Apr 10, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
No, it wasn’t a championship game, or even a league game. But to the Baldwinsville girls lacrosse team, it sure meant a lot.
When the Bees held off West Genesee, 9-8, last Thursday night at Henninger High School’s Sunnycrest Field, it put an end to the two-time defending state Class A champion Wildcats’ 52-game win streak.
“Our kids have proven that they can compete against anyone this year,” head coach Doug Rowe said.
Perhaps not since 2000, when the Bees won both the Section III and state Class A titles, had the Bees been able to savor a win like this one, and it was richly earned.
What also helped, perhaps, was that B’ville was well-rested. Six days had passed since B’ville had last played, a 13-11 overtime win over Cicero-North Syracuse, with snow forcing last Tuesday’s game with Liverpool to be postponed.
In that same time period, WG had won over Liverpool and Fayetteville-Manlius, hard-fought games that took a bit of a toll. Still, the Wildcats had the advantage of going to Henninger’s Field Turf facility (similar to its home field in Camillus) instead of the grass at B’ville.
Bre Hudgins and Kellyn Savage scored in the game’s first five minutes, putting B’ville in a quick 2-0 hole, but the Bees never got discouraged.
Instead, the Bees’ defense tightened and, for the next 29-plus minutes, kept WG off the board. Back-line players like Meagan Rowe, Megan Collins and Caitlin Yaro stayed right with the attackers, proving most effective against Maria DiFato, the Wildcats’ leading scorer, who did not have a goal all night.
And when WG did get shots, Casey Chiesa kept flicking them away, the senior goalie giving her teammates a surge of energy that would pay off on the other end of the field.
Kara Moschetti scored midway through the first half to get B’ville on the board, and Jen Fabian’s pair of goals in a span of 2:08 pushed the Bees ahead, 3-2, a margin that would hold until halftime.
Not letting up, the Bees stretched the margin to 6-2 early in the second half as Moschetti, Katie VanDeValk and Erika Bulken all took turns scoring. Three times, the Wildcats would cut the margin to three, only to have B’ville answer with goals from Moschetti (her third), VanDeValk and Quincey Spagnoletti.
So with less than five minutes to play, the Bees led 9-5, on the brink of a breakthrough. But just like that CNS game, the end would prove precarious.
Hudgins scored to cut it to 9-6, and in a span of 15 seconds, Hudgins and Karlyn Tupper both converted, leaving B’ville ahead by just one with 1:35 left.
Several times in those last 95 seconds, the Wildcats charged, but the defense held firm, Chiesa made two more saves to run her total to 14 for the night and B’ville had won.
As his players celebrated, Rowe said that, while the team has come far, it still has to learn how to close games out, the way West Genesee’s teams had done so well.
“We’ve got to be able to bring the hammer down,” he said.
To its credit, the Bees did not have a letdown, instead coming back home Saturday and bashing past Liverpool 16-4.
During an impressive first half, B’ville roared out to a 9-1 lead, all but ensuring that the Warriors would not make the sort of rally CNS or West Genesee tried to pull off.
Moschetti, with four goals and two assists, led a sharp and diverse attack. VanDeValk had three goals and one assist, while Fabian, Spagnoletti and Bulken each got two goals and one assist. Mackenzie Kjerstad and Lauren Roberts matched each other with one goal and two assists as Sarah Clark also scored.
Early Monday morning, the Bees flew out of Hancock Airport on its way to California for its annual spring-break trip, a combination of games and bonding activities that, after the West Genesee win, had to feel even better than normal.