On Monday, the girls lacrosse team heartbreakingly lost to the Menlo Knights on the Bears’ senior night, with a final score of 7-14.
After a ceremony celebrating the nine senior Bears, the game began with the Knights winning the initial draw. The referee quickly called a penalty in Menlo’s favor, and the Knights attempted a penalty shot that was skillfully blocked by senior goalkeeper Ishy Mishra. Despite another excellent save by Mishra, the Knights scored two goals in the first seven minutes, making the score 0-2.
Senior Amelia Poirier faced off and deftly won possession of the ball, but the Knights stole the ball and drove back to the Bears’ goal. The referee called two more penalties in Menlo’s favor, but Mishra thwarted both penalty shots with clean blocks. Shortly after, the Knights regained possession and scored.
After a determined drive and excellent passing by senior Jocey Lunt and sophomore Lexi Nelson, senior Lilly Cobos put the Bears on the scoreboard, bringing the score to 1-3 with 15 minutes left in the first half.
In the next possession, the Knights snuck by the Bears’ defense and slotted another goal in. The Bears stepped up their defense and held the Knights off for the next seven minutes, with Mishra blocking another shot. In the next Bears possession, junior Shea Dekshenieks turned on the jets and drove up the field, where junior Charlotte Fisher scored M-A’s second goal of the night, bringing the score to 2-4.
The Knights scored twice more with five minutes left to go in the first half. The referee called two successive penalties in the Bears’ favor, but the Bears were unable to crack through the Knights’ defense, despite stellar passes between Poirier, Cobos, and Nelson. After two unsuccessful penalty shots by the Bears, Menlo took possession and sped over to M-A’s goal, where Dekshenieks expertly defended the Bears’ territory.
With just one minute left in the first half, the Bears sprang into action as the crowd cheered them on. Fisher passed to Poirier, who agilely stepped around the Knights’ defenders and scored. But after, the Knights won the draw and scored a penalty shot, which brought the score to 3-7 at the end of the first half.
The Bears stepped back onto the field in the second half with redoubled spirit. After the Bears won the draw, Dekshenieks shot and scored just thirty seconds into the second half. But despite the Bears winning possession, again and again, Menlo’s goalkeeper blocked their next four shots.
At the next draw, Menlo took possession and then scored twice, making the score 4-9 with twenty minutes left. Though it began to rain, the crowd continued to cheer the Bears on. Despite two more saves from Mishra, the Knights managed three more goals in the following ten minutes. Then, Dekshenieks and Fisher regained control as Dekshenieks took possession and sprinted down the field, where Fisher then scored a penalty shot.
The excitement on the field was palpable, as the Bears followed that goal up with another goal by Cobos. At the draw, Fisher won possession but then was hit by a Menlo defender who stole possession. The stands erupted, but the Bears were unfazed and Cobos neatly intercepted the ball.
Menlo snuck another goal in, bringing the score to 6-13. With just five minutes left in the game, junior Lillen Montague-Alamin and Dekshenieks held the Knights off on defense, persevering through the downpour. Menlo scored once more, but after a brilliant save by Mishra, Nelson intercepted the ball and drove down the field. She passed to Poirier, who scored. With seconds left to go, senior Becca Schulman won the draw, ending the game on a positive note for the Bears.
Though they were cold, wet, and defeated, their spirits were still high as they hugged each other and celebrated the graduating seniors.
Lunt explained, “It was hard with the cold and rain. The team love was there but the team chemistry wasn’t really there. It was hard to connect.”
Mishra said, “We weren’t playing our best, but I do think at the end we came together. We stopped playing angry and started playing for each other.”
Poirier summed it up when she said, “It was very bittersweet. I have a lot of good memories with this field, this team, the program, and I was really happy to get to share it with all my favorite people and have all my friends in the stands.”