Apr 14, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
It’s not every night that the Marcellus girls lacrosse team gets a chance to beat the top-ranked team in the state.
So when the Mustangs possessed that opportunity Thursday night at Alibrandi Stadium, it pulled through, fighting past Christian Brothers Academy 12-11 in an exciting contest not decided until the closing seconds.
Clinging to that slim one-goal margin in the last minute of regulation, Marcellus was on the defensive side as CBA twice had chances to tie it and force overtime. Both times, though, sophomore goalie Renee Poullott made the clutch stops, first on Caroline Webster, then on Marisa Romeo just before time ran out. All told, Poullott made 11 saves for the night.
Given what happened the last time Marcellus faced a major Class C contender (a 9-8 last-second defeat to Skaneateles on March 31), a lot was at stake at CBA before the first state Class C rankings came out. Then they were posted – CBA at no. 1, Skaneateles at no. 2, and Marcellus at no. 6.
With more motivation and energy to knock CBA off its lofty perch, the Mustangs absorbed an early flurry by the Brothers (goals by Taylor Poplawski and Taylor Gait 10 seconds apart) and, by the middle of the first half, had taken charge.
Of course, senior Nora Barry led the assault, getting three goals in the first 11-plus minutes and also playing first-rate defense. A bigger story, though, was the way Molly McGuane won numerous draws, then gained her own three-goal hat trick. Late in the first half, Marcellus enjoyed a 7-2 lead.
It nearly got bigger before CBA goalie Courtney Henderson made back-to-back point-blank stops, and goals by Poplawski and Romeo cut the margin to 7-4 by halftime. With newfound momentum, the Brothers moved within one, 7-6, early in the second half before, in a span of 1:08, Barry converted her fourth goal and Ellen Brooks scored, the lead growing to 9-6.
Again, the Brothers chipped away until, with 16:14 to play, Gait beat Poullott with a high shot to tie it, 9-9, and it looked like a reprise of the Skaneateles game, where a four-goal Marcellus lead slipped away.
But it would be different this time. Brooks scored again with 12:45 left, and three minutes later McGuane beat Henderson for her fourth goal, Marcellus reclaiming an 11-9 lead. Poplawski cut the lead to 11-10 with 6:35 to play, but just 36 seconds later Barry found a wide-open Catherine Nolan, who put in what proved to be the game-winner.
Poplawski reduced the margin to one again with 2:29 left, setting up the final act. Poullott, along with defenders Megan Rohe, Alanna Todd and Faith Seeley, remained strong against CBA’s late push, and the Mustangs had its biggest win of the season so far.
As the warm-up for CBA, the Mustangs hosted Westhill last Tuesday night and did whatever it wanted against the Warriors’ defense in the first half of a 17-4 victory.
All through those first 25 minutes, Marcellus attacked at will, not stopping until it had a 12-2 advantage, something it continued to expand upon in the game’s late stages without a lot of extra exertion.
What made it more impressive was that Barry only had two goals. Catherine Nolan led with four goals and one assist, while Molly McGuane earned three goals and two assists and Ellen Brooks also found the net three times.
Grace Nolan and Carli Brienza matched Barry’s two-goal output as Lexi Bird also scored. On Westhill’s side, Brenna Rainone had two goals, with Maggie Tripodi earning a pair of assists. Molly Kiggins and Sophie Dower put up one goal apiece.
The Warriors would also lose Friday to Skaneateles 12-8, though it pushed the Lakers hard throughout the contest, even without Rainone getting a goal.
Instead, Meg Dwyer notched a three-goal hat trick, with Nicole Easterly scoring twice. Kiggins, Tripodi and Ryann Laible got single goals as Gretchen Krzykowski recorded 12 saves. Carly Davis (three goals) and Shelby McNeilly (two goals, two assists) led Skaneateles along.
Marcellus, meanwhile, did not have a letdown from the CBA surprise, beating LaFayette 17-7 on Saturday despite windy, wet conditions and a grass surface to deal with.
The Lancers ganged up on Barry – which backfired, as McGuane got all kinds of open looks and, by herself, matched LaFayette with seven goals. Brooks also flourished, finding the net five times as Catherine Nolan picked up two goals and one assist. Barry, despite the attention, still managed five assists and one goal as Grace Nolan added a goal and three assists.