Troy — Isabelle Scane’s behind-the-back goal with 23:40 left in the second half of Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood’s 22-4 win over Farmington Hills Mercy was a perfect indication of how Cranbrook’s Division 2 girls lacrosse semifinal win went.
Cranbrook will play East Grand Rapids, a 14-7 winner over Okemos, on Saturday for the title.
“I had a good pass from Grace (Giampetroni) that I ended up missing, so the ball was on the ground,” said Scane, who finished with four goals for Cranbrook. “So when I picked it up, I realized I didn’t really have much of an angle, so I just took it behind the back.”
Cranbrook coach Greg Courter, while impressed with the goal, said he wasn’t entirely surprised given the sophomore’s talent level.
“It’s no great surprise for those of us who see her every day at practice,” he said. “She’s a terrific player and she’s very creative and we try to encourage her to be as creative as possible. The kids have the green light and however they want to score, they can score.”
Cranbrook started quickly and led 11-2 at the half. Courter said he was impressed with his team’s effort.
“We’ve been a slow starting team this year,” Courter said. “Our focus in the last couple weeks has been starting quick and really getting after teams in the beginning. I was pleased that we were able to do that today.”
Cranbrook kept up pressure in the second half, cruising to the big win.
“We played them earlier in the season and we know they’re a tough team,” Mercy coach Lindsay Hoyt said. “I thought overall for our team, we did a good job. This is our second time in the state semifinals against Cranbrook. They’re very competitive and they’re going to play a good game in the finals. Hopefully next year if we come back to the state semifinals, we’ll be able to compete at a higher level.”
Courter, in his second year with Cranbrook, said his philosophy is a simple one.
“I tell the kids every year at the beginning of the season that my job is to make myself completely unnecessary by the state playoffs,” Courter said. “If that’s my goal, that means the kids are empowered and they know how to play the game and they’re fit and they don’t really need me for any strategy at this point. Just go out and play.”
And has that philosophy helped?
“I definitely think so,” Scane said. “I think he’s put us into place to be successful, so at this point it’s just our job to just compete and do everything he’s taught us to the best of our ability. I think we’re getting there.”
Courter said it didn’t matter whether Cranbrook played Okemos or East Grand Rapids, his team would have its work cut out for it.
“Clearly we’ll be playing a very tough opponent on Saturday, whether it’s Okemos or (East Grand Rapids),” Courter said. “The competition is much stiffer on the west side of the state.”
Hoyt said Mercy will have a solid core to build from, returning 17 of 25 players next year.
“We’re losing quite a bit of our seniors,” she said. “Evie Drukker, who is a big scorer for us will be back. Maria Bowen, who leads our defense with a lot of my seniors will be back and then Natalie Masopust who is kind of a setup maker up front, she will be back.”
Al Willman is a freelance writer.
Birmingham Seaholm 16, Ann Arbor Pioneer 4
Rockford 23, Hartland 7
Cranbrook-Kingswood 22, Farmington Hills Mercy 4
East Grand Rapids 14, Okemos 7
Division 1: Birmingham Seaholm vs. Rockford, 2 p.m.
Division 2: Cranbrook-Kingswood vs. East Grand Rapids, 4:30 p.m.