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Westminster girls' LAX pulls off state three-peat
by David Rutz
drutz@neighbornewspapers.com
May 23, 2012 08:06 PM | 640 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Nathan Self<p>
Kate Harris and Westminster stayed focused down the stretch to rally for a 10-9 win in the Class AAAA-A girls’ lacrosse state championship over McIntosh.
Staff / Nathan Self

Kate Harris and Westminster stayed focused down the stretch to rally for a 10-9 win in the Class AAAA-A girls’ lacrosse state championship over McIntosh.

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There must be something about dominating girls’ lacrosse to the extent Westminster has that a late three-goal deficit didn’t faze the Wildcats.

Eve Knapp’s record 100th goal of the season broke a 9-9 tie with 46 seconds remaining, and the Wildcats won the ensuing draw control and ran the clock out to capture their third consecutive Class AAAA-A state championship, 10-9 in overtime over host McIntosh Saturday.

The Chiefs (14-2-1) led 6-3 with less than 11 minutes left in regulation, but Westminster (20-2) outscored them 5-2 over the rest of the period to force overtime.

“The girls really believed all along that they still could win,” Westminster coach Jay Watts said. “They never gave up and we were able to overcome.”

Knapp scored with 11:24 left to cut the lead to 6-4, and Anna Silverstein and Sara McGahan added goals in quick succession to tie it.

The teams were tied at 8 heading into overtime, which consists of two three-minute periods. McIntosh scored with less than a second remaining in the first stanza and held Westminster without a goal until McGahan tied it again on an unassisted transition shot with 1:17 remaining in the second.

That set up Knapp’s game-winner, the last score of her high school career. She left the program as its all-time leading scorer with 187 goals.

McIntosh entered the game averaging 16.5 goals per contest, third-best in the state, and was held to almost half that by the Westminster defense.

“We had seen them play, and the thing about coaching at Westminster is you’re always going to have really smart kids,” Watts said. “Our girls executed the plan. We felt like we knew what they were going to do before they did it.”

Watts said the joyous bus ride from Peachtree City to Buckhead was one of the rowdiest he’d ever been on.

“The girls sang ‘We are the Champions’ about eight times,” Watts said. “It’s about an hour from McIntosh and they were still going when we got off the bus. The seniors had graduated that morning, so for them it was quite a day. They graduated in the morning and won a state championship in the afternoon.”
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