By Tony Luongo
The recent Founders Lacrosse League Championship game closed an exciting season for Bedford’s Grade 5/6 girls’ lacrosse select team. The select division represents each town’s best players at that age level and allows squads to play a schedule against the highest levels of competition in the state.
The Buccaneers posted a 5-1 regular season record, and reeled off playoff wins in the first round, quarterfinals, and semifinals to reach the championship game.
Grace Venuti, Brooklyn Abel, and Clara Trautz led the charge for the Lady Bucs in the midfield positions with Elsie Kohler, Sadah Luongo, and Grace Collins ranging between midfield and attack. Dani D’Ascoli and Mary Siciliano rounded out the starting attack lineup.
Molly Quinlan, Emma Sayles, Alexa Kent, and Juliette Rucker were a swarming, lockdown defense that made Friday nights difficult for opponents each week. Audrey Carlton had a tremendous season in goal for the Bucs, producing momentum-turning saves in every game.
Super-subs Felicity Savoy, Kaitlyn Munsie, and Olivia Morreale showed off their skills and versatility by playing all three field positions during the course of the season.
Coaches Jill Abel, Jon Kohler, and Tyson Trautz oversaw the steady, continuous improvement of this talented team each week.
After finishing the regular season, the Bucs made short work of Newton, 12-5, in a first-round playoff matchup.
In the quarterfinals, Bedford came back to beat a scrappy Natick team, 9-8, with a goal in the closing minutes.
In the semifinals, Bedford took on a confident and athletic Hingham team that expected to be in the championship game. Bedford had other plans as Audrey Carlton made key saves and the defense pressured Hingham into multiple turnovers and bad decisions.
On the offensive side, coordinated team passing broke through Hingham’s defensive pressure and the goal scoring was handled by Clara Trautz (3 goals), Sadah Luongo (3), Grace Venuti (2), Brooklyn Abel (2), and Grace Collins as Bedford came out victorious, 11-9.
The championship game against a perennially strong Wellesley team was a game of halves. The bounces seemed to be going Wellesley’s way in the first half as they raced out to a 5-2 halftime lead. Only the outstanding net minding of Audrey Carlton and two goals by Grace Venuti kept the game that close.
In the second half, the comeback was on. The Bucs turned things around and owned most of the draw controls and ground balls. Two more goals by Venuti, two from Sadah Luongo and one from Clara Trautz had the Bucs holding a slim 7-6 lead late, but it was not quite enough. Wellesley was able to put home the tying and leading goals in the last few minutes to take a hard-fought 8-7 victory.
Although the season did not end quite how the Bucs wanted it to, it was a success and the lacrosse future looks bright for these girls.