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Lady Eagles advance to state semifinals

May 18—The Zionsville girls lacrosse team has been taking it one game at a time throughout the season, and it's led them to plenty of success with a 12-3 record heading into the state quarterfinals.

So while a big match-up an opportunity awaited the winner of Saturday's game with Bishop Chatard, the Lady Eagles were focused on the task at hand, and that propelled them to an 14-12 win over the Lady Trojans.

"On our motto for the playoffs this year is 'one more,'" Zionsville head coach David Elefante said. "It's either one more goal, one more defensive play, one more draw won — you are just focused on the next thing and not looking too far ahead. We just want the girls to look at what's in front of them and taking care of business."

The Eagles had topped the Trojans 19-9 in the regular season, but Elefante said with it being a do-or-die post-season game, they knew Saturday was going to be a challenge.

Add in one of the hottest days of the spring, it created some difficult conditions for all the players. But the Eagles made the most of their opportunities.

"We did a nice job today," Elefante said. "It was a game of runs and Chatard had their runs and we had ours too. In the end, we played together as a team and just tried to keep it going forward."

Zionsville led 3-2 at the end of a quarter, but the Eagles came out on fire in the second quarter.

Zionsville needed just over four minutes to score four goals, getting two from Reese Godby and one each from Ava Ventrone and Mia Schmidt to take a 7-2 lead.

""Usually when you can win the draw, you can just keep the ball and get down to the offensive end," Elefante said. "A day like today when it's hot, possessing the ball and giving our defense a break was important. Seeing the passes and not throwing the ball away — we just wanted to make sure we didn't beat ourselves."

The Eagles led by four at the half, and pushed the lead back to five early in the third thanks to goals from Addie Faber and Alexa DeHart.

The Trojans got back within three on a couple of occasions, notably with 5:38 to go, but Godby scored with 2:32 to go to push the lead back to four.

Chatard scored twice in 46 seconds to get within two with less than a minute to go, but the Eagles defense kept them at bay.

Goalkeeper Hannah McKenna had 11 saves.

"Hannah McKenna made some great saves, she kept us in this game," Elefante said. "Our defense stepped up, Allie (O'Donnell), Caroline (Sampson), Amelia (Rhodes) — they played great. From where our defense started this year, to where it's at now — it's leaps and bounds above where we thought it could be."

DeHart had seven goals and an assist. Godby had three goals and Ventrone had two.

The Eagles will face Carmel in the state semifinals after Memorial Day.

"We are going to break down the film, see what we are doing well and what we need to clean up," Elefante said. "We played them in the regular season and it was a competitive game, but that was the regular season and everything is different now."

Will Willems is the Sports Editor of the Lebanon Reporter. Follow him on Twitter @Will_Willems.