Girls’ lacrosse: Bow dominates D-III final with 20-6 victory over St. Thomas

By DAN ATTORRI

Monitor staff

Published: 06-07-2023 1:03 AM

Last spring things didn’t go Bow’s way in the lacrosse championship. A dominant season ended in disappointment. It’s a trend that’s haunted the Falcons on the soccer field and on the basketball court in the last year.

But the No. 1 Falcons (18-1) used all of that experience to their advantage, controlling Tuesday night’s championship game from start to finish to claim the NHIAA Division III girls’ lacrosse title with a 20-6 win over No. 2 St. Thomas (15-2) at Laconia’s Bank of New Hampshire Stadium.

Junior Kendall Murray (two goals) made a nice cut up the middle and sophomore Kate McGovern (four goals, two assists) gave her a nice feed from the outside for a 1-0 Bow lead just 1:08 into the game. 

Less than five minutes into the game it was 4-0. And it was 8-0 before Charlotte De Tolla finally put the Saints on board with 7:42 left in the half.

“We came out on fire.” Falcons’ head coach Chris Raabe said. “It’s great momentum when you get those first couple goals and you settle into your game. We controlled the pace of the game the entire game.”

While the lead was nice, Bow had memories of last year’s championship, where the Falcons led by as much as 11-6 before eventually falling 13-12 to Hopkinton.

“We knew having that lead meant nothing,” Falcon senior captain Alex Larrabee said. “It was nice to have the lead, but we had so much experience to lean on to know that it didn’t matter. It’s (St. Thomas’s) season on the line too.”

Despite the lopsided score, the Saints did a decent job keeping D-I Colgate bound-Larrabee (goal, four assists), and junior and fellow First Team All-State pick Olivia Selleck (five goals, assist) in check. 

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“They were definitely face guarding Alex and (Olivia),” Raabe said. “The other players stepped up. Alex and Liv did a good job trying to get free, and they did get free, but they had to work a little harder. A lot of (our scoring) rides on the backs of Alex and Liv, and today, I saw our entire team step up to help them. (Alex and Olivia) still carried the ball through the midfield a bit, but they were tripled teamed in the middle. It was nice that the team had to rally around them.”

Sophomore Ella Gray (three goals), seniors Lyndsey LaPerle (two goals) and Bella LaPerle (two assists), junior Maia Kimball (two goals, assist), sophomore Kylie McKee (goal) and freshman Ella Trefethen (two assists) all contributed to the scoring.

Senior goalie Elena Roy made 10 saves.

“Every single player on our team stepped up tonight and played really, really well,” Larrabee said. “Freshman to senior, first year varsity to third-year varsity. Our offense flowed, our defense talked. Everyone did their job and did the best they could do. It sounds obvious, but that doesn’t always happen in a championship game.”

The balanced effort allowed Bow to take an 11-3 halftime lead. Selleck scored 10 seconds into the second half and the Falcons scored four consecutive goals to make it 15-3 in the first 10 minutes of the second half. 

“We had taken 22 shots (in the first half), shooting 50%, not great for what we had done all season,” Raabe said. “We talked (at halftime) about taking the high percentage shot. We were getting better looks at the goal. Our attack did a great job on (St. Thomas) low D getting the ball back. It was about staying true to us.”

Larrabee added, “We brought the energy and treated it as a special night, but we also treated it like any other game. In the past we’ve put so much pressure on the ‘championship.’ But it’s the same game we’ve been playing for years, it’s the same game we’ve been playing at practice.”

For Larrabee, the LaPerle twins, Roy and senior Marissa Green – all multi-sport athletes – it was their final game in a Falcon uniform. It’s one of the strongest athletic classes in school history that has played in many big games over four years. Many, like last year’s championship ended in devastating heartbreak. But to end this season, their final season, with a convincing victory to win a title, is something that they will surely never forget.

“There’s no way other to put it than surreal,” Larrabee said. “The four other seniors are my best friends. We play other sports together. It feels so good to get the job done. It feels good to get it done regardless, but to do it standing with your best friends feels so good. It makes us feel like we left our mark here.”

Larrabee and company, at the very least, have certainly left their mark on Bow girls’ lacrosse. It’s the first championship the program has won since 2009 and ends the season undefeated against D-III competition. The Falcons outscored their opponents 334-86 over their 19 games.

How they worked as a unit is what will stick with Raabe.

“This team will go down as one of my best teams. They all care about each other. They’re all friends. There’s no drama. There’s no cliqueness. They’ll sit with any of the 25 (other players). They care more about one another than they do about themselves.”

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