The Times West Virginian

Sports

April 30, 2014

Polar Bears beat Morgantown in rematch of championship game, 10-6: PHOTOS

FAIRMONT — If there was any doubt about how much last season’s loss in the state championship game weighed on Fairmont Senior’s girls’ lacrosse team, it was cleared up instantly on Tuesday.

After beating Morgantown 10-6 at East-West Stadium in a rematch of last season’s state championship game, Adrianna Constable was asked about her five-goal performance.

Instead of taking the bait and offering an answer about how she systematically dismantled the Mohigans’ goalie, she dodged the question like she did defenders to address what was really on her mind.

“They beat us in the championship last year. This is our house,” she said emphatically. “I think that was the only thing going through our minds.”

“This is our house,” she repeated with the tenacity one might expect from a college football coach, not a 5-foot-nothing girls’ lacrosse player. “We hate losing at our field. We should never let someone on our territory beat us. Plain and simple.”

Maddi Craig, who scored three goals, agreed. She added, “We still feel the sting.”

Sure, Fairmont Senior doesn’t share the same storied past with Morgantown High School that it does with East Fairmont or even North Marion. The proximity between the two schools is a bit farther. The lacrosse history, a bit shorter.

But as both young lacrosse programs have grown, so too has the intensity of the games. Ask anyone on the Fairmont Senior lacrosse team and they’ll tell you that Morgantown is as close as it gets to a rival, bad blood and all.

“Over the last five or six years, I don’t have to do much to motivate them against Morgantown,” said Fairmont Senior coach Jon Cain. “I don’t know how much Morgantown likes us, and the feeling is mutual, I believe. It’s not a hatred; it’s a respect ... But it’s respectful dislike. Let’s put it that way.

“They’ve always been the big dog. When we were younger and first started out, they beat the living daylights out of us — 17-2 — and never backed off. When we finally leveled the playing field, we returned the favor.”

And the Polar Bears returned the favor again Tuesday. After an early goal from Sofia Sansalone, Morgantown responded to tie the game, 1-1. But Fairmont Senior scored five consecutive goals to take a 6-1 lead into halftime.

Morgantown twice cut the lead to five goals, but each time the Polar Bears answered. The Mohigans scored with 22 minutes remaining, but Constable answered less than two minutes later. Again Morgantown cut the lead to five goals with 6:54 remaining, but Sarah Topardo answered less than 30 seconds later.

The Polar Bears stretched the lead to 10-3 with just under four minutes remaining and survived three Morgantown goals in the final two minutes to hang on.

Sophomore goalie Rainy Heston played a consistent game in the net, stopping more than a dozen shots.

Cain put it simply when he said, “Rainy in the goal tonight was awesome.”

The Polar Bears will look to build on this momentum when they host University High School today.

“With any team that you beat, it’s a confidence booster,” said Craig. “But we also want to stay humble and know that we can lose to any team.”

Email Mike DeFabo at mdefabo@timeswv.com or follow him on Twitter @MikeDeFaboTWV.

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