Girls’ lacrosse season ends in heartbreaking loss to St. Francis

The Palo Alto High School girls’ lacrosse team lost, 14-15, in a nail-biting triple-overtime game against St. Francis High School in the SCVAL finals on Saturday at Burlingame High School.

The Vikings had defeated St. Francis twice in the season already, with scores of 13-12 and 8-6.

The game commenced with a score by senior Julia Farino in the first minute, followed by a St. Francis score to quickly tie the game. After the St. Francis goal, Paly offense dominated to lead 8-1 in the 17th minute, with two goals each from seniors Charlotte Biffar, Nina Kelty, Julia Farino and Simone Buteau.

St. Francis played aggressively, but the Vikings finished the half with a strong lead of 9-3.

The Vikings and the Lancers both scored early in the second half, raising the score to 10-4. St. Francis scored two goals quickly again, but the referees discounted one because the St. Francis player had scored from within the crease. The Lancers quickly put the ball back in the net again to cut the Vikings’ lead to four goals, the score 10-6.

After two strong counters and plays by senior Olivia Cornfield, the Vikings led 12-6. Another goal by St. Francis was discounted due to an offside violation, and Paly scored again to extend its lead.

As the game appeared to be ending in Paly victory, St. Francis went on a sudden last-minute scoring run. Despite impressive saves by Paly senior goalie Emma Beckstrom, St. Francis closed the score gap in an intense last two minutes as the team scored three consecutive goals to end regulation playing time in a tie of 13-13.

Now advancing into a three-minute overtime, St. Francis scored first, only to have a strong run by Kelty finish with a goal from Biffar. The time finished with a tied score of 14-14, leading the girls into another three-minute period of double-overtime.

The double-overtime period began with a strong fight between the two sides, and again St. Francis scored first to lead the Vikings 14-15. With 27 seconds to go, Paly was rewarded a penalty, and Kelty capitalized on the opportunity to tie it up at the end of time once again, leading the girls into a third overtime opportunity.

Triple overtime commenced in a sudden death format, with the first score determining the champions. Only 24 seconds in, St. Francis scored off of a penalty to become SCVAL league champions.

Sophomore Allie Peery praised the team’s effort despite the unfortunate outcome.

“The game was well fought by both teams. It was a tough way to end the season, but will definitely stick with us and give us lots of motivation for the seasons to come,” Peery said.

Next season the Vikings will be short 13 seniors as they fight to avenge Saturday’s heartbreaking loss.