NAPLES—No. 4 Freeport traveled to No. 1 Lake Region for the Class C Regional Final on Tuesady night, June 12, and though the action seesawed through much of the first half, the Lakers began to pull away as the break approached, and won in the end 19-8. Rachel Shanks led the scoring with five goals.
“I’m happy with how they played in the first half,” Freeport head coach Marcia Wood said of her girls. “But when Lake Region scored two, late in the first half, we got deflated and couldn’t catch up. They picked up their defense, too. And we made too many mistakes.”
Freeport won the opening draw in Tuesday evening’s Regional Final, and wasted little time – 48 seconds, to be precise – in scoring the game’s first goal. Taylor Dostie did the honors, with Lakers keeper Maddie Nelson initially blocking the shot in the grass, only to watch it trickle past her feet and in. Two minutes later, Lake Region responded: Lindsey Keenan, carrying, couldn’t get the shot she wanted, ducked behind the Freeport net and dished to Shauna Hancock in front. Hancock redirected low past Falcons keeper Cam Pasquale. 1-1.
“[We knew Freeport was] a very strong team that seemed to be getting better each week,” Lake Region head coach Dave Keenan said, asked about the opposition.
The teams continued their thrust-and-parry through much of the first half: Melissa Bonenfant scored for Lake Region on a Shanks assist; Taylor Rinaldi scored for Freeport with help from Chloe Davidson; Dostie struck again (assist by Rinaldi). Finally, one team seemed to seize a little momentum: Rinaldi struck again for Freeport, this time on a rebound – Nelson turned in a spectacular first save, but couldn’t rake the ball in for control, and Rinaldi pounced.
The Falcons’ momentum proved illusory, though, as the Lakers notched the next two – one by Shanks (from Lindsey Keenan) and one by Lauren Jakobs (barely 11 seconds later, directly off the draw) – balanced the scoreboard. Laker Mackenzie Siebert and Freeport’s Margaret Perrotta then traded blows for 5-5.
“They were outhustling us and getting most of the ground balls most of the first half,” Coach Keenan said, asked what the Falcons did right in the early going to give his girls fits and starts. “But our defense got much stronger as the half progressed and our offense caught on fire near the end. The defense made some great stops and had several crucial takeaways, then the offense took over and did a tremendous job of moving the ball and finding the open cutters.”
That, however, is where things started to go entirely wrong for the Falcons, and entirely right for the Lakers: Shanks, Bonenfant and Lindsey Keenan tallied rapid-fire, shunting LRHS out front 8-5 and assuming thorough command of the action. By the break, Lake Region had heaped up a 10-6 advantage – one they continued to build on in the downhill minutes, when they outpaced Freeport 9-2.
For the Lakers, Shanks finished the evening with five goals and three assists, Lindsey Keenan with four goals and six assists, Bonenfant with four and two. Siebert added a hat trick, and Jakobs two.
For the Falcons, Rinaldi concluded the outing with four goals and one assist. Dostie picked up two goals and one assist, total, and Perrotta a pair of goals. Davidson finished with a pair of assists.
Freeport retires for the year at 9-5; Lake Region bumps to 12-2.
Adam Birt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME.
Freeporter Jessie Driscoll skirts behind the LRHS net, looking to pass across.
Falcon Margaret Perrotta attacks.
Lakers Lauren Jakobs (left) and Paige Davis (right) converge on Falcon Paige Rinaldi, attacking.
Taylor Rinaldi pushes forward for the Falcons.
Freeporter Molly Whelan ducks away from a Lakers opponent.
Chloe Davidson surveys her pass options.