May 28, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Of all the vital things Marisa Romeo does to propel the Christian Brothers Academy girls lacrosse team, none is more vital than her ability to win the battles against whomever is lined up next to her in the draw circle.
Time after time in Tuesday’s Section III Class B final against Watertown at the Carrier Dome, Romeo claimed the draws, and the Brothers went down and converted them into goals, all part of a 22-4 victory over the Cyclones.
It marked CBA’s third consecutive sectional title, and moves it a step closer to a second state title in three years, which it will start to go after on Saturday when it faces the Section IV champion in the Class B regional final at West Genesee High School at 2 p.m.
Unlike the 2011 and 2012 sectional finals in Class C, where it had to fight through close, tense contests with Skaneateles, the Brothers were expected to overwhelm no. 2 seed Watertown, who had needed overtime to get past East Syracuse-Minoa 14-13 in the other semifinal.
Romeo said facing an unfamiliar opponent in a big setting like the Dome brought some adjustments, but added that “it was so much fun playing out here.”
The Cyclones knew it had to keep CBA from playing at the fast, high-scoring tempo it wanted. That meant beating Romeo on the draws, which would prove futile.
Romeo won the first three of those draws, leading to a quick 3-0 edge as Romeo, Taylor Poplawski and Maddie Cook earned the early goals, the Brothers unfolding its deep, diverse offense on an outmatched Cyclone defense.
Bri Arthur put Watertown on the board at the 7:52 mark, only to have Emily Ehle answer 13 seconds later, with quick goals by Romeo and Lilly Hunt that followed and made it 6-1.
Not coincidentally, CBA had claimed six of the first seven draws. Head coach Doug Sedgwick said his team spends 15 to 20 minutes at each practice working on draws.
“It (draws) is the most important thing in the game,” he said.
Just as important as the draws was the sheer variety of options CBA could deploy. The first nine goals came from eight different players as Olivia Pitonzo, Emily Ehle and Rachel Vercillo all joined in the scoring parade.
“It doesn’t matter who scores, we just want the goals,” said Sedgwick.
Before it hit the 21-minute mark, CBA’s lead had grown to double digits, 12-2, and the running clock was in place. By halftime, CBA enjoyed a 28-4 advantage in shots and a 14-2 advantage on the scoreboard.
By herself, Romeo had won 11 of 17 draws and put up six points as she totaled three goals and three assists. Poplawski contributed two goals and two assists, with Cook and Pitonzo also finding the net twice.
Ehle and Cook both ran their totals to four goals in the second half, while Poplawski and, Pitonzo each added a third goal. Romeo tacked on a goal and two more assists to give her four goals and five assists overall. Of the 26 draws, CBA claimed 19 of them, and it took 40 shots to Watertown’s 10.
Sedgwick said that what gives his team a better shot at a state championship is the mix of senior leadership and youthful energy, which is clicking at the right time.
“There’s a wonderful team chemistry here,” he said. “These girls genuinely love each other.”