Coyotes Fusion Rolls to Girls' U15 Title at US Lacrosse Central Championship
Attacker Maddie Webster scored four goals to lead Coyotes Fusion (Colo.) to a 21-4 win over Lonestar Lacrosse (Texas) in the gold medal game of the U15 Girls' Division at the US Lacrosse Central Regional Championship Sunday in Arlington, Texas. With the Regional Championship title, Coyotes Fusion earned an automatic invitation with free registration to the US Lacrosse U15 National Championship, Powered by Lacrosse Unlimited, July 24-26 in Orlando.
ARLINGTON, TEXAS – For the second consecutive year, a team from Colorado made "Rocky Mountain High" the unofficial song of the girls' U15 division at the US Lacrosse Central Regional Championship at the Harold Patterson Sports Center here in the heart of Texas.
The Denver-based Coyotes Fusion finished off a perfect weekend of play with a 21-4 win over Lonestar Lacrosse (Texas) to capture the US Lacrosse Central Regional Championship title Sunday. Experience, speed and defense played a substantial role for the lone undefeated U15 Girls' Division team to take home the region's top prize, and in convincing fashion, allowing just 14 goals during the weekend. Coyotes Fusion followed last year's Northern Lights as division champs from Colorado at this event.
Coyotes Fusion dominated the final, but Lonestar kept pace early behind the play of Sophie Duschesne. But the Denver club raised the defensive pressure by setting traps and swarming, using that defense to, in turn, start filling up the scoreboard. Attacker Maddie Webster scored three goals in the opening 10 minutes.
Lonestar saw very limited possessions from there on. Six more Coyotes Fusion players contributed to the scoring load for a 13-4 lead at the half. Lonestar got 13 saves from goalkeeper Bronwynn McGill, but the Texans were held scoreless in the second half.
Coyotes Fusion saved its best for last, or near last, that is. The 21 goals marked a season-high for the newly crowned Central Champions, and 11 players registered goals. Webster finished with a game-high four.
"We worked as a team. We got people who don't normally score goals, and we played really well as a team," Webster said. "Coming from Colorado into a tournament in Texas where there was only one other team (3D Lacrosse) from Colorado, it feels like we both were representing the state and our lacrosse programs well. I've never been more excited."
Near last, as the US Lacrosse Central Regional champs aren't done. They'll take their automatic invitation and join as many as 32 of the best girls' U15 teams in the country July 24-26 for the US Lacrosse U15 National Championship, Powered by Lacrosse Unlimited, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.
"The whole preparation for us coming into this weekend was to get through Texas to get to Florida," said head coach Danny Cisneros.
In the consolation game, 3D Lacrosse (Colorado) closed out its weekend with a 9-7 win over Texas Outlaws. Up by two at the break, 3D's Caitlin Gust notched a pair of goals in the second half to maintain its distance with an 8-6 advantage with under 15 minutes in regulation. Just two minutes later, the Outlaws brought the game within one on a goal by Paulina Martin-de-Nicolas. Emily Munro answered with a goal of her own and clinched the victory for 3D.
Coyotes Fusion's road to the gold Sunday morning was consistent with its performance throughout the weekend; including a commanding 13-2 victory over Sica Lax (Texas) in the semifinals. Rachel Cowan and Peyton Gabriel scored three goals each.
Lonestar Lacrosse entered the championship game after knocking off Houston rival Cy-Fair Burning Flowers, 15-14, in a thriller. Lonestar's Duschesne netted the winning goal with 44 seconds remaining in regulation. The victory-sealing goal came just 90 seconds after Cy-Fair's Kaleigh Young tied the game at 14. Cy-Fair was unable to regain control of the ball again following Lonestar's goal. Duchesne and Cady Roberts combined for 11 goals in the win.
US Lacrosse awarded the "Keeper of Lacrosse" Sportsmanship Award in the U15 Girls' Division to 3D Lacrosse from Denver for their coaches' part in inspiring youth participation in sports and for the athletes, families and fans exemplifying good sportsmanship. ... Up next is the US Lacrosse Southeast Regional Championship, Powered by Lacrosse Unlimited, June 15-17 in Raleigh, N.C. Upwards of 50 girls' U13 and U15 and boys' U11, U13 and U15 teams are expected to participate. The top four teams in each U15 division will earn automatic invitations with free or reduced registration to the US Lacrosse U15 National Championships July 24-29 in Orlando.
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