USA Lacrosse High School Girls' Players of the Week

Colorado Academy (Colo.) midfielder Jessie Bakes (4) plays defense during the state championship game against Valor Christian (Colo.).

The USA Lacrosse Players of the Week recognize the most outstanding individual performances in high school girls’ lacrosse in each of the five regions — Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, South, Midwest and West — outlined in our high school coverage.

Coverage of the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest concluded last week. The South finished in May.

This is the final in-season update of the 2021 campaign. Check back to in the coming weeks as we name our national and regional players of the year.


Ava Connaughton, Westwood (Mass.)

To cap a perfect season, Westwood (Mass.) needed one final moment of brilliance and Ava Connaughton was there to deliver in dramatic fashion Thursday night.

The sophomore scored the winning goal with 12.2 seconds remaining to lead the Wolverines to a 6-5 win over Franklin in the MIAA Division I championship game at a rain-soaked Pisini Stadium. 

Connaughton's second goal of the game started with her being dispossessed as part of a chaotic final 30 seconds. She chased the ball down behind the cage, won it back from a defender before shoveling it into the net as Westwood (24-0), the most decorated program in MIAA history, celebrated a first state title since 2016.

Also notable: Ashley Macklin, Westwood (Mass.), Brigid Earley, Franklin (Mass.), Izzy Pithie, Norwell (Mass.), Hope Shue, Dover-Sherborn (Mass.)

— Dylan Butler


Jessie Bakes, Colorado Academy (Colo.)

The senior midfielder capped off a perfect high school career in impressive fashion, totaling nine points in the final four as Colorado Academy claimed a sixth straight state title. She had five goals in a 16-4 win over ThunderRidge (Colo.) in the semifinals June 21 and two goals and two assists in a balanced effort against Valor Christian in the final, a 14-3 victory on June 23. Bakes is part of a 2021 graduating class that didn’t experience a loss in high school. She had 54 goals and eight assists this season.

Also notable: Zoe Martin, Colorado Academy (Colo.); Margo Miller, Evergreen (Colo.); Bella Reece, Evergreen (Colo.)

— Laurel Pfahler

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