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Lacrosse: South beats Denmark to reach playoffs for first time since 2011-12
South Forsyth sophomore Kate Dominick, right, taps sticks with freshman Kerry Bell after scoring a goal during Friday's 13-8 win against Denmark. - photo by David Roberts

The Times They Are a-Changin'.

For the first time in nine years, South Forsyth's girls lacrosse team is playoff bound.

Allie Magers led the War Eagles with four goals, Kate Dominick, Kerry Bell and Ruth Ann George each added three goals, and South topped Denmark on Friday, 13-8, to clinch the fourth seed out of Area 6 Class 6A-7A.

George's final goal came with 13:21 left in the game, seconds after South coach Jim Boisjolie called from the sideline, 'Bob Dylan! Bob Dylan!' Carly Mabee took possession and dished a beautiful assist to George, who drilled the ball into the back of the net to give South a 13-4 lead.

"I find that people have these names of plays where they're like, 'What is that?' They remember it," Boisjolie said. "They seem to remember the plays on all these things. Bob Dylan, it is play. It is a thing that we have. We disguise something else that we do; we don't want to keep calling the same plays, so Bob Dylan is a backup for it."

The goal marked South's fourth straight score within 3:20 and was part of a 6-2 run the War Eagles used to open the second half and pull away from the Danes. 

Magers and Dominick traded goals right after halftime, with Magers winning the draw and sprinting deep into Denmark territory to score just 14 seconds after Dominick's goal. 

Magers also got the War Eagles on the board early when she curled around the right side of Denmark's goal and snuck a shot by Denmark goalie Kate Hardy.

Hardy impressed early in the game, collecting three saves inside the opening minutes, but she was ultimately outdone by her counterpart, Danielle Serbinski.

Serbinski dominated in the net for South and tallied 18 saves, including 11 in the first half. Eight of Serbinski's saves came on free-position plays.

"We talked about that," Boisjolie said. "I'll be honest with you, we talked about it during one of the timeouts and we talked about it during halftime. She was keeping us in the game and making saves. There were some defensive lapses and she was picking us up. I told them, 'She can't do that all game long. That's not what someone can do.' She's had a great season for us. While there are many people who have gotten us to this point, everybody knows that you've got to have a goalie — and you've got to have a good goalie. She's done wonders for us."

Serbinski allowed just two goals in the first half and at one point blocked back-to-back free-position shots by Denmark. The Danes quickly regained possession and tried once more with the same result. 

Serbinski held the ball and fed it upfield, which ultimately resulted in a goal Bell, who bounced in her free-position try to make it 5-1.

Denmark managed to cut into South's lead in the final 11 minutes of the second half, with goals by Ella Claire Ray, Ansley Young, Kelsey Sowa and Hallie McDaniel. McDaniel had three goals to lead Denmark's offense, which saw five different players score at least one goal. Ray finished with two goals, while Cami Tilkin also added a goal. 

Boisjolie said senior captains George and Avery Wyckoff were behind the War Eagles' lofty goals to start the season.

"The senior captains, they were the ones that had set some of the goals," Boisjolie said. "I set some goals and I let them set some goals, so we could buy into it together. Playoffs was one of them, and I said, 'There's a lot that of work to be done.' You can say it, but you've got to work at it. You've got to come to practice all the time and be ready to do everything. I think what ends up happening is that everybody buys into it because of all the different things that went on in 2021. You don't know who's going to be able to be at a game, and you don't know who's going to be able to be at practice, but you know the faces in front of you and that's who you can rely on."

Boisjolie called George and Wyckoff, along with junior captains are Serbinski and Olivia Lempner, the "heart and soul of the team."

South has won four straight games since an 18-4 loss to West Forsyth one month ago. 

Denmark finishes the season 8-8-1 overall and 4-4 in Area 6 Class 6A-7A, narrowly missing the playoffs. The Danes entered Friday's game with a string of four wins dating back to the end of March, averaging more than 20 goals per game.

The War Eagles will draw Area 7 Class 6A-7A champion Mill Creek next week in the first round of the Class 6A-7A playoffs. 

The last time South's girls lacrosse team entered the playoffs as the No. 4 seed, the War Eagles knocked off top-seeded Marist in the first round, 9-8.

"At the beginning of the season, we were struggling with quarantines and sickness and everything," Boisjolie said. "We stuck together and somehow we managed to end up coming down to the last game of the season and get the win to propel us over to the playoffs. I don't think it can get better than that."