Cranbrook Kingswood Varsity Girls Lacrosse team brought home the Schools' first-ever MHSAA State Championship title on Saturday. The girls defeated five-time defending State Champions East Grand Rapids 17-16 in a nail-biting triple overtime victory.
This was the third consecutive year the Cranes faced the Pioneers for the Division II bragging rights, and they were determined to win. It wasn't looking good for the Cranes who were down 11-5 at halftime. After an inspiring lockerroom speech from Head Coach, Greg Courter, the girls emerged in the second half with a renewed sense of energy, but not before East widened the gap to a 13-6 game. According to Courter, "I told the girls, if we could get the score to 13-9, we'd have a chance." With only 2:11 left in regulation play, the determined Cranes had tied the game at 15-15.
The game went into its first overtime, a 6:00 minute period with two three-minute halves. Cranes struck first, taking the lead 16-15. The Pioneers returned in the second half with a goal of their own, tying it 16-16 before the clock expired. The subsequent overtime periods would be "sudden victory", with the first team to score taking the whole thing. Both the East goalie and Cranbrook's goalie, junior Brigitte Ballard, made great save after great save. Ballard stared down East's Mary Schumer, who lead her team in scoring for the day, stopping a shot at point-blank range.
The first "sudden victory" overtime period left both teams scoreless. With the second SV period clock winding down, CK junior Angelina Wiater delivered the game-winning goal for the Cranes with just 49.5 seconds left. Wiater, not known as a shooter, had this to say, “I didn’t see anyone open and I didn’t want to pass without anyone open. So, I wrapped around the back... I saw an opening and I went for it.”
Grit. Determination. Heart. Team. What an incredible day to be a Crane.
For more on the game, including photo galleries and video clips, see sources below:
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