FRANKLIN — After reaching the Division 1 state semifinals and falling in both 2018 and 2019, the Chelmsford High School girls lacrosse team had aspirations of getting past that hump and to reach the state final with a veteran, senior club.
On Tuesday night, in a game that featured a 55-minute lightning delay coming with 5:25 left in the fourth quarter, the Lions fell just short once again, losing 11-9 to Franklin, in a terrific back-and-forth match-up.
Franklin (18-0-1) led throughout the entire game, scoring just 13 seconds into the contest and held leads of 3-1, 8-4 and 10-7 after each of the first three quarters. The Lions cut it down to two after an impressive move by Kate Krueger before the Panthers went back up by three with 6:41 left. Then over a minute later, the delay happened, and when play resumed the Lions cut it to two on a goal by Sarah LaChance. Chelmsford had possession after that tally, but missed its opportunity and in the last 3:30, Franklin ran out the clock.
“That’s all I could ask for was for them to leave it all on the field and that’s what they did,” said Lions’ head coach Ashley Rokas. “The delay is what it is. We had the momentum and then there was the delay. It stinks to lose. This is a great team, and a great senior class. To see them go out like this way stinks, but I think they left it all out on the field so I’m not disappointed whatsoever.”
LaChance led the way with five goals, Krueger had two, while Sophia D’Agostino and Olivia Hall had one each. Goalie Morgan Wright played very well making six saves. In front of her, on defense Kathryn Slattery, Sofia Balan, Victoria Apostolakes and Taija Bell all had strong games.
Chelmsford finishes the season at 17-1, which comes after four previous seasons of 12-8, 17-5, 22-3 and 20-5, winning three sectional championships along the way.
“This is the closest we’ve been — we’ve been here to the semifinals now three times and this is the closest we have come (to winning). It’s heartbreaking but the girls played their hearts out. It stinks that we haven’t gone past this game, but maybe next year we can. This is a senior class that I won’t forget. They started with me, they started this winning tradition so it’s going to be tough without them.”