For three weeks, the Cheverus girls’ lacrosse team rode a magic carpet and stole headlines.
From the depths of a 1-9 start, the Stags somehow found themselves in the Eastern Class A Final last Wednesday afternoon, but that’s where the fantasy run finally ended with a 14-3 loss to Brunswick.
Cheverus was the least likely regional finalist in the history of Maine girls’ high school lacrosse considering it needed to win twice in the final week of the regular season, including once in improbable fashion, to simply qualify for the postseason.
The Stags were able to beat Windham, 12-10, ultimately knocking the Eagles from the final berth, then stunned powerhouse Gorham, rallying from a late deficit for a 15-14 victory.
Once Cheverus got into the Eastern A playoffs as the No. 6 seed, it enjoyed its stay, upsetting No. 3 Messalonskee (10-8) and No. 2 Cony (11-9) to earn a date at Brunswick, a team the Stags had never met.
Cheverus hung tough with the Dragons early, trailing just 3-1 before Brunswick got a couple goals before halftime for breathing room. The Dragons then pulled away in the second half, outscoring the Stags, 9-2, for a 14-3 win. Cheverus got two goals from freshman Alex Logan and another from classmate Elyse Caiazzo. Junior Sarah LaQuerre added an assist. Junior goalie Ali Saxton made six saves.
“We hung with them for a good portion,” said Stags coach Jamie Chamberlain. “Certainly the first half. It was 3-1 with two minutes to go. We paid close attention to (Dragons sophomore star Dakota Foster). That fourth goal, (junior) Paige (Lucas) went for the steal and missed. Dakota got it clean and put it away and they they got a penalty and scored again. Without those two goals, it would have been closer. What it really came down to was that both defenses were playing well. They shot well and we were just a little off. We tried a little too hard. That was the difference in that environment. The kids played well, just not as sharp as Brunswick.”
You could say that Cheverus’ season, despite the 5-10 record, was unrivaled.
“The girls didn’t get down on themselves,” Chamberlain said. “A lot of the credit for that goes to the upperclassmen. They made the underclassmen feel welcome. That was a big positive for us.”
With the vast majority of this year’s roster returning, look out in 2012.
“We had a lot of unknowns,” said Chamberlain. “If that’s how rebuilding years go, it was a lot of fun. What they accomplished was pretty amazing.”