Westlake GLax

Westlake's Dhenuka Suthaharan runs with the ball at home May 8. Suthaharan, one of the Demons' seven seniors, scored a first-half hat trick for Westlake.

WESTLAKE — Fourteen seconds after winning the opening faceoff May 8 against St. Vincent-St. Mary, Westlake’s Dehnuka Suthaharan whipped the ball into the back of the net and put the Demons up 1-0.

That quick, efficient offense set the tone as the Westlake girls lacrosse team rattled off nine straight goals to beat the Irish 10-2 on senior night.

Suthaharan, one of seven seniors, added two more points in the first half. Seniors Quinn Buhl and Leah Schmidt each scored one apiece.

The true force behind Westlake’s offense, though, was Alexa Prexta. The junior midfielder also had a first-half hat trick, and added a fourth goal in the second for good measure. Prexta was around the St. V’s net all night, peppering the Irish netminder with seven shots, five of which were on goal.

“I took it as an opportunity as – last time with my teammates,” Prexta said. “We saw a lot of open chances and they had an all right defense, but we ran some plays that were kinda new, tried things out.”

Part of the reason Westlake had such an effective offense was its staunch defense. Constantly pestering Irish attackers and midfielders and limiting St. V to just one shot in the first half and six total in the game. The Demons tallied 30 shot attempts, 25 on goal.

Trailing 10-0, Irish freshman Kasey Brown ended the shutout when she scored with 10:47 left in the second. Seven minutes later, freshman Macy Askea added her team’s only other goal.

“I think a lot of people look at more of the goals and what the score is, but it’s really a lot of the defense,” Prexta said. “They’re basically three-fourths of the game right there because they’re holding us up and they’re blocking all the goals that don’t go in. We have an amazing defense this year, it’s been crazy.”

Demons coach Emily Scott said she was pleased with her team’s momentum and that getting a quick first goal set the tempo. Similarly, she was thrilled with Prexta’s and Suthaharan’s performances.

“Even though their skill level is so big and they can score, they’re always looking for that pass, which I think is awesome,” Scott said.

Sending their seven seniors off on their home field with a big win was exactly how Scott and the Demons hoped this game would go.

“It feels really good, I won’t lie to you,” Scott said. “We wanted this one and they deserve it too. We’ve had a lot of close games, so just to be able to win like this tonight, especially on senior night, it’s awesome.”

The lady Demons start their Division II tournament run at home as they host Toledo Central Catholic in a Regional qualifying game. The winner will play again Saturday.

Contact this reporter at jkopanski@westlifenews.com or 440-871-5797.

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