Fight to the end in win over Notre Dame Prep

By Wendi Reardon Price
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Notre Dame Prep closed in on the goal and took their shot on Clarkston Girls Varsity Lacrosse goalie junior Bella Brykailo.
Brykailo caught the ball, keeping the Wolves in the lead with 2:47 left in the game last Friday, 14-13.
She had another save 44 seconds later when the Fighting Irish had a free shot and she blocked it from going into the net.

From left, Luisa Heinemann, Camille Dejoie, Emily Ervin, Destiny Daniels, Vanessa Micallef and Ainsley Gothard. Photo: Wendi Reardon Price

As much as Notre Dame Prep pushed to make the next goal, it was the Wolves who finished the night with the last two goals with one from senior Ainsley Gothard with 28 seconds left in the game and another from junior Anna Reinick, closing the game, 16-13.
It was an exciting night for the Wolves – their second win and senior night for six student-athletes.
“It was very exciting,” said senior Vanessa Micallef. “We all worked hard for it, too.”
“We all deserved it,” added senior Emily Ervin.
Gothard shared it was a good team win.
“We wanted to win it for each other today,” she said.
“You could feel everyone come together for this win,” said senior Destiny Daniels.
Melanie Alnaraie, head coach, added it was a great way to go out for the seniors and to remember the team.
“We had to fight for it,” she added. “They didn’t let us have it and that makes me prouder. It wasn’t handed to us. We had to work for it. We got to show off everything we have been working towards this season. It feels good. We wanted it. I am proud of all the girls. I am proud of all the seniors.”
Gothard put the Wolves on the scoreboard in the first 44 seconds with the first goal of the night.
Notre Dame Prep grabbed the lead after scoring two goals in the next three minutes of play.
Sophomore Mischa Tolkachier tied the score with her goal for the Wolves with 19:34 left in the first half.
Notre Dame Prep responded with scoring three goals in next two minute to gain a 5-2 lead.
The Wolves came back fighting and with 12 minutes left in the half had tied the game at five points with goals from sophomore Katherine Spiro, Daniels and Gothard.
Even after Notre Dame Prep gained the lead only moments later, Clarkston came back to take the lead back, finishing the first half with a 9-7 lead. Ainsley scored two goals in the last ten minutes of the first half while junior Giana Kraatz and Micallef each scored one goal.
Gothard scored four more goals in the second half. Freshman Sydney Fischer and Kraatz each had one goal. Reineck finished with the last goal in the last seven seconds.
The Wolves (2-12) start their post season this week and the seniors shared this win helps.
Micallef shared it gives them confidence and for Gothard it’s motivating.
“It’s the knowledge we know we can win. We have better chemistry as a team,” said Ervin, adding throughout her senior year there is “a better energy with the girls working harder, accomplishing more together.”
“It’s a good foundation for playoffs,” Gothard said.
Alnaraie added the record doesn’t reflect what happens during each time the girls are on the field.
“You look at our record and see we have lost a lot of games,” she said, adding they don’t think the Wolves are much of a team. “Then, they come out. If they watch our games they realize how much we fight and how much we have grown.”
The Wolves play Waterford Kettering in the first round of MHSAA Division 1 Girls Lacrosse Regional 4 playoffs. The game is set for this Thursday, May 18 at Clarkston High School, 6 p.m. The winner plays Lakeland in the second round at Oxford High School. Time and date to be announced.

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