The Davis High girls lacrosse team didn’t celebrate its graduating players with a blowout, or even a win at its annual Senior Night game on Friday.
But the Blue Devils did something nearly as good …
Behind the efforts of seniors like Kylie Drexel, Ceci Cajandig and Kelly Chuck, DHS gave perennial lacrosse powerhouse St. Ignatius a game to remember, falling just 14-12 at Ron & Mary Brown Stadium.
Drexel, Cajandig and Chuck, all four-year varsity players, led the way for the Devils (11-7), with Drexel notching a game-high four goals and Chuck and Cajandig each adding three. Two more 12th-graders, Kiki Tanaka and Lani Chang, rounded out the scoring with one goal apiece.
“It was a hard fought (game). We’re happier with a loss like this than a game where we blow a team out,” said Davis head coach Jenn Morris. “Of course we always want to win. But you’re happier with that game (where) you know that (you have played) a great team. (St. Ignatius) is always top in the state. So to come out battling them close is always good.”
The Wildcats, who were ranked fifth in California coming into the game, found out early on that the Blue Devils — despite having had an up-and-down season and not winning their league for the first time in years — remain a dangerous team.
DHS finished the regular season in second place in the Sacramento Valley Lacrosse League, and learned Saturday that it is seeded 10th in the North Coast Section tournament. The Devils will travel to play No. 7 Monte Vista (10-6) on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
On Friday, Chang scored two minutes in and the rest of the first period became a game of cat-and-mouse, with St. Ignatius and DHS each taking one-goal leads only to lose them minutes later. At halftime, the Wildcats held a shaky 6-5 advantage.
In the early going of the second half, St. Ignatius scored three quick goals and seemingly took control of the game.
But Drexel responded with two scores in the span of 64 seconds and, after the Wildcats added their 10th goal, Chuck found the net as well to tighten the game up 9-7.
Even after St. Ignatius added two more goals, the locals stayed on the attack, with Cajandig and Drexel each scoring to bring the Devils within one.
DHS then tied the game at 11-11 when Cajandig swept around the outside of the St. Ignatius defense and caught a pass from Drexel before launching a shot that sailed past the Wildcat goalie.
But the Blue Devils’ surge stalled there as St. Ignatius pumped in three straight goals, the last two coming within 10 seconds of each other.
Chuck scored a minute later but, with just 1:14 left in regulation, it was too little too late.
Before the game, Davis honored its upperclassmen — 13 in all — with a brief ceremony. Drexel, Cajandig, Chuck, Tanaka, and Chang, as well as Lucy Hass, Monica Leflore, Christina Son, Maia Polis, Bailey Gary, Natalie Serdahl, Monica Berry and Jordan Glassman all received flowers and signs from their younger teammates and were given a send-off via the PA system.
“Obviously Kylie’s been our top player all along. She had a great night, just really coming up big when we needed it,” Morris said. “I thought Ceci Cajandig was really great on attack. She’s been sick, so we haven’t been able to play her at her normal position. She’s really a blur on the field. She’s so good. So we’re kind of trying to get her a little less of a running position.
“All of (the seniors) had great nights.”
— Reach Will Bellamy at firstname.lastname@example.org