Indian Creek first-year coach Danielle Stanton called her squad the “dream team.”
The Eagles certainly had a magical performance against Beth Tfiloh in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland C Conference championship Sunday afternoon.
Mia Putzi finished with five goals and four assists, Abbey Bunker scored four times with two assists and Indian Creek rolled to a 17-5 victory at USA Lacrosse headquarters in Sparks.
Sophee Gomberg also had four goals for the Eagles, who successfully defended their title from last season and have won four championships overall.
“This team, I’m telling you, is a dream team,” Stanton said. “They are a dream to coach. They are so selfless, they have fun with each other, they are just the best group of girls on and off the field.”
Alexa Grossman had three goals for the Warriors.
Beth Tfiloh (9-1) beat Indian Creek, 10-9, during the regular season. It was the Warriors’ closest game of the year.
However, the Eagles (12-2) set the tone early and never looked back.
Bunker gave Indian Creek the early lead with an unassisted goal three minutes into the game. The Eagles did a solid job riding Beth Tfiloh early in the first half.
Putzi and Avery Barnhill increased the lead to 3-0 on free-position goals with just over 17 minutes remaining. Indian Creek goalie Elia Alewine had a couple of key stops, which set the momentum for the defense.
“It feels amazing,” Putzi said. “We really had this goal from Day 1 to come back here and have this exact feeling. That was our message all year long.”
Beth Tfiloh was patient with their offense and moved the ball around to get an open look on goal.
Grossman finally got the Warriors on the board on a deft goal with 13:49 left.
However, Anastasia Malamatis and Gomberg answered for Indian Creek, which pushed the lead to 5-1 and forced the Warriors to call a timeout. Putzi added another free-position goal and scored again off an assist from Bunker that kept Beth Tfiloh under pressure.
Bunker scored twice more on a free-position opportunity and on a pass from Putzi that provided a 9-1 cushion.
“I think we played really well and worked together as a team,” Bunker said. “It was a really good game.”
Beth Tfiloh finally got some momentum late in the half on goals by Sabrina Tepper and Grossman. But Putzi scored again on the next possession and set up another score by Gomberg, and Indian Creek led 11-3 at the break.
Grossman completed her hat trick in the opening minutes of the second half. Beth Tfiloh did a better job containing Indian Creek’s attack, but the deficit was too much to overcome. Alewine also three key saves to keep the Warriors from edging closer.
Goals by Bunker, Gomberg, Putzi and Abby Bach pushed the lead to 15-4, allowing the Eagles to clear the bench.
Beth Tfiloh fell short of its first IAAM title in girls lacrosse. The Warriors were missing two key players, Sophie Polakoff and Jenna Lubliner, both of whom were on their senior trip to Israel.
“It was a physical game and we didn’t adjust to that well,” Beth Tfiloh coach Ed Levy said. “We were missing our two seniors who had a ton of ground balls in the first game. We didn’t get those this game. I’m not making excuses.”
Goals: BT — Grossman 3, Tepper, Wood; IC — Putzi 5, A. Bunker 4, Gomberg 4, M. Bunker, Barnhill, Malamatis, Bach.
Assists: BT — Glick 4; IC — Putzi 4, A. Bunker 2, M. Bunker, Barnhill.
Saves: BT — Benkler 5; IC — Alewine 8