Plain and simple: Wednesday afternoon marked a day for two girls lacrosse powerhouses to get one step closer to coveting a high school championship. And they did.
Skaneateles took on Christian Brothers Academy in the Section III Class C final, while top seeded West Genesee had Baldwinsville to contend with in Class A. Both games were played at SUNY-Cortland.
Both the Lakers and Wildcats won, and landed spots in regional finals this Saturday, also at SUNY-Cortland. Skaneateles will take on Corning East, before the Wildcats face Corning West.
The Lakers battle with CBA turned out to be far closer, and with a potent attack, Skaneateles beat the Brothers 19-16.
Junior midfielder Shannon Tierney got the ball rolling for Skaneateles’ offense, scoring back-to-back unassisted goals to start the first half.
On the third draw, CBA would gain possession only to get it turned over by the Laker’s swarming defense, resulting in a fast break transition goal by Stephanie Rice at the 21:30 mark.
Unpleased with the Lakers’ three goal explosion, CBA head coach Doug Sedgwick called a timeout.
After the timeout, it was CBA’s Brittany Brigandi finding the holes in the Laker’s defense to put the Brothers on the board, 3-1.
Both teams would trade a pair of goals. On Skaneateles’ side it would be Jenna Lotkowictz and Shannon Tierney, while CBA’s Katie Webster netted two for her side.
With the score now 5-4, the Lakers called a timeout to put an end to CBA’s momentum and figure things out. Skaneateles would do just that, rattling off eight consecutive goals. Within that span, Stephanie Rice notched her 100th goal on the season on a free position shot.
Webster’s third goal of the game with 3:16 left in the half ended the Laker run. Still,Skaneateles would go into halftime with a comfortable 14-8 lead.
The second half proved to be a different story with CBA holding Skaneateles to only five goals. Both CBA and Skaneateles would have their moments, capitalizing on spurts and important goals when needed.
Coming out of the gates, M.E. Lapham scored 24 seconds into the half. Tierney answered, scoring on a free position shot, but Maura Welch scored to put the Brothers within five at 15-10.
From there, CBA would outscore the Lakers at 5-4, but it wasn’t enough as Skaneateles prevailed.
It was yet another big day for Rice. She led all scorers with eight goals, while Tierney stepped up with four goals and two assists.
Lotokowictz found the net three times and her teammates once as Libby Johnson went for two goals on the day. Both Kelsey Nangle and Laura Trenti had a goal a piece. In goal, it was Gigi Vaughn who had seven saves.
As for the Brothers Lapham had a well-rounded game adding six goals and four assists to her junior season while Brigandi and Webster each had three goals. Rachael Ponge, Maura Welch, and Gwen Withers had each a goal. Emma Taylor had eight saves.
West Genesee and Baldwinsville was a little different, with the wildcats shooing the Bees out in a 15-5 decision and taking the Class A sectional final.
Baldwinsville would get the opening draw, allowing Kara Moschetti to find Nerissa Barzee for a goal just 44 seconds in.
However, it was the talent and skill of the Wildcats that would not be shaken. WG would roar back, with Bekah Elmer scoring back-to-back goals in the game and Lauren Burgoon earning both assists.
North Carolina-bound senior Sarah Kuonen would get in on the scoring action, scoring unassisted at the 5:33 mark. From there, WG would go on to score five more goals to take an 8-1 halftime lead.
In the second half, Moschetti would score for the Bees, coming strong from around the cage. Taylor Gray would also find the back of the net.
B’ville would cut the lead to 9-4 midway through the half, but it wasn’t enough. The Bees would watch the Wildcats close it out with a 6-1 run.
West Genesee’s Maria DiFato would come out on top with three goals and one assist, as Chrissie Hanley and Kuonen would each get three.
Courtney Clare and Elmer notched two goals apiece, while Colleen Bubnack and Amanda Cizenski would get their lone goal. Bubnack would get one assist as well.
As for passes dished out, Lauren Burgoon and Kiersten Tupper would get two to Ariel Kramer’s one. Kelly Fucillo would get 12 saves.
The Bees finished out their scoring with Gray and Moschetti getting two goals and an assist apiece. Barzee would get one goal. Casey Chiesa tallied nine saves before Amanda Caloia came in for relief, turning one away.
Should WG and Skaneateles win on Saturday, they would return to SUNY-Cortland next weekend for the state final four.