Falcons fall to Breck in section semis

The Armstrong girls lacrosse team began its Section 6 semifinal game against Breck June 5, like it was capable of pulling off the upset against the section’s second-seeded team.

Armstrong senior Lizzy VanHeest looks to dash past a pair of Breck defenders during the Falcons’ 19-8 loss June 5. (Sun Post staff photo by Chris Chesky)

The Falcons trailed 5-4 after the first 20 minutes of the game, as Olivia Heckt, Vanessa Whitenack, Hayley Hanson and Mayula Chamleunsouk scored to bring the game within one goal.

“I think we came ready to play,” Armstrong head girls lacrosse coach Caitlin Bishop said. “Right when we got here I think we got off the bus and we were ready to go.”

Then, all of a sudden, Breck sprung to life.

The Mustangs took an 8-4 lead into halftime, and then outscored the Falcons 11-4 in the second half to end Armstrong’s season with a 19-8 victory.

“Breck is a great team, and we just got kind of sloppy, nervous and anxious,” Bishop said. “It’s sections, we have some seniors, but we have a lot of young girls, too, so we’re nervous when sections comes around.

“However, we did a lot of good things, we picked up the ball well, we transitioned the ball well, our defense communicated and our attack worked well together.”

Hayley Hanson scored her second goal of the game, Maddi Mour scored twice and Maggie Hanson added a goal with 32 seconds left to round out the scoring for the Falcons.

Despite the loss, Bishop believes her team played a strong game.

“I think ultimately we played well as a team,” Bishop said. “We filled in together, we started to support the ball, everybody played with trust in each other and we did everything we have been working on every day.

“When that all came together I feel we just had a better effort overall.”

With the loss to Breck ending the Falcons’ season, the high school careers of the team’s seven seniors came to an end.

“We’re going to miss our seniors so much,” Bishop said. “Like every year you’re going to miss your seniors, your leaders on the team, but I wish them well in college.

“I hope they can continue to do well in school.”

With many quality players returning to the team next season, including Chamleunsouk and Heckt on offense and goaltender Maddy Koss on defense, Armstrong is well-equipped for a strong 2018 campaign.

“It is what we make of it,” Bishop said. “Every day when we come to practice we get ready to play our games and I think we can compete with all of the teams in our conference.

“We had a bunch of one-goal, two-goal games, so I think next year you will see us competitive in the conference again.”

Armstrong ended the 2017 campaign with an 8-7 record.

Contact Chris Chesky at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @MNSunSports or @SunSportsChris.