The Times West Virginian

May 16, 2009

Polar Bears go back-to-back

Clinch perfect season with victory

By Nick Cammuso

FAIRMONT — The perfect season now has a perfect ending.

Fairmont Senior’s girls’ lacrosse team capped an undefeated season Saturday afternoon with an 11-9 victory over Morgantown in the state title game at East-West Stadium.

The Polar Bears, who finished at 17-0, are believed to be the first state champion in school history to go unbeaten.

And while this team will be remembered for its sheer domination — they scored 299 goals, gave up 97 and had 21 players score goals — they’re also the group that put FSHS lacrosse, boys and girls, squarely on the map.

Fairmont Senior, which beat University for the title last season, is the first squad to win two WVSLA championships.

“I told them that you’re going to look at this a few years down the road and say, ‘Man, we were pretty a good team.’” Fairmont Senior coach Jon Cain said. “Twenty years from now at their high school reunion, I guarantee they’ll remember this.”

The Polar Bears beat the Mohigans 17-4 in the teams’ most recent meeting and seemed an absolute lock to take another title.

While Fairmont Senior raced to a 7-3 halftime lead, Morgantown gave the prohibitive favorite all they could handle after the break. The Mohigans took advantage of a tightly called, penalty laden game to score four goals in less than three minutes to begin the second half.

Rachel Murdock scored on sideout to make it a one-goal game at the 19:37 mark and again found the net 41 seconds later for a 7-7 deadlock.

What got the Fairmont Senior players through that rough patch wasn’t some pep talk or a coach’s word of wisdom. Rather it came from their supportive — and ever-vocal — teammates on the sideline.

“Our girls on the sidelines were cheering us on. They weren’t on the field, but they wanted it as bad as we did. That’s what motivated me and I’m sure it motivated everyone else,” Fairmont Senior’s Hannah Nagowski said.

And that’s all they needed the rest of the way. Mackenzie Robinson scored twice, while Nagowski and Morgan Cain added goals to provide some breathing room late. Kacci Skinner had seven saves in the second half, including several key stops in the final minutes.

Cain’s score, the Polar Bears’ final tally of the year with the waning minutes, was her 94th of the season. She finished with two goals and was named game MVP.

Nagowski ended up with a hat trick and finished her senior season among the state’s top scorers. Robinson also scored three, while Georgette Ball, Alex Mascaro and Krissy Bodnovich added one goal apiece.

“It’s great. It’s emotional,” Cain said of the victory and her final varsity game. “I don’t think we had our best game, but our skills pulled it off.”

And capped a season that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

E-mail Nick Cammuso at ncammuso@timeswv.com.