With nothing less than a championship on the mind, the Baldwinsville girls lacrosse team sought to reach Tuesday's Section III Class A final, and it wasn't a smooth ride.
Hosting no. 7 seed Oswego in last Thursday's quarterfinal at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium, the Bees gave up a season-high total for goals and needed every bit of Kara Moschetti's career-best effort to eliminate the Buccaneers 18-13.
The defense was far better in Saturday's semifinal against Liverpool at Marcellus High School, but the Bees still had to hang on down the stretch to beat the Warriors 10-8, setting up Tuesday's clash with defending champion West Genesee for the title at SUNY-Cortland.
Every one of the Bees' players were motivated to win for their fallen senior star, Erika Bulken, lost for the season with a torn ACL in the team's lone loss of the season to West Genesee on May 19. They went so far as to put patches with Bulken's no. 22 on their warm-up T-shirts.
Despite this, the playoff run remained a hassle.
Oswego was not afraid of B'ville in any way. Keeping pace in the first half, the Bucs only trailed 9-7 as they went to the break, and continued to give the tough Bees' defense headaches the rest of the way as Amanda D'Amico (four goals) and Leah Folgherait (three goals) led the visitors.
As an answer, the Bees offered up Kara Moschetti, who torched Oswego for eight goals, plus an assist. In support, Quincey Spagnoletti had four goals and two assists, with Katie VanDeValk and Jen Fabian each getting two goals and two assists. Meghan Haney had a goal and two assists as Becky Guzzo got one goal and one assist.
This led to Saturday's semifinal at Marcellus against no. 3 seed Liverpool, who had survived Auburn 16-13 to get this far. B'ville had beaten them twice in the regular season, but that was with Bulken in the lineup. The third meeting would prove to be the most difficult.