The Bartram Trail girls lacrosse team is headed back to defend its state championship after knocking off Tampa Plant 13-6 in the Class 2A state semifinals on Friday afternoon in Naples. The Bears, locked in a tight game in the opening half, pulled away after that to sail into a Saturday title game at 5 p.m. against Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas (11-8). Aquinas upset Hagerty, 10-8 in the other semifinal.
In the Class 1A state semifinal, Ponte Vedra’s season came to an end with a 9-8 loss to Lake Highland Prep. The Sharks finished their season at 14-5.
On paper, the Bears should be excellent position to win back-to-back crowns. Bartram walloped Aquinas 17-2 in the regular season.
Ryann Frechette scored six goals to lead Bartram, which is seeking its third state championship in program history. No other area girls team has won a title.
The Bears, down 4-2 early, took control with eight unanswered goals over the late first half and early second to flip the game the other way. Kaitlyn Wiliams added four goals and Adri Ferrara netted two for Bartram.