The Ponte Vedra girls’ lacrosse team had high hopes for a state championship in 2016 but saw those hopes dashed on their home field by the Bartram Trail Bears last Friday night. The Sharks went into the title game buoyed by an 18-7 victory over Nease two nights before, but had no answer for the Bears’ dominant free possession play in losing 10-7.
Bartram had 12 attempts from the free possession arc and scored each of their six first-half goals from arc while the Sharks could converts just two of five from that spot. Things got worse for the Sharks in the second half, scoring on just three of 11 possession opportunities.
Bartram scored two minutes into the contest only to see the Sharks answer with three straight goals, two by Emma Dotsikas and one by Ellie Lecker. From there on Bartram controlled matters.
Throughout the remaining time, the Bears held Ponte Vedra’s transition game in check, a situation that might be credited as much to the tight control of the game by the three officials as the Bears’ play or to Sharks’ high unforced turnover rate. Officials blew the play dead 66 times during the game, an inordinately high number for a match that is but 50 minutes long, and with a running clock at that.
Ponte Vedra earned their spot in the title game with an 18-7 win over local archrival Nease on Tuesday evening. But for the final four minutes Ponte Vedra looked like the dominant team that rolled through the regular season with a 14-4 record including a 21-14 win over Bartram Trail. The final minutes of the Nease game may have been an indication of things to come as the Sharks gave up four unanswered goals to the Panthers.
Ponte Vedra’s leading scorers against the Panthers included Jordan Grune and Tess Reiman with four and Lecker with three.