(Cover photo: The Kentucky Country Day girls’ lacrosse team celebrates its state championship win on May 25, 2016. Credit: Samantha Stallings)
In the Kentucky Scholastic Lacrosse League state championship on May 25, the Kentucky Country Day (KCD) Bearcats proved to be the force to be reckoned with as they beat Louisville Collegiate School 16-1. Held on the campus of KCD, the Bearcats’ championship win makes them back-to-back state champions.
“It’s just crazy,” said Daira Eisenbrei. “Our team dynamic has always been just so good. When we can come together and play our game, we know it’ll work out.”
Eisenbrei says she couldn’t have planned this any better winning for her second-straight year her senior year.
Playing in the championship game gives this group of seniors a unique distinction of playing in a state championship all four years at KCD.
“It gave us a goal each year,” said Kendall Jackson. “We wanted to be the team that makes it to the state championship every year and, for the past 10 or 11 years, that’s what we have been doing. I think that’s setting a standard for the programs in Kentucky and I think we have that in mind each year.”
Isabella Tacogue of KCD scored the first goal of the night at the 17:55 mark, but the momentum did not stop there for the Bearcats as they scored two more goals before Collegiate would have their first chance.
Claire Foley scored the Amazons’ only goal of the night with 10:42 left in the first half. The Bearcats continued their momentum in the game scoring another goal with 9:02 left in the first half by Caroline Anderson, assisted by Claire Hamilton, to take a 4-1 lead.
“I called a time out,” said Collegiate head coach Kyle Straton. “Things weren’t going our way. I gathered the team around us and told them to focus on the little things. Clean up the little things, passes, cuts, etc.”
The Amazons saw mounting struggles when two of their players were yellow carded within 16 seconds of each other, forcing the team to lose two key players for two minutes.
KCD gained control of the ball, scoring another goal by Claire Hamilton, assisted by Madison Mitzlaff, to extend the Bearcats’ lead to 5-1 with 4:20 left in the first half.
The Bearcats scored three goals under a minute left to play with one goal by Mitzlaff, who is the highest scorer in KCD history.
The second half the momentum was all KCD as Eisenbrei scored just three minutes in, pushing the lead to 9-1. And the Bearcats scored seven more goals before the night was over.
Mitzlaff earned the Miss Lacrosse title.
“This team was so talented and so together,” said KCD head coach Pat McAnulty. “It’s been a special season. We worked really hard all year long at this and it feels good when it comes together.”