Girls lacrosse: Chardon pushes the pace, ousts Gilmour to keep postseason run going

May 23—Playing with pace is a big reason why the Chardon girls lacrosse team has been so successful this season.

Offensively, the Hilltoppers push the ball so aggressively that they often get the defense out of position and earn 8-meter free shots. Defensively, they make teams feel uncomfortable with their pressure play.

Both facets came to fruition in an 8-5 win over visiting Gilmour in a Division II regional quarterfinal on May 23.

Chardon scored three goals on 8-meter free shots and Gilmour scored none. That three-goal difference, earned via aggressiveness in the attack, was the difference on the scoreboard as Chardon moves on the play the winner of Chagrin Falls and Cardinal Mooney next week in a regional semifinal.

"Eight-meters are definitely a factor in winning," said junior Peyton Platz, the program's all-time leading scorer. "Pushing that and playing defense against them when they are shooting eight-meters is good to help keep us in the lead."

Elle Deszczykiewicz scored twice on 8-meter free shots, while teammate Morgan Slack scored once. Gilmour didn't have many attempts, but the few they got were knocked away by Chardon keeper Makenna Ricketts.


"Not scoring eight-meters and them scoring them, that was the game," Gilmour coach Darci Gervaise said. "That was the game."

Playing at a fast pace — being aggressive — is a big reason why Chardon got those opportunities in the first place.

"One of our strongest things is our pace," Deszczykiewicz said. "Even though it sometimes doesn't work for us because we get crazy and hectic, it helps us out so much getting the ball down the field and attacking the goal. It gives us chances at eight meters because the defense messes up when they get all frantic."

Chardon got off to a fast start with two quick goals, one by Deszczykiewicz and one by Platz. The fast start is what coach Alison Platz pushed her team to work for when the game started. The lead grew to 4-1 when Peyton Platz scored with 39 seconds left in the first period.

PHOTOS: Chardon vs. Gilmour girls lacrosse, May 23, 2024

Again in the second, Chardon scored right before the buzzer when Riley McKenna came from behind the net and shot one to the net for a 6-2 lead at the break. Gilmour had two goals by Makenna Crouse in the first half, but still trailed.

To Gilmour's credit, they held Chardon scoreless in the third, scoring twice to narrow the margin to 6-4 going into the fourth. But a crucial series to start the fourth changed the game when Deszczykiewicz scored on an eight-meter free shot and then Ricketts knocked away an eight-meter shot from the Lancers.

Even though Crouse scored her fourth goal of the game a short while later, Slack's late eight-meter shot kept the Lancers far enough in the Hilltoppers' rearview mirror.

"Our sticks weren't consistent enough to compete with a team like this," Gervaise said. "Some days we can light it up. Other days not so much. Consistency on the offensive side has kicked us in the butt several times this year."

Even so, Gilmour ends the season 13-7, which is a program-best for wins in a season.

"This year is a huge stepping stone to really building the program and making a name for Gilmour," Gervaise said.

Meanwhile, Chardon continues its banner season thanks to its pressure play and the performance of Ricketts in the goal.

"She's phenomenal," Coach Platz said. "She's having a great senior year. She spent a lot of time working on her craft in the offseason."

Next up is either Chagrin Falls or Cardinal Mooney. Chardon has defeated both teams this year, but Coach Platz said the challenge ahead is great.

"Either way, somebody is giving us a run for our money," she said.

Bring'em on, the girls say. Whoever it might be.

"We want to keep moving on," Deszczykiewicz said. "Obviously we want to get as far as possible. Today we can in ready. We're ready for next week to hopefully keep this going."


Chardon 8, Gilmour 5