No substitutes, no problem.

With just enough players for a starting lineup of 12 on the field, St. Dominic rode eight goals from Avery Lutrzykowski, Simone Long’s four first-half saves, and solid defense and ball possession to hold off Lake Region’s late charge for an 11-8 victory in the Class C girls’ lacrosse state championship game Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

The Saints (10-5) were without four players due to various trips scheduled previously, and lost one of their top scorers earlier in the season. But they went on an 8-1 run after the Lakers (7-9) scored the opening goal to take control.

“Just sheer willpower,” St. Dom’s Coach Leslie Klenk said. “Sheer dedication, wanting to win, not wanting to lose like we did last year.”

The Saints lost to the Lakers in last season’s inaugural Class C state championship game.

Shauna Hancock of Lake Region opened the scoring just under six minutes in, but Mia-Angelina Leslie’s back-to-back goals gave the the Saints the lead for good.

“Mia going out there and scoring those goals really brought us to the point where we needed to be at, and from there we just kept on putting them in,” Lutrzykowski said.

Lutrzykowski scored her first after 10 minutes, Mackenzie Siebert cut the Lakers’ deficit to 3-2, but Lutrzykowski answered with two more.

Emma Theriault finished the first-half scoring on a free-position goal with 2.7 seconds left to give the Saints a 6-2 lead.

“Coming off a big shot like that at the end of the half just boosted the girls even more, gave them a further drive to compete,” Klenk said.

“Just any extra goal that we could get like that helped us maintain our stamina throughout the whole game.”

Lutrzykowski added to the advantage with her fourth goal 44 seconds into the second half. She scored all of the Saints’ second-half goals, with the last coming with 12:44 remaining to make it an 11-4 lead.

The Lakers’ offense awoke in the final 10-plus minutes. Siebert scored her third goal to start the comeback, Katie Keenan added her second and third, and Hancock contributed a second goal.

“We started being more patient on our shots, first of all, instead of just turning and shooting,” Lakers Coach David Keenan said. “We were more patient and we were more accurate, and we got better results.”

St. Dom’s was able to possess the ball enough down the stretch, including the final 43 seconds following Keenan’s final goal, with Lutrzykowski winning the ensuing draw and Leslie controlling the ball when the final horn blew.

“The key is when you get it you have to score, and then you have to win the draw. Even when we scored we weren’t always winning the draw,” Keenan said. “Credit to them, they did a good job on the draw.”

“They were pushing us, they really wanted that ball, so it was very hard at the end, but we wanted it so badly,” Lutrzykowski said.

Lake Region goalie Emily Lake made two saves in the second half to prevent the Saints from pulling further away. Long added two saves in the second for a total of six.


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