Our Lady of Mercy's Courtney Mahon  fires a shot in...

Our Lady of Mercy's Courtney Mahon  fires a shot in the first half during the CHSAA girls lacrosse Class A Final against Archbishop Molloy on May 15, 2023. Credit: Bob Sorensen

When Our Lady of Mercy exited the bus at Manhattan College before its girls lacrosse state championship game, the sheer number of players on the Kennedy Catholic squad was impossible to ignore.

Kennedy Catholic  had 27 players on the field warming up, seamlessly completing pass after pass and putting hard shots on the goal. Our Lady of Mercy, in comparison, has a roster of 18 players and it couldn’t help but peek over at Kennedy Catholic warming up.

“We took a glance and saw their bench was probably going to be bigger than our whole team,” said Sabrina Boyle, a sophomore midfielder. “So I think that intimidated us.”

That intimidation showed itself on the field in the opening minutes as Our Lady of Mercy surrendered the first seven goals of the state CHSAA Class A championship. Even the players admitted there were times during that stretch when just relishing their final game together was more at the forefront than winning it.

“I think at one point, maybe on the fifth or sixth goal, we were all looking at each other and said, ‘OK, we have X amount of time to enjoy our last minutes with each other as a team before the seniors leave and we’re not all on the same team anymore,’” Boyle said. “So that was going through our heads before we started to turn it around.”

The Mustangs erased that seven-goal deficit and defeated Kennedy Catholic, 13-12, in double overtime on May 21. Our Lady of Mercy outscored Kennedy Catholic, 8-5, in the second half to force overtime. Boyle had nine goals, including the winner.

“We were getting pushed around and I think we realized that we were fed up with it,” said Blake Schultz, who made 15 saves. “And our coaches told us they got that many goals in the first half, so we can get that many and more in the second half and it just kind of clicked.”

Coach Kaitlyn Meyer said the ability to overcome that 7-0 deficit showed the true character of her team though. Our Lady of Mercy finished with an 8-8 record, playing tough non-league games and a league schedule including St. Anthony’s, Sacred Heart and St. Dominic.

“They stayed composed the entire time,” Meyer said. “If most teams were down by seven, you could expect frustration, anger, maybe making fouls that aren’t great that would cost us the game but they didn’t and they really held their own. They really never gave up and I could not be more proud.”

“I reflect back to the energy in that game and how fast it changed after we scored that first goal,” Schultz said. “We knew we had a chance in this and we just had to play to our ability that we know how to play.”

Boyle said the school’s environment was key throughout the season in helping Our Lady of Mercy capture the state crown.

“Coming from a smaller school, it really starts from our teachers, our coaches, our athletic director, they always push us to do our best and they always tell us we can win games,” Boyle said. “ And having some great teammates that are some of my best friends really makes the experience better.”


CHSAA Class A final: Archbishop Molloy, 15-7

State Class A semifinals: Nichols (Buffalo), 10-1

State Class A final: Kennedy Catholic, 13-12

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