continued Nolan scored out of the free position with nine minutes left, and from there the Mustangs were happy to play keepaway. Consecutive yellow cards by South Jefferson players in the final four minutes meant they had to chase and double-team the ball with one less defender, allowing Burrows and Hennigan to score easy insurance goals.
“We’ve learned to really take our time, even if we know we can rip it,” said McGuane. “We played with confidence and patience tonight and I think it really helped us.”
Possession played a large part in Marcellus’ win, which its dominated largely by winning 13 of 21 draws and never allowing the Spartans to settle into an offensive set.
Mustangs head coach Dick Lundblad praised his team’s ability to adjust when the Spartans came out face-guarding Nolan and Hunt.
“They’ve been wanting to go to the Dome now ever since we told them that’s where the championship would be. They’ve got their hearts set on it,” he said. “This is a tight-knit group of girls that stepped up today and got it done.”
The second game followed a similar pattern. Skaneateles entered as a heavy favorite over LaFayette, and threatened to pull away in the first half.
Tied at 3-3 midway through the half, the Lakers reeled off four goals in a blistering 81 seconds. Alana Navaroli started the run with a goal in the free position that squeaked through goalie Shannon Knapp’s legs. Nicole Beatson tallied twice on unassisted efforts 40 seconds apart before Hannah Powers finished the run just eight seconds later.
Nursing a 9-6 lead at halftime, the Lakers struggled to find the same intensity they had just minutes earlier. LaFayette scored consecutive goals to cut the lead to one, but wouldn’t score again until the game’s waning moments.
The Lakers needed nearly 10 minutes to get on the board in the second half. But once Emma Ford final scored, the floodgates opened as Skaneateles went on an 8-0 run. Molly Wood (twice), Navaroli, Powers (twice), Casey VanSlyke and eighth-grader Kyla Sears all scored in that stretch.