A Texas tradition held on Mother’s Day, the 2015 State Championship game had the makings of a thriller. Both teams were undefeated against Texas competition, both had wins over common opponents, and both teams had not faced each other since the 2014 early season meeting when St. John’s needed a surge to win 15-13.
“Coppell has been such a force in Dallas this year,” said St. John’s Assistant Coach Clayton Crum ’08. “This is a team we are not used to playing in the state tournament.”
“It was kind of scary because we had never played them this season, but our defense held our own,” said goalie Winnie Brandfield-Harvey ’16, who had six saves on the day.
Forty-one seconds into the game the Mavericks found themselves trailing their opponent. Coppell struck early on an 8 meter high shot to take a quick lead. Minutes later Kara Wollmers ’16, assisted by Lindsey McKone ’16, found the back of the net to tie it up. Wollmers assisted Elizabeth Cregan ’15 for the go-ahead goal and St. John’s never trailed after that score. Alice Chambers ’16 made it 3-1 St. John’s, but Coppell cut the lead to 3-2 with 18:04 on the clock. Minutes later McKone found net to put the Mavericks up it 4-2, and Coppell responded after winning the draw control to get back within one.
“This was the ideal match-up: two undefeated teams meeting in the State Final," said Head Coach Angie Kensinger. "Coppell played great, but we answered every challenge. I’m so proud of our team effort.”
The next five minutes St. John’s added five unanswered goals by captain Nell Copeland ’15, Kate Copeland ’17, Wollmers (assisted by Kate Copeland), McKone, and captain Jessica Nyquist ’15, giving St. John’s seven different goal scorers. Coppell scored with 19 seconds in the period to make it 9-4 at the half.
The Mavericks struck first in the second half on a Cregan goal assisted by McKone. With 17:27 remaining in the game Coppell tallied their fifth score and reeled off two more to cut the lead to 10-7 and quiet the home crowd with 15:15 to go.
“The kids competed against a good Coppell team,” said St. John’s Athletic Director Vince Arduini. “They came through when they needed to.”
After being awarded an 8-meter shot, Chambers sent a riser to the top shelf for the 11th Maverick goal and converted a Nell Copeland assist for a 12-7 lead with nine minutes to go.
“It was an awesome team effort,” said tournament MVP McKone. “They had a run and Alice saved us with her sick riser that totally stopped their momentum.”
“Early in the season Lindsey helped me with the set up of the shot,” said Chambers. I always do it in warm ups and this is the first time I used it in a game. We started off strong and when Coppell got back into the game we got the fire again and kept on going.”
St. John’s possessed the ball for the majority of the final minutes before Coppell scored with seconds remaining. When the clock expired St. John’s won their 21st game this season, went undefeated, and picked up their third consecutive state title.
“It was the most ideal way to end my career here,” said captain Elizabeth Cregan ’15. Everyone worked together and it was such a team effort.”
“It was was not about the stars it was about the 22 Mavericks,” said Nyquist
By the numbers St. John’s has won 13 Girls’ Lacrosse state titles, and 10 SPC championships. The team’s 21 wins ties the record with the 2013 and 2008 squads, and makes it the 12h consecutive year St. John’s has won a SPC and/or a TGHSLL state title.
Part of the string of championships included the 2008 and 2005 teams, which boasted two of the Mavericks current coaches—Crum and Caroline Hussey ’05.
“We all showed up today,” said Hussey, and like the St. John’s legends of the past, the 2015 Girls’ Lacrosse team played in the moment, was resilient to a challenge, and worked together to make each player and the team be the best they could be.
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