Skaneateles junior midfielder Alana Navaroli (25) chases down the loose ball during Friday's state Class C semifinal against Putnam Valley at SUNY-Cortland. Leading from start to finish, the Lakers defeated the Tigers 16-6.
Molly Wood and the Skaneateles girls lacrosse team put together an authoritative performance that left them one victory from the program's third state Class C championship.
Wood's five first-half goals set the tone, and the rest of the Lakers followed suit, defeating Putnam Valley 16-6 in Friday afternoon's state Class C semifinal at SUNY-Cortland.
Wood finished with six goals, a new career mark, and the rest of the Lakers were just as sharp, too, which means a return trip to Cortland on Saturday for the state title game against Mount Sinai, which starts at 2:30.
"We were pumped up to be here," said Wood.
Though it was the first state final four trip for this group of Skaneateles players, it was just as new to Putnam Valley, the Section I champions who needed to win two regional games (12-11 over Albany Academy, 10-4 over Red Hook) to get this far.
And it was the Lakers adjusting better to the big stage, getting in front 1:05 into the game as Kyla Sears fed Wood for the game's opening goal. Breaking open again, Wood notched her second goal less than a minute letter, fed this time by Emma Ford.
"As we scored, we got more relaxed, and Molly just got rolling," said Skaneateles head coach Bridget Marquardt.
It took barely seven minutes for Wood to earn a hat trick, her third goal assisted by Sears, and when Ford converted at the 7:41 mark to make it 5-1, Putnam Valley had to burn a time-out.
Wood said she just saw openings in the Tigers' defenses and capitalized on them, and her production proved contagious. Hannah Powers' goal continued the Lakers' momentum, and Wood converted for the fourth time at the midway point of the half.
That, plus a goal from Nicole Beatson, made it 8-2. Putnam Valley finally made some stops late in the half, and got two goals from Eva Rabson. In between them, though, Wood struck once more, her fifth goal allowing Skaneateles to take a 9-4 edge to the break.