VYPE U: The Road to the Championship
Throughout this entire lacrosse season, we have seen the ups and downs of playing the sport we love in the middle of a crisis. Not only did all athletes persevere through a pandemic, but they continued to show up every day to get better. For Bridge Lacrosse, it's not only about making the most goals or scooping the most ground balls but about going to practice and giving it your best. Making sure that you are a leader on a team and making sure that everyone has access to lacrosse is this team's number one priority.
Historically, the Varsity Panthers are not the most winning team in their district, but this season they were the number two overall seed. Ending the season with a 7-1 game record, five All-District awards, and a TGHSLL Divison 3 Championship trophy, the Varsity Panthers did nothing but prove that hard work and dedication are the keys to a successful season.
Having played a very nerve recking and chaotic semi-final game Tuesday, April 26th, the Varsity Panthers were headed to the championship game that same Thursday, April 29th. Heading to this game, the Panthers understood they were facing an opponent they had previously lost to in the regular season and didn't receive a second opportunity to play them before the championship game. With that being said, Wednesday's practice was critical. Coming from a semi-final game the previous night, every single player was exhausted. Although everyone was worn out and sore, they persevered through the pain and continued to focus on one thing at practice: winning the last game.
The day had come, and the Varsity Panthers arrived at Bishop Lynch High School. The field where they experienced their one and only loss. Every single Panther arrived with stomach pain and a sense of nausea that might make them throw up right before this game. Not only had they not ever felt like this prior to a game, but they had never experienced the feeling of being such a winning team. Because of this, they acknowledge that no matter what the night comes down to, they have a family who is so proud of them for all the work they put in to get this far.
Right off the bat, we saw a free-position shot awarded to Lynch, but Kimaari Mondy made her first save of the night giving us possession for the first time in the game. Only about four minutes into the possession, Jamyria Woods was awarded a free position shot and got on the scoreboard for the Panthers, for the first goal of the game. After this goal, Bishop Lynch responded with a quick goal, but we then saw both teams held scoreless for almost 14 minutes.
To end the drought, Katie Pham got on the board for the Panthers making the score 2-1. Overall, the game continued to be a close one. The Panthers put up a total of five goals in the first half making the score 5-3 at the end of the first half. To end this half we saw a defensive stop and an attempt by Woods to sprint down the entire field with close to 10 seconds left.
Going into the second half, the Panthers enforced the mentality they wanted to play with: playing until every single second was up. Whether that was eight seconds or 60 seconds, they were going to fight until the very end. Starting off the second half, we saw the Panthers receive a free-position shot, and, using this, they put the ball in the back of the net. This made the score 6-3 right off the bat. Following this goal, Jamyria Woods won the draw possession, sprinted down the field, passed the ball to her teammate and from there the Panthers scored another quick goal. Well into the second half, Lynch was held scoreless for about 12 minutes, but made two quick goals, making the score 7-5.
For most of the second half, we saw the game becoming no more than a two-goal game. Each team put balls in the back of the net quickly, but in the end, we saw the Panthers hold Lynch to just nine goals for the entire game. Once there were about 10 minutes left in the game, and the score was 10-9 with the Panthers leading, Bishop Lynch, not knowing, scored their last goal of the night.
With time left in the game, we saw multiple yellow cards handed out to the opposing team leading them to hit the four yellow card mark, meaning they were down a player the rest of the night. Following this, the Panthers were awarded two free-position shots, both followed by goals, and got two more afterward which led the final score to be 14-9, making the Bridge Lacrosse Varsity Panther TGHSLL Division 3 Champs for the first time in Bridge history.
Championship Game Highlights