Apr 02, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
As the schedule would have it, the Marcellus girls lacrosse team began 2009 just as it ended 2008 — close to Skaneateles, but not quite caught up.
Victimized by a Laker comeback in last year’s Section III Class C final, the Mustangs, still in search of a first-ever sectional title, hoped the return of several key players, combined with a lot of Skaneateles roster turnover, would turn this long-time rivalry around.
Yet in last Monday night’s opener, Marcellus went through too many defensive lapses, fell far behind, and saw a valiant rally fall short in a 13-11 loss to the Lakers.
Though seven starters have returned for head coach Dick Lundblad, the Mustangs did have a new face in goal, with Kate McCarthy succeeding Natalie Scheibel.
However, the presence of Stephanie O’Rourke, Nora Barry, Kate Gosson and Meghan Connors gives Marcellus a potent attack, capable of putting up big numbers of goals in a short amount of time.
That didn’t happen immediately against Skaneateles, though the teams played on even terms most of the first half. Paced by a pair of goals from both O’Rourke and newcomer Leea Sinay, the Mustangs erased a 3-1 deficit to tie it, 4-4.
But after a Skaneateles timeout, it took over late in the half with four unanswered goals. None hurt more than when McCarthy ventured out of the net to follow the play, only to see the Lakers gain a turnover and have Maddy Morrissey run in and score 3.7 seconds before the break.
All told, Skaneateles got seven unanswered goals and blanked Marcellus for more than 16 minutes, leading to an 11-4 deficit and a sense that once again, the Lakers were superior.
To its credit, though, Marcellus began to fight back with its own run of five unanswered goals, capped by Connors’ tally with 6:02 to play that pulled the Mustangs within two, 11-9, with a lot of time to complete the comeback.
Skaneateles sensed that danger, too, and used late goals by Katherine Pille and Shelby McNeilly to fend off this late charge. It helped, too, that the Lakers had an experienced goalie in Heather Mullen, who made 18 saves, most of them point-blank stops.
Sinay led with three goals, while Barry and Gosson joined O’Rourke in the two-goal column. Kelly Welch got one goal as Connors and Denise Johns each got two assists. Pille led a balanced Laker attack with three goals and two assists.
If nothing else, Marcellus will get a long time to improve and work on everything possible before seeing Skaneateles again on May 19, during the final week of the regular season.
But it didn’t take long for the Mustangs to find the win column, as it returned to action Wednesday night and beat East Syracuse-Minoa 12-10.
Steadily, Marcellus worked its way to a 7-4 halftime lead. Though the Mustangs’ defense struggled a bit more in the second half, it kept answering every time ESM tried to catch up.
Johns, with four assists to go with her two goals, anchored the Marcellus attack. Gosson led with four goals, while Walter and Connors joined Johns with two goals apiece. Welch and Sinay earned one goal apiece. Carissa Ficarro (four goals, one assist) and Gina Campese (three goals) led ESM’s push.