NAPLES — An early deficit didn’t bother top-seeded Lake Region on Tuesday night.

“We’re a comeback team,” said Lakers senior attacker Rachel Shanks. “Sometimes we start slow and we get down on ourselves, but we bring each other up. My teammates really kept the positivity up.”

Trailing by two after 10 minutes, the Lakers went on a scoring rampage and raced away from No. 4 Freeport after intermission to win a Class C girls lacrosse semifinal, 19-8.

The Lakers (12-2) advance to the Class C state championship game Friday at Portland’s Fitzpatrick Stadium against St. Dominic (11-3), a 15-2 winner over Erskine Academy in Tuesday’s other semifinal. Game time is scheduled for 5 p.m.

Taylor Rinaldi scored four times for Freeport (9-5), which held a 4-2 lead early. The Lakers took a 6-5 lead and closed the first half with two goals in the final 35 seconds for a 10-6 lead.

“It was close, and then the two goals at the end of the first half, it’s deflating,” Freeport Coach Marcia Wood said. “Trying to recover from that … you start to force things and you start to rush.”

Rinaldi scored from free position 51 seconds into the second half to make it 10-7, but Shanks (five goals) and fellow senior Lindsay Keenan (four) combined on three goals in a span of two minutes to help put the game out of reach.

Melissa Bonenfant also scored four goals for Lake Region. Keenan had five assists and Shanks three.

“Once we picked up the pace, once we shook off the nerves,” Keenan said, “we really played our game and put it all together.”

Freeport’s final goal came off a free position shot by Margaret Perrotta with just under 19 minutes remaining. She and Taylor Dostie each scored twice.

Lake Region closed out the game with six unanswered goals and forced running time with 7:25 left when Bonenfant converted her own rebound. Freshman midfielder Mackenzie Siebert scored three times and senior midfielder Lauren Jakobs twice for the Lakers.

Jakobs and freshman Bella Russo helped Lake Region to a 7-5 advantage in faceoff possessions after the break.

Lake Region’s defensive core of Olivia Deschenes, Shayla Dunn, Allison Vogel and Hailey Parsons forced Freeport into 11 second-half turnovers and allowed the Falcons only seven shots on goal.

“They work really well together,” Lake Region Coach David Keenan said. “As the season has gone through, they’ve just gotten tighter and tighter.”

Maddie Nelson made five saves and Emily Lake four for Lake Region, which uses a different keeper each half. Cameron Pasquale finished with eight saves for Freeport.

Earlier this season in Naples, Lake Region beat St. Dom’s 11-10 in double overtime.

“This has been my dream since I was a little kid,” Lindsay Keenan said of playing for a state championship. “To do it with my dad as a coach and my best friends, it’s an awesome feeling.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

[email protected]

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

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