Girls lacrosse semifinals: Geiger's 6 goals carry Cranbrook into D2 finals
Novi — Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood continued its romp through the girls Division 2 lacrosse state playoffs, getting past Okemos, 14-8, in the semifinals at Novi High School.
Sophomore midfielder Jessica Geiger started the scoring for Cranbrook (23-5) 41 seconds in, slicing through the right side of the crease and burying the ball into the bottom of the net.
Geiger led with six goals, all in the first half, in her best game of the year.
"She was just in the zone. She was picking corners. I haven't seen a high school player shoot like that in 20 years," third-year Cranbrook coach Greg Courter said. "She had a fabulous start, and it was a good time for her to have a great day."
Geiger credits confidence for her performance.
"I started the season off without a lot of confidence, but we've bonded more as a team, so I've gained my confidence with the other players and we recognize our abilities," Geiger said.
Junior Sophia Milia assisted on two of Geiger's goals to go along with another assist and two goals of her own.
"Milia's a lefty so I look for her down low, cut towards her really fast and get around my girl," Geiger said describing their connection on the field.
Okemos never regained momentum after Cranbrook scored the first two goals and was down 9-3 at the half.
Okemos had 15 shots, but Cranbrook goalie Brigitte Ballard held up to the pressure and made several impressive saves, including a point-blank stop in the first half when Okemos was only down three.
Play in the midfield was largely even. Cranbrook narrowly beat Okemos on draws and ground balls were split.
The teams separated themselves in their respective offensive thirds.
Cranbrook's slick passing game led to an overwhelming amount of quality offensive opportunities and it cashed in more often than not. When Cranbrook had the ball, the ball rarely touched the ground until it was in the back of the net.
Okemos goalie Mallory Keenoy did all she could to blunt Cranbrook's attack, including getting aggressive and venturing out of her net more in the second half, but it wasn't enough to keep Cranbrook at bay.
Sophomare Olive Stevens scored twice with two assists, senior Michel Faliski scored, Isabelle Scane had three goals and an assist, and junior Delaney Langdon had an assist for Cranbrook.
Junior Emily Renfrew and junior Alyssa Karber each scored twice, junior Melaina Grewal had a goal, junior Grace Bielby had three goals and an assist and sophomore Grace Richardson had two assists for Okemos.
Cranbrook will meet East Grand Rapids for the third straight time in the state finals Saturday at Brighton High. East Grand Rapids won both those meetings.
"It's been our goal the entire season to have another shot at the state championship," Courter said. "This team feels different, maybe it's because we have so many kids back from last year and we're mentally tougher."
Cranbrook has outscored opponents, 444-227, this season, and has five players with 50 points or more.
Birmingham Seaholm 13, Hartland 11 (OT)
Rockford 22, Northville 4
4:30 at Brighton
East Grand Rapids 16, FH Mercy 3
BH Cranbrook 14, Okemos 8
2 at Brighton
Eric Coughlin is a freelance writer