Westminster’s girls lacrosse team danced to the tune of “YMCA” on the sidelines prior to the start of the second half.
The Owls had plenty of reasons to dance — they were back in the state championship game for a second straight year, and they didn’t waste any time proving why they deserved to be there.
The Owls scored the first six goals of the game to stay on top and defeat C. Milton Wright 15-9 on Monday at Paint Branch High School to capture their second straight Class 3A state title.
Senior midfielder Hannah Dintino paced the Owls with six goals and an assist. Anna Ruby and Chloe Sedlar both scored three goals and contributed an assist for the Owls (14-6).
The Owls jumped out to their comfortable lead and Dintino was responsible for four of the six goals. Three were scored within 3 minutes, 43 seconds of each other and the Owls continued to pace the game early.
The Mustangs cut the Owls’ lead to 6-1 when junior midfielder Haley Cummins found sophomore attacker Maddie Remeto for a goal with 11:29 left in the first half. The Owls scored the next four before Kirsten Schleicher found Cummins making a fast break down the center for a goal before the Owls carried an 11-2 lead into the break.
“I think it’s a momentum thing,” Dintino said. “We’re kind of used to our first halves not being as good so we all wanted to come out with a big first half and show off what we can do so notching in a few goals on all of our parts was something we needed and something that does’t normally happen so we really wanted that to be a game-changer.”
The Mustangs fired at least three straight shots at Owls’ goalie Sara Tyssowski within seconds in the second half — two were saved and another hit the pipe before senior midfielder Aubrey Hoover fired one past Tyssowski to bring the Mustangs within eight of Westminster, 13-5.
Ruby fired her third goal in before the Mustangs scored the next two to cut the Owls’ lead. Sedlar found the back of the net and CMW notched two more goals before the game concluded.
The two teams met April 20 in a tournament game at South River High School. The Owls came back from a five-goal halftime deficit and won 16-15, but suffered a three-game losing skid the following week.
They haven’t lost since April 25, however, and outscored their playoff opponents 73-19 leading up to Monday’s state final. The Owls have also held every playoff opponent to 10 goals or fewer, a credit to the team’s defense that has remained a solid unit all season.
“From the coaching staff, which is just amazing, I think the support they give and the girls believing in us and us believing in the girls, it’s just an amazing feeling,” Owls coach Jackie Stevens said. “People always say it’s so hard to get here twice — and it was — but we deserve it because they played with their hearts and they left it all out on the field and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”