Ripple ends’s Shootout reign |

Ripple ends’s Shootout reign’s reign at the Vail Lacrosse Shootout was almost Victorian in nature – six years is an eternity in the lax world. But that run came to an end Sunday afternoon when Ripple’s Mari Spry ripped the twine with 53 seconds left in regulation, breaking a 7-7 tie to end the dynasty.

And after Ripple’s 9-7 win over the, which won the first four titles of its run under the moniker “Chesapeake,” the new queens of the shootout were ready to celebrate.

“It’s an awesome feeling,” said Ripple’s team player-coach Colleen O’Hara, who sat out the second half with a knee injury. “It was frustrating when I couldn’t play, but we played awesome. I just basically fell on it pretty hard and really bruised my kneecap. It’s all right. It’s all good after we won.”

“When we came here ( is the only team we heard about,” Ripple midfielder Lauren Gallagher said. “This is the first time we’ve ever played together. We’re all such good friends and we had such a great time this weekend. We just went out there and played hard and had fun.”

As for, there was no disgrace in defeat. The team still has seven Shootout titles to its name and is a safe bet to be contenders for many years to come.

“We played a very good team with a lot of hustle,” coach George Samaras said. “They were determined. They had a quest in mind. Our girls played hard, but weren’t good enough today.

“Of course, we’re disappointed. The women’s game is now comprised of great players and there will always be players out there who can get together and beat us. We’ll be back. We’ll have the same players we always have and, hopefully, we’ll start another streak.”

Ripple made it clear from the start that it was going to make some waves on Sunday. After’s Michele DeJuliis scored the first of her two goals on the day, Ripple ripped off the next five for a 5-1 lead.

Kathleen Sheehan started the rally by feeding Katherine Jeschke. Dominique Cook, Sheehan, O’Hara and Melissa Holecheck followed and the news of a major upset started whipping through a large holiday crowd at Ford Park.

But the defending champs showed their mettle, holding Ripple off the board for the next 30 minutes of play. Jacque Weitzel, Randall Flynn and Cristi Samaras helped close to 5-4 before intermission. Charlotte Kenworthy, DeJuliis and Jen Newitt chimed early in the second half and was up 7-5 with 10:26 left.

“We were relying too much on the quick stick,” George Samaras said. “We settled our offense down and we came back. In fact, they didn’t score until the last six minutes of the game. It was 5-1 and then we were ahead 7-5 and then things fell apart.”

Gallagher started the Ripple comeback with a marker with 8:48 remaining in the second half. Meanwhile, ran afoul of the officiating crew. Both Weitzel and DeJuliis were carded and spent the final three minutes of the game on the sidelines.

“That hurt us,” Samaras said. “They were a little bit frustrated by the referees today. I won’t say any more on that.”

Ripple capitalized as Gallagher tied the game and Spry put in the game-winner. Sheehan added some insurance and the celebration was on.

“We were just trying to control the tempo the whole game and I guess were were down by one or two or something like that,” Gallagher said. “We just had to go to the goal.”

Vail Lacrosse Shootout

Women’s Elite All-Tournament Team

Attackers: Randall Flynn,; Brooke McKenzie, Special Brew; Molly Clafin, Team Utah; Amy Hemmelgarn, Team Ohio; Kristina Limpins, Yankee Storm.

Center: Charlotte Kenworthy,

Defense: Lauren Gallagher, Ripple; Kinsley O’Garrow, Lacrosse International; Kathy Frick, Crouching Tiger; Megan Walters, Ripple; Brooke Owens,

Goalie: Francesca Segarra, Lacrosse International.

MVP: Randall Flynn,

Coach: Denise Fezza, QC Lax

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