Liverpool The Marcellus and Skaneateles girls lacrosse teams entered their respective Class C semifinals Friday night at Liverpool High School Stadium with an eye on facing each other in the final next Tuesday at the Carrier Dome.
And the top two seeds got just what they wanted, as the Mustangs outlasted No. 3 seed South Jefferson 12-6 and the Lakers ran away from No. 4 seed LaFayette late for a 17-9 win.
Marcellus entered its semifinal on the heels a 15-5 drubbing of Onondaga in the quarterfinals. Grace Nolan and Emily Hennigan helped the Mustangs jump out to 2-0 lead in the first five minutes of the game, but the Spartans kept Nolan and Grace Hunt - the team’s second-leading point scorer - in check for most of the game.
Ally Burrows and Molly McGuane picked up the slack. Burrows contributed three goals in the first half, including a last-gasp shot before the horn, to give Marcellus a 6-4 lead going into the break. She finished with five goals and one assist. McGuane assisted on two Burrows goals, three in total and contributed one of her own.
“We knew that this team was going to be evenly matched with us,” McGuane said. “They shut off both Graces behind, (but) our middies stepped up. By swinging the ball, we were able to find each other open in the middle.”
The Mustangs picked up where it left off after the break. Burrows, Lexy Bird and Hunt scored a goal apiece to help build a 9-5 seven minutes into the second half.
South Jefferson tightened up their play for a brief stretch, running off three straight goals from Morgan Alexander, Clarissa Perry and Maddie Knapp to cut Marcellus’ lead to one with 12 minutes to play. But Knapp’s goal would be the Spartans’ last.