NOVI — 22-7.

There’s no way to make this pretty.

East Grand Rapids dominated Bloomfield Hills Marian for the MHSAA Division 2 girls lacrosse championship from start to finish last Saturday under brilliant sunshine at Novi High School.

On paper, the teams entered the contest ranked “thisclose”: East Grand Rapids (23-2) No. 1, Marian (20-1) No. 2.

On the field, the difference was stark. In the opening two and a half minutes, East Grand Rapids’ sharpshooters, seniors Audrey Whiteside and Mary Schumar, set the tone for the game, each firing a pair of goals for a quick 4-0 lead.

They wound up with seven goals each, raising their season totals to an astounding 138 for Whiteside (third highest season total in state history) and 95 for Schumar. Combined, they accounted for 44 percent of the Pioneers’ offense for the season.

It was a shocking development. Whatever game plan Marian coach Sherry Elliott had devised, it became a game of catch-up.

And, for a brief moment — 72 seconds, to be exact — Marian seemed to get its act together and cut the deficit in half on quick goals by juniors Mia Hannawa and Maura Mustion.

That sliver of hope was doused as the Pioneers responded with seven goals before sophomore Coco Chinonis (Marian’s leading scorer with 78) connected to make it 11-3 and junior Caroline Davis scored with 40 seconds before halftime to make it 18-4.

The game was played with a running clock for half of the first half and all of the second half when East Grand Rapids led 13-3, a 10-goal difference for the rule to take effect.

Hannawa scored again (56 for the year) and Mustion twice more to complete the Mustangs’ output.

In the stands, Pam Collins, mother of sophomore Sydney Collins, said the team was “pumped up” the evening before at a team dinner she hosted: “They were eager to take on the challenge.”

“We knew they would be tough,” said coach Elliott. “They were a force. I was surprised we came out flat. But we played tough to the end.”

Marian won only seven of 29 face-offs. “If you win the draw, you win the game,” she said.

Looking ahead, Marian will lose only five seniors. “They were tremendous athletes,” Elliott said. One of them, defender Anna Reaume, was an all-state first team selection.

Returning next year will be Hannawa, also named to the all-state first team, goalie Eliana Delusky and Amanda Timmis, who made the second team, and Chinonis, who earned honorable mention.

Chinonis said, “We couldn’t get the momentum.”

“We have a lot of talented players,” Mustion said, “but we couldn’t get together.”

The loss was bittersweet for the Hannawa household. At the same time Marian was playing, so was their neighbor, Brother Rice, battling Novi Detroit Catholic Central in Howell for the Division 1 championship.

Mia’s brother, senior Jacob, scored a goal that gave the Warriors a 13-12 lead to set up the eventual victorious conclusion with one second to play.

Contact Don Horkey at dhorkey@wowway.com.


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