When you lose a player such as the talent of Leigh Steiner, a top candidate for the Ms. Lacrosse award, no one player can replace what is missing.
Senior Brielle Bornhorst is just doing her best at what is needed for the Holy Family Catholic girls lacrosse team.
Following a 16-4 loss to Benilde-St. Margaret on May 23, all 13 regular season matches in the books, Bornhorst, of Chanhassen, leads the team in goals (30), ground balls (42) and draw controls (50).
See face-offs is where Steiner, lost to ACL injury in the final contest of the basketball season, dominated. Bornhorst has stepped into the role, taking 70 percent of the draws.
"It's definitely big shoes to fill. I've never tried to compare myself to Leigh, or try to do everything she did, it's unrealistic. I've just tried to do the best I can every game and be there for my team no matter what the score," Bornhorst said.
Bella Dervin, who scored twice in a win over Waconia in April, one of three victories for the Fire, has seen her fair share of action as a fourth-year varsity goaltender. None more than this season.
Dervin has faced 296 shots, remarkably stopping more than 41 percent of the attempts.
In 13 matches, she made double-digit stops seven times. She faced 24 or more shots nine times as well.
"It's definitely much more of a mental game for me. It's keeping it positive, looking to the next shot, not hanging my head over past shots. It's making sure no girl is getting down on themselves. When we see girls getting down, that's when things start to break apart," said Dervin, of the Shorewood-Excelsior area, who played in the Eden Prairie youth organization.
It's been a tough season for Holy Family Catholic. A program that over the past half-decade has been in the mix every season to host a playoff match and reach the Section 2 semifinals.
The Fire enter next week's playoffs having been defeated in nine of the last 10 contests. Most nights the score has been lopsided.
But for Holy Family Catholic, with nine seniors on varsity, it's been about enjoying all the moments that come with organized sport. Not just what the scoreboard says.
One day before the regular season finale those nine seniors walked across a stage receiving high school diplomas.
"For me I started as a freshman. I had never touched a lacrosse stick before. I barely knew what the sport was. I literally have grown up in this sport with this team, a girl like Kenzie (King) taught me how to throw and catch. Everyone has been here for each other these last four years," Bornhorst said.
For Dervin, this season isn't the last. She, along with Steiner, who is two weeks ahead of the curve following knee surgery, will attend Marquette University.
They will join former Fire alumni Megan Menzuber, the Ms. Lacrosse award winner in 2016. Menzuber was third for Marquette this season with 31 goals.
Elle Wagner, current junior at Chanhassen, CJ Froemming of top-ranked Eden Prairie, and Josie Kropp of second-ranked Prior Lake, are also Golden Eagle commits for the next two seasons.
"They work with a lot of Minnesota girls, including Menzuber. They really like to recruit from our club, Minnesota Elite. We're all really excited to be going to Marquette," Dervin said. "I actually got a text from (Megan) a couple of days ago. About graduating, playing next year. It will be great to be teammates again."
Bornhorst netted three of the Fire's four goals in the loss to Benilde-St. Margaret, which led 10-2 at halftime.
Celia Kreykes also found the net with Salome Greene finishing with a season-high nine ground balls. Dervin stopped 10 shots for the Fire, which likely open the playoffs on May 28.