by Steve BatkoCorrespondentOn paper, it seemed as if Stow-Munroe Falls girls lacrosse team's 5-3 win in the state playoffs over visiting Hudson was a mild upset.However, Lady Bulldog coach Mara Jones knows otherwise. The Stow coach realizes the magnitude of the May 14 first round win over the Explorers (8-11)."That was the first time that Stow has defeated Hudson in the history of the program," said Jones. "It was great and the girls played very well."Stow's win over Hudson pushed the Lady Bulldogs to a clash against top-seed Medina (12-2-1), but results weren't available as of press time. "We are now down to the final 16 teams in the state, and this is our first season at division I," said Jones, of her 9-6 squad making the jump from Division II Ohio Scholastic Lacrosse Association state runner-up to the Division I field.Defense keyed the win as Stow rebounded from an April 12 regular season battle against Hudson that got away. It was a 9-8 loss as Stow made a bid for its first Division I win, at the time. The Lady Bulldogs led the entire game, only to give up the lead in the final 20 seconds."It was more than enough motivation to seek revenge on that loss," Jones said. "I was very proud of the girls stepping up and showing people that we are a legitimate Division I program," she added. "I was also proud of the girls because many of the Hudson players have played since sixth grade or earlier -- and our seniors have the most playing experience with only four years. It shows what hard work and dedication will do for a program."Sophomore Shannon Rohrich had two goals for Stow while senior Martha Grate, senior Lindsay Harvey, and junior Lindsay Usner each had one tally. Usner is recently back from torn ACL injury.Senior Elijah Song was strong at goalie while the defense was led by seniors Jessica Vitt, Bri Dishong, Rachel Bright, and Allison Rusnak. Juniors Amanda Varnam and Kayla Martin also have helped Stow's strong defense this spring while Lani Luangrath and Bridget Mahoney are other key seniors.On May 10, Stow upset Kent Roosevelt (7-6) 10-8 on the road. Freshman Ellie Swanger and Harvey excelled on defense. Ellie Swanger also scored 3 goals. Rohrich had 3 goals, and Song was tough with 12 saves. Dishong and Vitt led the defense along with junior Leanne Williams.Medina was seeded ahead of Cleveland Heights, Gates Mills Hawken, Chagrin Falls, Hathaway Brown, Kent and Shaker Heights Laurel Academy.If Stow beat Medina, they will play May 23. The winner of the Division I North Region will advance to the state final four June 1-2 against the South/Central winner at Upper Arlington High.E-mail: stowsports@recordpub.comPhone: 330-688-0088 ext. 3113