Team AXIA wins by forfeit |

Team AXIA wins by forfeit

Andrew Harley

Team Simeons forfeited to AXIA the Women’s Elite division championship game of the Vail/Avon Lacrosse Shootout on account of poorly-booked airline tickets.

For Axia – also known as Team Chesapeake and in years past – it’s the team’s eighth title in 10 years.

Special Brew won the third-place game 10-9 over Team Harrow, the favorite. Team Harrow’s Kinsley O’Garrow fought a cleat-to-cleat battle with Special Brew’s Brooke McKenzie, and McKenzie scored one more goal than O’Garrow, the difference in the game.

So, after the third-place game ended, Team Simeons picked up many of the star players from Team Harrow and Special Brew to compete in an exhibition game against AXIA, in place of a championship game.

AXIA won the exhibition game 17-7, but the score didn’t reflect the quality of competition.

The college all-star squad, which was a makeshift Team Simeons, faced the highly-favored professionals of team AXIA barely after noon at Ford Park.

After three-and-a-half days of intense-lacrosse action, the grass on the softball fields at Ford Park looked like a body bag beaten by a brontosaurian Lennox Lewis.

Team Simeons broke out to an early, 2-1 lead on two goals from Sara Averson, but AXIA began to run away with the game after a rocket from Randall Goldsborough-Flynn and subsequent goals from Kate Graw, Michele DeJuliis, Graw again, Danielle Gallagher and Crista Samaras.

O’Garrow tomahawked a jumpshot into the back of AXIA’s net on a high pass from behind the goal, and Averson picked up a hat trick before the half ended with AXIA leading, 11-4.

Averson scored four goals to lead Team Simeons, and Samaras scored five goals and added three assists for AXIA.

Samaras won Most Valuable Player honors for the tournament, leading all goal scorers with 19 goals – she also had 17 assists in the tournament.

“My first Vail tournament was in “91,” said Samaras. “I played with my idol (Danielle Gallagher) on Team Allman. She was 26 and I was 13.”

Samaras was restricted from the Women’s Elite division of the tournament until she reached college and, since then, she has missed only one tournament – due to her participation in the Lacrosse World Cup.

Samaras currently represents the United States Women’s Elite Lacrosse Team, designs lax equipment for Warrior and is an actress and writer in New York.

“(Winning this tournament) represents a culmination of a fun week,” said Samaras. “Being halfway hungover and halfway hammered, we’re a bunch of girls that always likes to play together. Give us a grassy knoll, and we always like to jam it up.”

In a couple of months, Samaras will be returning to the Vail Valley to work on a novel.

Andrew Harley can be contacted at (970) 949-0555 ext. 608 or at

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