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Chittenago girls lax edged by Cortland

In a high-pressure situation, the Chittenango girls lacrosse team would find out if it had any chance of tracking down the Freedom division regular-season crown.

Entering Monday night's game against Cortland, the Bears were 7-1 in league play, trailing only the Purple Tigers, who had a perfect 6-0 league mark.

Except for a quick start, though, Chittenango would find itself playing catch-up much of this raw, damp evening as Cortland prevailed by a score of 12-9.

Following Janelle Stegeland's goal 19 seconds into the game, the Bears reeled off three unanswered goals to go in front, 3-1, and force a Cortland time-out. Jessica Antelmi had two of those goals.

Cortland used three goals in two minutes to regain the edge, 4-3, but Kailey Krause answered on a free position, tying it 4-4. That would be the game's last tie.

Dominating on both the draws and the ground ball, the Purple Tigers kept the Bears on a constant defensive the rest of the first half and got three unanswered goals. At the break, Chittenango looked at an 8-5 deficit.

Each side fared better on defense early in the second half. Chittenango's back line of Gretchen Blanding, Trisha Stoneburg and Christine Stoddard made Cortland uncomfortable as goalie Emily Murray came up with 12 saves.

Late in regulation, the Bears made its big move, as Jessica Antelmi hit on her fifth goal of the night and freshman Jenna Barber also converted, with 6:31 to play, to make it 10-9.

But that would be Chittenango's last tally as, after a time-out, the Purple Tigers shut down the Bears and scored twice more to get clear. Cortland's Caitlin Stevens had four goals, with Bailey Reagan adding three goals and one assist.

Aside from Antelmi, Krause was the lone Chittenango player to score twice, as Barber got two assists to go with her single tally and Brittany McDonald also scored.

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