Wednesday, the Kearsarge Cougars girls lacrosse team faced off against Laconia for the division three state championship.
Kearsarge coming into the finals with the third seed attempted to avenge a blowout loss suffered earlier in the season to the very skilled top seeded Laconia Sachems. Many thought Laconia would have an easy time beating the Cougars again, but Kearsarge played in what looked like their best game of the season as they were able to keep up with the Sachems goal for goal and by halftime the cougars were actually able to take a two goal lead 7 to 5. Coming out of the break, Kearsarge was able to go on a 4-2 run to increase their lead to four goals at 11 to 7 with 11 minutes remaining.
But Laconia is the number one seed for a reason as they found a way to battle back as Mackenzie Howe scored three goals in a 4-1 run for the Sachems that tied the game at 12-12 with just under six minutes remaining.
Kearsarge regained the lead when Eleanor Angus scored off a free position shot with 1:20 left. The Sachems were then able to win the draw and Helen Tautkus scored her seventh goal of the day which tied things back up with 1:02 to go in the game. Laconia then won the ensuing draw and with 5.3 seconds remaining Howe went to the goal, the ball was checked out of her stick and somehow, it trickled into the back of the net to give the Sachems the championship game winner.
Final score, Laconia 14, Kearsarge 13. Kearsarge goalie Anya Nowicki felt as if she let her team down but her teammates were there to reassure her that she played outstanding defense, recording a total of 10 saves which allowed her team to keep up with the top seed. Sachems head coach and players spoke to YCN after the championship victory.
Kearsarge head coach and Eleanor Angus also gave YCN their thoughts about the exciting game.
Kearsarge and Laconia have great respect for each other and the sportsmanship was on display. Laconia has now won their second straight division three girls lacrosse championship.