Home / McIntosh Lady Chiefs to host state lacrosse final
McIntosh Lady Chiefs to host state lacrosse final
The McIntosh Lady Chiefs hosted Kell in the A-AAAA quarterfinals last Friday and Johns Creek in the semifinals on Tuesday and won both games to advance to their first state final in lacrosse. They will host Westminster on Saturday.
McIntosh beat Kell 20-12. They seized the lead just over a minute into the contest with a goal from Senneca Ward. Kell answered 42 seconds later, but McIntosh rattled off six straight goals to take a commanding lead. Kell answered the rally with a goal halfway through the first half and added two late in the half to cut McIntosh’s lead to 10-6.
The second half started like the first half did with McIntosh getting a goal within the first two minutes, this time from Shelby Durden. Kell, again, answered less than a minute later. McIntosh then went on a rally, scoring seven straight goals before Kell could respond. The score was 18-8 with just over 10 minutes remaining. Kell outscored McIntosh 4-2 in the final 10 minutes, but the Lady Chiefs advanced to the semifinals with a 20-12 win. Ward finished with six goals, while Hannah Mason, Durden and Jessica Weatherford each netted four goals. Amanda Lindsey and Anna Beard each had a goal in the win.
On Tuesday, McIntosh again struck first with Beard and Cara O’Brien both scoring goals within the first five minutes. Johns Creek scored just over 30 seconds later to cut the lead to 2-1.
Ward added a goal at 17:36 in the first half but Johns Creek scored twice in the next four minutes to tie the game. They took their first lead two minutes later but it was short-lived.
McIntosh responded with three goals in the next two minutes and added two more after another Johns Creek goal. The Lady Gladiators added one more in the final minute of the first half to cut McIntosh’s lead to 8-6. Mason and O’Brien each had two first half goals.
McIntosh started the second half with a goal from Ward in the first 45 seconds, but Johns Creek answered with two goals of their own to cut the lead to 9-8 with 21:45 left to play. They would not score again for the next 20 minutes. Meanwhile, McIntosh would add nine more goals before the next Johns Creek goal and seal the 18-10 victory.
“We played, good aggressive defense and things fell into place,” head coach Nick Bellantoni said after the game. “We play aggressive defense and that allows us to play aggressive offense.”
Bellantoni and the team heaped praise on goalie Sydney Holstad after the game.
“She had a great game. She was on fire,” Bellantoni said. “She’s made key stops for us all season and has done a tremendous job.”
Bellantoni stated that the Lady Chiefs will treat Saturday’s championship game like any other game, preparation wise.
“Our goal since we lost in the semifinals last year was winning the state championship,” he said. “We just need to play our game. We have depth and athleticism and we are ready to play.”
Mason and Ward both had four goals in the semifinal win, while O’Brien added a hat trick. Others with goals in the win were Jessica Weatherford, Durden, Madeline Prescott, Bridget Odom and Sarah Head.
The state final will be played at 5 p.m. at McIntosh.
The McIntosh Lady Chiefs (14-1-1) are one game away from winning the school’s first state title in lacrosse. To win it, they will have to beat a team they have never beaten before, Westminster’s Lady Wildcats (19-2).
Westminster knocked McIntosh out it the semifinals last year, 12-9. In 2010, they beat them 16-10 during the regular season. They also beat the Lady Chiefs in the regular season in 2009 17-5. There are several girls on the McIntosh roster who have experienced all three losses and would love to avenge them with a state championship on Saturday.
McIntosh has not lost to a team from Georgia this season. Their one loss was to a team from Victor, New York on April 10. Since then, they have won seven in a row, scoring 20 goals or more in four of those games and winning by eight or more goals five times in that span.
Westminster also fell to Victor, NY this season (on Apr. 11) and lost three games later to AAAAA’s Lassiter (16-9). Since then they have won six games in a row. They have held their opponents to single digit goals all six times and have scored in double digits themselves in all of those games. In the state playoffs they beat Lambert 12-4, Holy Innocents 10-9 and Chattahoochee 20-7. The Lady Wildcats will present McIntosh with the toughest defense they have faced since the game with Victor, NY. The same can be said for Westminster though.
McIntosh has a better goals per game average (16.6-14.8) and a worse goals allowed per game average (9.1-7.1).
Check www.thecitizensports.com or follow us on Twitter @citizensport for updates on Saturday.