BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
The Wolves gave Hartland a fight in the MHSAA Division 1 Girls Lacrosse Regional finals at Lake Orion last Friday as they finished the season with a 16-12 loss.
Hartland opened the battle with the first two goals for the night.
Seniors Claire Austin and Melanie Alnaraie put the Clarkston Girls Varsity Lacrosse team on the board with one goal each to tie the game.
Alnaraie scored again off a pass from senior Isabel D’Autremont with eight minutes to go in the first half. Another goal from Austin three minutes later, cut the Eagles’ lead to one, 5-4.
Hartland put one more goal in the net before the Wolves responded in the final 97 seconds of the half with three goals from sophomores Maya Roy and Kaitlyn Bridger and junior Elizabeth Oda to take the lead, 7-6.
Sophomore Lindsey Fredrick scored the next goal for Clarkston 42 seconds into the second half. Hartland responded with eight goals in the next nine minutes to take the lead, 14-8.
The Wolves finished the game strong with three goals in the last two minutes with two from Bridger and one from Roy.
Bridger led the team with three goals as Austin, Alnaraie, Oda and Roy had two goals each. Sophomore Maggie Gipe had 13 saves in the net.
The girls opened the week with a 16-5 win over Grand Blanc in the regional semifinals, May 30.
The Bobcats opened the game with the first three goals before Clarkston closed in with goals from Bridger and Austin.
The Wolves tied the score at five points off a goal from Bridger to the bottom of the net with 2:31 left in the first half. Two goals from Alnaraie put the girls in the lead, 7-5.
“I told them, this is your game. If you want to win, you will win. If you want to lose, you will lose. I can’t be on the field for you,” said Rachel Vickers, head coach. “A lot of these seniors haven’t had this opportunity in years. They were really excited to move to the next level so I think me just telling them that helped.”
The girls would continue to hold onto the lead as defense and Gipe blocked Grand Blanc’s shots in the second half, keeping their opponents scoreless the rest of the game.
Oda and Alnaraie led the team with four goals each. Fredrick and Austin had three goals each and Bridger had two goals. Gipe had 11 saves in the net.
“Claire did an excellent job tonight,” Vickers added. “She was the one who got the ball rolling with the goals. She also got a concussion in the second half so that was the downfall for our team. Elizabeth did awesome. Melanie did a fantastic job rallying the troops the second half. She had a couple goals there and did a real good job there communicating on the field with the other players. Isabel played awesome tonight. She did a good job communicating with her players, letting them know when she caught wind of a play. She did an awesome job.”
She added with the holiday weekend and hot weather during the practice on May 29, the girls hadn’t had practice in about a week.
“The first half was not what I thought it was going to be,” Vickers said. “We were exceptionally slow to the ball. It’s really nice they got their act together and got the ball rolling in the second half.”
The girls finished the season with an 11-4 overall record.