1st Postseason Win
May 27, 2021 by Jason Baxter

As the final seconds ticked down on the Chardon sidelines, you could hear a collective sigh of relief. Then it was time to celebrate — history had been made!

Game photos click here.

As the final seconds ticked down on the Chardon sidelines, you could hear a collective sigh of relief. Then it was time to celebrate — history had been made!

Chardon girls lacrosse had won its first OHSAA postseason game May 19 in school history, 11-7 over Uniontown Lake.

Chardon lost playoff games in 2018 to Gilmour (13-1) and in 2019 to NDCL (13-7). This time the Hilltoppers not only won their first playoff game, but also hosted the game thanks to a sixth-seed.

Chardon was led on the night by senior Kenzie Morris, who scored five goals. Morris has had a record-setting season, breaking the single-game, season and career record for goals (214). She finished the regular season with 106 goals.

Morris also led the team in assists, takeaways and draw controls.

Most amazing about her record-breaking was that Morris only played three seasons, having lost her junior campaign to the Covid-19 pandemic. It could be sometime before the Hilltoppers see another 200 career/100 season goal scorer.

Morris’ records were broken and celebrated just about a minute into the Senior Night win a week ago against Gilmour.

On the playoff win, Morris said: “We started off slow. We didn’t pick up the intensity quick enough. On attack, we were dropping it and turning over way too quickly. After halftime, it was due or die — if we don’t win this, we’re done. We put everything we had on the field. We did our job, everyone did their job. We all came together in the second half.”

The Hilltoppers fell behind 3-1 to start the game and trailed 4-3 by halftime. The message at halftime from coach Allison Platz was simple: effort.

“In the first half, we came out a little sluggish than I would have liked,” Platz said. “We didn’t control the things that were controllable. The talk at halftime was effort; it’s all effort. It came down to them working all season long for this. They took it upon themselves in the second half to make sure they finished the job.”

Needless to say, the Hilltoppers wasted no time after that, scoring 10 seconds into the second half on a goal from Morris. Gray Tyminski would add another less than a minute later, and just like that the team took a 5-4 lead they wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the night.

Morris added two more goals in the half, Tyminski would score another, and second-half goals were also added by Lillianna Livengood, Stella Parrish and Paige Lucic.

On the victory, senior Mackenzie Flores said: “Our plan was to shut them down on the drive coming down from the top. We did a good job of doing that. We just wanted to break the playoff curse.

“Defense did amazing; we hustled as hard as we could, and the offense spaced out, which is something we have been working on. We played a good game. We got down and then we kept telling ourselves we had to play like we did against Gilmour (20-20 senior night win).”

Chardon will graduate five seniors who have helped build what has now become one of the more competitive programs in the area, strong enough to break a playoff curse.

“The very first game of the season, when we got off the bus, I told them this is their team to put on the map this year,” Platz said. “They get to write the story, they get to lead this where it’s going to go and set the tone for where Chardon Lacrosse is going to be.

“They answered the call all year long. They made it who they are. Those girls grind, they work, and they never give up. They support each other and get on each other, in a way of making sure everyone is doing what they’re capable of doing. They proved it again tonight.”

The Hilltoppers improved to 15-4 on the season with their first playoff win, having won 8 of 10 games.

Their season ended on May 22, though, as they dropped their next playoff game to perennial state powerhouse Chagrin Falls, 21-8.