East Grand Rapids and Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood have become quite familiar with each other over the past 12 months.
East Grand Rapids beat the Cranes, 19-6, in last year’s Division 2 lacrosse championship. The teams played twice during this year’s regular season, with East Grand Rapids claiming 15-12 and 9-8 victories.
Title-rich East Grand Rapids hadn’t won a state title in any sport since last year’s victory over Cranbrook. With the boys team losing to Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central earlier in the day, the girls brought home school title No. 127 (and fifth in girls lacrosse) with a 13-11 victory over the Cranes.
Freshman Mary Schumar led the scoring with six goals and Lindsay Duca racked up eight assists for the winners.
“Mary’s such an amazing player,” said East coach Rich Axtell. “She actually is one of our success stories. She played on our JV squad the whole season. She got moved up to varsity six games ago. The fun thing is she got a lot of playing time and she stepped up and has blossomed as a player. It has been fun to watch her.
“Lindsay Duca has been our leading assist person all year long and she quarterbacks the defense from down below. Auden Elliott is our captain from up top. She calls our sets.”
Said Duca: “We had a little rough patch, but once we started assisting each other and being unselfish it all came together and it was awesome.”
The Cranes came out firing, scoring the first three goals by Betsy Saylor, scoring whiz Isabelle Scane and Grace Giampetroni less than four minutes into the game. Scane finished with five goals and 120 for the season.
“We’re hoping this becomes a common event,” said Cranbrook coach Greg Courter. “Today the name of the game was turnovers. They did a good job of possessing the ball and we turned it over. They play a really nice zone defense which is designed to stop an individual. (Scane) still managed to find some seams. She’s a fierce competitor. I’m not surprised she beat some triple-teams.”
East Grand Rapids responded with goals from Elliott and Julia Surman before Giampetroni scored her second to make it 4-2.
Schumar started the second half with her third goal of the game to make it 7-5 East with 22:14 to play. Cranbrook finally ended a 17:37 scoring drought on Giampetroni’s third goal to make it 7-6. Schumar struck again with her fourth goal to make it 8-6.
Schumar tacked on her fourth goal to open up a 9-6 lead with 18:20 left. Scane scored to make it 9-7.
Elliott scored her third goal to make it 12-7, forcing Courter to call a timeout.
“We were excited to pull this out especially when we were supposed to have a rebuilding year this year,” said Elliott. “I’ve been a part of three of the five championships and it’s amazing.”
Contact Perry A. Farrell: 313-222-2555 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @farrellperry.