Lake Region’s Lauren Jakobs drives as St. Dominic Academy’s Rileigh Stebbins moves in on defense in the Class C state championship game Friday. (Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald)
PORTLAND — Lake Region coach David Keenan got mad. Then Lauren Jakobs got angry. Then the Lakers really got going.
After watching St. Dominic Academy close the first half strong and cut the deficit to two, Lake Region dominated the second half on its way to a 19-9 victory in the inaugural Class C girls’ lacrosse state championship at Fitzpatrick Stadium on Friday.
The second-seeded Saints (11-4) finished the first half with three goals in the final 50.3 seconds, cutting the top-seeded Lakers’ lead to 8-6. Keenan then had a chance to talk with his team at halftime.
“Our coach kind of got a little mad at us because he knows how hard we can work, and it’s all about effort — just getting the draws and getting the ground balls — and I think we did a better job at that in the second half,” Jakobs said.
The teams traded free-position goals to start the second half, but then the Lakers scored the next three goals before the Saints called a timeout 6:13 into the period. Jakobs, Rachel Shanks and Melissa Bonenfant all scored in the sequence.
“They’re a great team, and we knew they could score at will, so we just had to ratchet (up) our intensity the second half,” Keenan said. “We had to get the ground balls. They were killing us in ground balls, killing us in draws. Second half, we turned that around a little bit, and our offense went to work.”
Keenan said his team’s success on draws in the first half was “terrible.” He attributed that to “just effort.”
Jakobs turned that tide in the second half, dominating at the faceoff spot to give the Lakers a big advantage in possession.
“Just knowing that this was my last game in my high-school career, and when I get angry I get more feisty,” Jakobs said. “So just getting angry that they came back so quickly, and knowing that we can be so much more ahead of them, and I think I just got worked up, and then it showed.”
St. Dom’s scored the first goal out of the timeout to stop the Lakers’ run and make it a 12-8 game, but Lake Region scored the next four (three from Jakobs, one from Shanks) before the Saints called another timeout with 7:11 left.
“It’s so funny, in our first game we won all the draws. She didn’t have such success, and she wasn’t having success in the first half,” St. Dom’s coach Leslie Klenk said.
Jakobs opened the scoring in the game two minutes in, and Caroline Gastonguay tied it up 50 seconds later for the Saints on a free-position shot. Bonenfant and Shanks both scored to give the Lakers a 3-1 advantage before Gastonguay fed sister Charlotte just over 10 minutes in.
A yellow card issued to Caroline Gastonguay gave the Lakers an opening to extend their lead. With Gastonguay banished to the sidelines, Jakobs and Mackenzie Siebert both scored goals with the man-advantage to make it 5-2. Avery Lutrzykowski scored a man-down goal, but Lindsey Keenan fed both Shanks and Jakobs for goals before scoring one herself.
Caroline Gastonguay scored a pair of goals to start the scoring flurry late in the first half, and Lutrzykowski scored the other goal.
“We actually started running our offense, and putting a little bit more speed onto it,” Klenk said. “And we also won the draws.”
Keenan called the run “a little demoralizing” for his team.
The Lakers (13-2) did their own demoralizing in the form of goalies Madelyn Nelson and Emily Lake. Nelson made five saves in the first half, and Keenan said she kept the Lakers in the game. Lake added three more saves in the second half.
“Their goalies, both of them, they had an outstanding game for them,” Klenk said. “We shot a lot of shots, and they saved a lot, so I think they should be commended for a big part of their win.”
Simone Long made four saves in goal for St. Dom’s.
Jakobs led all scorers with seven goals, while Shanks had five. Keenan had three goals and a game-high five assists, while Bonenfant had three goals and two assists.
Lutrzykowski led the Saints with four goals, to go along with an assist, while Caroline Gastonguay had three goals and one assist. Charlotte Gastonguay scored two goals.
Lake Region’s Shauna Hancock drives with the ball as Eisa Lee of St. Dominic Academy gives chase in the Class C state championship game Friday. (Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald)Lake Region’s Rachel Shanks drives with the ball as Lindsay Cook of St. Dominic Academy plays defense in the Class C state championship game Friday. (Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald)Lake Region celebrates as the time runs off the clock in their victory over St. Dominic Academy in the Class C state championship game Friday. (Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald)Lake Region captains, from left, Lauren Jakobs, Lindsey Keenan and Olivia Deschenes, hoist to the trophy after winning the Class C state championship over St. Dominic Academy on Friday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland. (Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald)Lake Region celebrates with the trophy after winning the Class C state championship Friday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland. (Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald)