Rockets gain momentum late to take out Demons in regional quarterfinals – Morning Journal
In a Region 5 quarter-final, sixth-seeded Westlake and third-seeded Bay were tied 7-7 going into the second half.
Suddenly, the Rockets scored six straight goals to defeat the Demons, 14-8, at home on May 21.
Bay (12-7) advances to a Division II Region 5 semi-final against Walsh Jesuit on May 24.
“We had to go and if we don’t (our season is) over,” Bay midfielder Bridget Brown said. “We have seniors that we want here for the rest of their time. We decided it was now or never.
Westlake finishes its season 11-9. It’s the team’s winningest season since the program launched in 2015.
The match opened when Riley LaVogue scored two of his four goals around the 11th minute in the second half to lead 9-7. Once the ball started rolling, it didn’t stop. Fellow midfielder Ella Boehringer also played a key role, scoring a goal and an assist.
“The three (middle) have amazing chemistry,” Bay coach Victoria Budzyn said. “They trust each other and they work together. I will come to train and they will be there early… They will be there early to work on shooting, work on passing and passing. They all really like lacrosse.
After forcing shots in the first half, Bay improved ball movement to open shots for their top scorers LaVogue and Brown. Brown assisted two goals in their streak and scored one herself.
In midfield, they have always won draws after goals have been scored. According to Bay, all but one of the ties went in their favor, which allowed the Rockets to dominate possession.
“(Bay) pretty much played make-and-take,” Westlake coach Bill Ready said. “If they scored a goal, they won the next draw. When you scored a goal, they won the next draw. We managed to stay the course for about three quarters of the game. At that point, your leg lets you down when you have to play defense after every goal.
It was Bay’s second time beating Westlake this season as the Rockets won, 12-9, at the Demons’ home court earlier this season.
“We went into our last game unprepared,” Budzyn said. “We underestimated them a lot and they’ve improved a lot and been very good this year. (Lucy Rocco) rocked us behind the net.
Westlake super sophomore Rocco had a hat trick for the Demons last time out but was limited to one goal in the playoffs against Bay. Budzyn was happy with how the defense adapted to her style of play.
“We watched our film (about Westlake) and we knew they were playing behind the net. We knew their turnovers behind the net were a big threat in our last game,” she said.
Brown scored twice early to give Bay a 2-0 lead, helping the Rocket to a 4-3 halftime lead. Brown scored her fourth goal less than a minute into the second half after being substituted after a time-out forced foul.
Westlake trailed 6-4 with less than 17 minutes to play until Kaitlyn Kerr and Heidi Pirnat scored their second goals with a Cami Whitesell solo goal to tie the game at 7-7.