Jun 07, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Down two goals, staring at the end of its state championship quest, the Baldwinsville girls lacrosse team did not blink.
Instead, it rallied from a two-goal deficit to edge Suffern 9-8 Friday morning in the state Class A semifinal at SUNY-Cortland, advancing to meet Farmingdale in Saturday’s title game.
Head coach Doug Rowe said that, while his team makes its fair share of mistakes during a game, it still finds a way to succeed.
“I’m dumbfounded,” he said. “We fumble and bumble, but we just keep on fighting.”
Two months ago, B’ville visited Suffern and pulled out a 7-6 victory, neither side likely imagining, at the time, that there would be a reunion two months later on a much bigger stage.
The Mounties boasted an extremely young roster – no seniors, and the starting 12 included eight sophomores, three freshmen and an eighth-grader. On that front, B’ville appeared to carry a considerable advantage, but that mostly proved an illusion.
Right from the start, it went back and forth. Defender Jaclyn Hingre, with just one goal all season, charged through the defense and scored on a fast break at the 2:40 mark.
Suffern’s Dana Gisono answered, but Sarah Klaben countered 15 seconds after the tying tally, only to see Elizabeth Trojan tie it again, 2-2, all of it happening in a span of less than 90 seconds.
Two seniors, Klaben and Amari Pollard, converted 35 seconds apart to push the Bees to a 4-2 lead. Again, Suffern had an answer, as Jordan Drab scored twice to pull her side even, 4-4. Meanwhile, Mounties goalie Mikaila Cheeseman made a series of great stops in the middle portion of the half to further slow B’ville’s momentum.
It took Stephanie Roberts’ goal, fed by Frink, to give B’ville its third lead at 5-4, but yet again Suffern had a response with Regina Sharp’s free-position goal with 2:29 left in the half. That’s where it would stay, the Bees making a defensive stop to keep it 5-5 going to the break.
The Mounties gained its first lead 3:07 into the second half on Caitlin Leary’s strong move from the left side. Klaben’s third goal, off Kennedy Frink’s third assist, tied it once more at 6-6 four minutes later.
Gisono got her second goal with 14:39 left, giving the Mounties a 7-6 edge, and when Suffern slowed the tempo and lured the Bees’ defenders out, Alli Iodice ran right by them and converted with 11:02 to play.
Trailing 8-6, B’ville used a time-out. Rowe said that Iodice’s goal actually proved helpful, for without it, Suffern may have been able to run off more time.
Instead, Abbey Foote won the ensuing draw, and the Bees quickly charged down and cut its deficit to 8-7 on Pollard’s second goal with 10:33 left. A tense stand-off followed, B’ville unable to pull even, but Suffern equally incapable of regaining its cushion.
That held until Pollard broke through and ripped in the tying goal with 4:47 to play. Just 19 seconds later, Klaben, with her fourth goal, had the Bees in front, this time for keeps.
Rowe said that Suffern’s defense did a terrific job containing B’ville’s leading goal-scorer, Taylor Gebhardt, and that it forced Pollard and Klaben, both midfielders, to assume more responsibility on the attack, which they did.
Even with a late lead, B’ville wasn’t safe. Suffern claimed the ensuing draw and worked down the clock. Burrows stopped Regina Sharp on a fee-position attempt, and Hingre caused a turnover with 1:05 to play, the Bees able to run out the rest of the remaining clock.
In Saturday’s state final at 9:30 a.m., B’ville will face Farmingdale (Section VIII), who knocked off Penfield 10-6 in the other state semifinal. On the same season-opening road trip that included the Suffern game, the Bees lost, 16-5, to the Dalers, a game it vows to avenge.
“I am excited to go after them again, to show how much we’ve improved,” said Pollard, and Klaben agreed.
“We’ve come a long way since then,” she said. We’re not the same team at all.”