Jun. 13—MORGANTOWN — The Fairmont Senior Polar Bears completed their spotless season in the West Virginia Scholastic Lacrosse Association Girls State Championship on Saturday, as they triumphed over the George Washington Patriots 13-to-4 in what was a rematch of the last championship game in 2019.
Morgantown’s Pony Lewis Field hosted the contest, which saw the Patriots’ Hannah Driggs strike first with a wraparound shot just over a minute in. George Washington’s lead was short lived, as Fairmont Seniors’ Morgan Rogers, Karter King, and Emma Paugh filled up the goal once each in the following few minutes to put the Polar Bears ahead 3-to-1 and give them a lead they would at no point relinquish.
From there, Fairmont Senior would not let up, the score standing 9-to-2 at halftime, with a running clock being instituted for much of the second half after the lead grew to 10. Play had to be stopped with 17:21 left in the first half, as the Polar Bears’ Emma Paugh was taken out of the game with an apparent neck injury after drawing an offensive charge against George Washington. Paugh was taken to a nearby medical facility where she was able to move of her own accord, according to FSHS Head Coach Jon Cain.
Aubrey Harrison secured MVP of the game — her three-goal performance coupled with excellent play from the draw, regardless of who was put across from her. Morgan Rogers matched her goal total while King (two goals), Paugh (one goal), Abby Frederick (two goals), Bella Bock (one goal), and Chloe Travelstead (one goal) also scored on Saturday. The points came in bunches for the Polar Bears, and as the season concludes, Cain suspects his offense will be just as formidable next year.
“I know what I’m getting back with this offense,” Cain said. “When they’re on, nobody can handle them. It’s just a matter of keeping them together, getting them healthy and going right back at it again.”
While Harrison was the season’s leading scorer for the Polar Bears, the Patriots made an effort to contain her for much of the early goings. Harrison did not score her first goal until the 1:29 mark of the first half, as her teammates forced the opposition to adjust their coverage.
“We knew when we went into this game that GW was going to double, triple team some of our main players,” Cain said. “And those other girls picked up their game until finally about halfway through the first half, GW said ‘Hey we’ve got to stop double teaming them because these other girls are killing us.’ And that opened up everything else for us.”
The Polar Bears end their season 15-0, while holding their opponents to an average of under four goals a game. The Polar Bears were the reigning champions heading into the match, as they beat George Washington 11-to-6 in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic stopped the 2020 season before it began. Back on top once more, Cain was quick to give credit to his players.
“It’s all the girls. They work so hard,” Cain said. “We’ve got so many girls playing sports year-round now, and they’ve just been working hard since day one … these kids are there every day, always going to practice, always willing to give you everything they have.”
The championship game was played less than 24 hours after the Polar Bears defeated Morgantown High in the state semifinals, as Saturday capped off what Cain described as “a gauntlet.” Fairmont Senior played tough opponents like George Washington, Morgantown, and University multiple times each in recent weeks. Now at the end of that gauntlet, Cain and his players can celebrate.
“They’re ecstatic,” Cain said. “[The players] worked hard, I think they’re a little relieved because they were nervous with these last three games we’ve had. I’m proud of them, couldn’t be more proud of a group of girls.”
Reach Nick Henthorn at (304) 367-254 or by email at email@example.com.