Baldwinsville senior midfielder Amari Pollard (33) charges up the field with the ball during Friday's state Class A semifinal against Suffern. Pollard had two of her three goals late in the second half to help the Bees rally and defeat the Mounties 9-8.
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.