By Donald Davis
Since suffering its only in C Conference loss to Concordia Prep in mid-April, Catholic High wanted to prove that one game does not a season make when the top seeds in ther respective divisions clashed again.
On Saturday in an 11-7 victory over the Saints in the conference final at US Lacrosse’s Tierney Field in in Sparks, the Cubs made sure that the earlier 8-6 setback would not be this season’s defining moment.
“This is awesome, we lost to them (Concordia Prep) earlier in the year, so we wanted to prove that we could beat them,” said Catholic sophomore goalie Madison Liggett, who had 10 saves.
Junior Sara Morales powered the defending champions, scoring a game-high six goals.
Sophomores Erika Gabrys and Lexi Grebelski had two goals apiece in the win.
“Every day at practice we worked so hard to win this championship, and it feels so good that we were able to achieve it,” Morales said. “We knew we played bad in the first game against Concordia and after that game it was our motivation to beat them again.”
Concordia Prep was led by sophomore Victoria Lassahn and senior Alex Strohman with two a tallies each while senior goalie Kate Brocato had four saves.
Morales gave the Cubs an early 1-0 lead two minutes into the opening period after running past two Saints’ defenders following a turnover at midfield.
Jordan Shaduck dished to Victoria Lassahn, who answered the Morales score 31 seconds later for Concordia Prep.
Catholic jumped back on top on a goal by Gabrys 11 minutes later, sparking a 4-0 run over a three-minute span. Grebelski converted a rebound from a free position shot before Morales found the net twice in succession.
“A few minutes into the game I saw my teammates go so hard, and I knew that I had to do this for my team,” Morales said.
“This is a fun team, they work hard, have fun, so I just kind of stay out of their way and let them play. They did a really good job today,” Catholic High coach Bo Morris said. “They (Concordia Prep) came out very aggressive and really didn’t allow us to run our plays, so we had to open it up and allow the girls to rely on their skills.”
Concordia Prep (14-2) cut the lead to 5-2 when Alex Strohman found a cutting Victoria Lassahn with 7:23 left in the half.
Two minutes later, Catholic (15-1) extended its lead when Morales scored on a free position and Grebelski struck again just 40 seconds after that to build a 7-2 advantage.
Lassahn tallied the final goal of the first half with spin move to elude a Cub defender before slinging the ball into the right corner to make it 7-3 heading into intermission.
“We got out to a slow start and we just couldn’t back into the game. If we were able to cut the lead down to two, I thought we had a good chance, but you have to credit Catholic High, they were the better team today,” Concordia Prep coach John Tucker said. “We had a great season and I am really proud of the girls’ effort.”
Strohman got the Saints quickly on the board to the start the second half when she fired a shot inside the left post to cut the Catholic lead to three.
However, the Cubs answered every goal with a score of their own, ensuring that Concordia Prep would be unable to significantly shrink the deficit.
In addition, Liggett denied three free-position scoring attempts and Morales produced two more goals with Gabrys and junior Olivia Tuck each adding scores.
Junior Sarah Franker, senior Emily Reynolds and Strohman each tallied in second half for the Saints.
The young Cub team will only lose three seniors as they head into next season looking for a three-peat.
“The girls are very experienced and we are excited about next year and the future, but we are really happy that seniors could out on top with a championship. That is really special,” Morris said.