BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Ainsley Gothard scored with less than a minute left in the game against Rochester to secure the win for Clarkston Girls Varsity Lacrosse on April 21, 17-14.
“I was super impressed with the girls,” said Rachel Vickers, head coach. “We put in a lot of new players. Our team, aside from the starters, is all new to lacrosse. It’s been nice to see them grow. It’s starting to come together. Hopefully they can cohesively continue this and grow together over the course of the season.”
Rochester opened with the first goal of the night three minutes into the game.
Courtney Bayley tied the game with 17:42 remaining in the first half. Less than a minute later she scored another goal to put the Wolves into the lead.
Clarkston went up 3-1 as they won the face off and Anya Karpushenkoff scored a quick goal.
The Falcons scored two to tie it up before Wolf Kennedy Rusnell put Clarkston back into the lead off a free shot.
With 12 minutes left in the first half, Rochester tied it up at four points.
Clarkston responded with another goal from Rusnell and two from Karpushenkoff.
The Wolves closed the first half with two more goals in the last four minutes with one from Karpushenkoff and Gothard, putting the score 9-5.
Karpushenkoff finished the night with five goals. Bayley had four goals. Rusnell and Gothard both had three goals and Olivia Toderan had two goals.
“It’s been a lot better this season in comparison to last seasons because of the amount of the positive energy the team has for each other,” Vickers said, reflecting on the season so far. “They are their biggest cheerleaders which is so cool.”
She added the energy is good after missing the 2020 spring season.
“They know at any minute they could be sent home for two weeks because of COVID so they are trying to soak up every last second of the season in case they are benched or sent home,” she said.
The Wolves won their game against Grosse Pointe South on April 20 at The Pond, 15-14.
Jordan Meecham saved a shot by Grosse Pointe South with 32 second left in the game to secure the win for Clarkston.
Toderan led with 11 goals. Karpushenoff and Gothard each had two goals.
“It was neck and neck battle the whole time,” VIckers said. “Their goalie was not the normal goalie. Our goalie is brand new this season and never played before so I thought it was well-balanced between the two teams. Their girls played excellent, too.”
The Wolves defeated Stoney Creek last Friday, 13-3.
The Cougars opened the night with the first goal and Wolf Taylor Larose tied up the game.
Courtney Bayley scored two goals, both with assists from Kennedy Rusnell to grab the lead.
The Wolves closed the first half with a 9-2 lead and opened the second half with a goal from Rusnell.
Rusnell led with four goals and two assists. Anna Houstina, Karpushenkoff and Bayley had two goals for the night.
Anna Reineck had one goal. Toderan had one goal and three assists.
Clarkston (3-2) hosts Brandon on Wednesday and Lake Orion on Friday. Both games are at the high school stadium, 7 p.m.
“I hope this positive energy and positive vibe between one another is riding out the rest of the season that way. This season is very upbeat and very positive,” Vickers said. “Some girls haven’t played a lot or at all so for them to continuously cheer their teammates on from the sidelines has been really nice. I hope we can continue to put the newer girls in and we can grow this program. We lost a lot of players. We lost a lot talent over the last two years so this is a regrowing year. “
They play in Saturday’s Game for Hope at 3 p.m.