Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes/Clarkston Everest Academy, the defending Division 4 state champion, can now add the 2011 Catholic League C-D Division championship to its trophy case.
The Lakers earned that distinction with a 2-1 overtime victory over Riverview Gabriel Richard in the Catholic League C-D title game on Saturday, May 21 at Livonia Ladywood High School to finish the regular season undefeated at 12-0-1.
It was a fitting end to the regular season for Our Lady/Everest as it defeated the team that won the Catholic League C-D title by the same score at its expense last season.
“We figured it would be us against Gabriel Richard in the final. They’re a class team and a class coach,” Our Lady/Everest Head Coach Richard Ludwig said. “This is a trophy that has eluded us three times before.”
After a scoreless first half, Christina Hammond scored for Gabriel Richard, putting Our Lady behind the 8-ball.
Our Lady/Everest’s Ava Doetsch then drew a penalty outside the box and converted on a free kick to tie the game at 1-1.
Lakers’ goaltender Shantel Ludwig then made a one-handed game-saving stop on a free kick late in the second half that helped force sudden-death overtime.
That set the stage for Jessica Parry, who Ludwig said hadn’t shot the ball all day, to score the goal of her life.
“She lasered it, under the crossbar, behind the goal line and it bounced into the top of the net,” Coach Ludwig said.
Parry’s game-winner touched off a celebration as the Lakers finally secured the league title, marking another milestone for the program.
“I don’t ever let them believe that they’re the favorite, because when you think you’re the best, you get caught,” Coach Ludwig said. “Our motto is, we get better with every touch.”
Our Lady/Everest advanced to the Catholic League final with a 5-0 shutout of Allen Park Cabrini in the league semi-finals at home on Tuesday, May 17.
Doetsch and Anna Robb each scored two goals while Meghan Topolewski also scored.
Our Lady/Everest’s next match will be its state tournament opener on Tuesday, May 31 against Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest in the district round.
“We’re going to try to get healthy and do some training,” Coach Ludwig said. “This year’s freshman class has added depth after last year’s freshmen completed a puzzle.”