles was the ultimate goal for Eastside Catholic.
“It is so crazy and has definitely been a dream of our team since the beginning of the season. It is crazy that it became real. It is awesome,” Jacobsen said.
McMaster scored three goals for Eastside Catholic in the title game. Isabella Sasso, Alexa Steffens, Jessica Carroll and Susan Christiansen each scored a goal apiece as well. Eastside Catholic goalie Sara Williams, who surrendered just 11 goals between the posts, made several key saves in the title game. Williams was named player of the game.