The Juan Diego Soaring Eagle and Roy Royals met on an overcast Saturday afternoon to decide the 2016 girls D-II championship. Despite a fantastic individual performance from Roy’s Bre Bodle, Juan Diego played a great team game and was able to establish an early lead that, regardless of being cut to one several times, they just wouldn’t relinquish. The Royals fought hard throughout the contest, responding every time they were down, but just didn’t have quite enough to overcome a balanced Soaring Eagle squad, who took the championship by a final score of 10-8.
“[Roy’s] a really scrappy team,” observed Juan Diego head coach Sage Johnson, “We just tried not to think about who we were playing; we were just going to come out controlled and play our game…it worked out for us in the end.”
It looked like the game might be over before it really got started as Juan Diego scored four quick goals, including two, one a nice catch-n-finish in front of the cage, by Gina Colosimo, a drive and roll by Blair Saunders, and a drive to top-pipe shot from Kristen Deninno. But Roy, or more precisely, Roy’s Bree Bodle, pushed back in a big way, scoring a true hat-trick (that’s three in a row) to bring the Royals to within one. A late goal for JD’s Fio Rodriguez gave the Soaring Eagle a little breathing room, 5-3, to end a very cleanly played first half.
The Royals looked to gain momentum early in the second half, Bodle scoring her fourth goal off a long clearing pass, taking it all the way down Bengal Blvd. to bring Roy within one. The pendulum swung quickly, however, and the Soaring Eagle’s Saunders and Ellie Merrill, in transition, each scored a goal to extend the lead. The rest of the Roy squad then decided to get involved, Kelsie Hughes snagging a pass in transition and tickling the twine, followed by Kaitlyn Moore scoring off a free-position shot, bringing the score to 7-6 JD.
But Roy just couldn’t keep pace with the Soaring Eagle, who scored three more in a row–two free-position goals by Saunders sandwiching a scoop-n-score by Rodriguez, taking the Juan Diego lead to 10-6 with time starting to get short. The Royals played at a frenetic pace, pushing offensive possessions and getting scores on a free position bouncer from Megan Lloyd and a transition goal for Marcy Daines off a great save and transition clear from goalie Kennadi Varnell. But the effort would be too little, too late, as the Soaring Eagle ran out the clock on the Royals, securing the D-II championship.
“I’m just excited for the girls,” said Coach Johnson, “They put a lot into this season and it’s a great exclamation point to end the season on…go Juan Diego!”
The Girls D-II Championship will start at 12:30pm. Who will take home the title?
— Utah Lacrosse News (@utahlaxnews) May 21, 2016