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Season ends after regional battle

Sage Beauregard runs around Brighton defense. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
June 08, 2011 - The Lady Lacrossers pushed during the second half of the MHSAA Regional Semifinals on May 31.

But it wasn't enough and they lost 17-10 to Brighton.

"I told them at the end of the game they have to lead off how they played the second half," said Clarkston Girls Varsity Lacrosse Coach Stephanie Dellinger. "Playing aggressive and really fighting for it. Carry it over to next year. Right off the bat getting your nose in everything and play hard."

She added she was proud of the way the team fought hard though they were tired and the Lady Bulldogs were able to bring in more substitutes into the game because they had 24 players compared to Clarkston's 13 players that were uninjured and could play.

Freshman Sage Beauregard opened the scoring for Clarkston with their first goal 10 minutes into the game to bring the score 5-1.

Brighton furthered the space on the board scoring three goals in the next four minutes.

Beauregard struck again and put another one into the net for Clarkston at 10:10 with an assist from Danielle Dunn.

"Sage has been quiet a lot of the year," said Dellinger. "But she came off with two goals right off the bat for us."

The first half closed with Brighton still holding onto the lead with the score at 10-4.

"Our team during the first half came out a little flat," said Dellinger. "Not as aggressive as they should have. The second half they played like Clarkston plays but it was too little, too late."

Sophomore Brittney Jaynes scored first for Clarkston in the second half. Brighton scored two more goals before they took a time out with 15:28 left in the game.

When they came back, junior Stephanie Dellinger took control for the faceoff and headed into Lady Bulldogs territory. She took a shot one the net and scored.

From the faceoff Dellinger grabbed possession of the ball again and headed to the net. A call against Brighton stopped the game but Dellinger held onto the ball in the netting of her stick. When the referee's whistle restarted the game she shot to the low left of the net, putting the girls, 13-7.

"She get the draw, she is the field leader, she sets things up offensively," said Dellinger.

Dellinger scored two more goals and Lauren Sharkey added one before the half closed.

Another boost came from sophomore Lauren Sharkey and defense players - Whitney Kelley, Paige Miller and Payton Kaminski

"Lauren had some huge goals this game," said Dellinger. "Whitney plays hard and Paige played phenomenal. Payton was the sub for us all year and the last couple of games we had an injured girl. She stepped up and played the whole game. She filled Rachel Manssur's shoes real well."

The girls lose seven seniors Julia Caroline Champion, Quinn Dabrowski, Erin Gray, Payton Kaminski, Kelsey Luibrand, Lindsey Mark and Madison Schaffer.

"Four of them never played before," said Dellinger. "We are losing three seasoned players."

She added she is excited about next year - the rest of the team will be back and there are a few contenders from the incoming freshman class looking good to play on the varsity level.

"They have a few that have played for three years," Dellinger said. "Regardless of how old you are if you have played for three years - experience is huge."

Another reason to look forward to next year is the girls move up to Division 1 and will be opening against tough teams.

"As we play these tough teams they will dig deep down to find a way to be aggressive," Dellinger said. "We will have our work cut out for us. This year was a transition year. We had a lot of coaching to do. Luckily everything they learned this year they will be able to pick up and go with it next year."

The girls will also be able to hone more on their skills since they know offense and defense better after this season.

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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