SYRACUSE None of the current Baldwinsville girls lacrosse players were even in grade school in 2000, the last time it won a Section III Class A championship.
So it was an entirely new and special feeling for the Bees Tuesday night at the Carrier Dome when the horn sounded and the Bees, casting off 13 years of disappointments and near-misses, finished off Cicero-North Syracuse 13-10 in the Class A title game.
As the B'ville players celebrated on the field, piled on top of goalie Nicole Burrows, a large contingent of fans in red, including many former B'ville players, joined in the celebration. It was something that head coach Doug Rowe and his players noticed.
"As much as it meant to this year's team, it also means so much to our alumni," said Rowe. "They take real pride in it.
Senior captain Sarah Klaben agreed. "It is so great to give something back to our school and our fans," she said. "We knew from the start of our season that this was our year."
Fellow senior Amari Pollard, who scored three goals in the title game, said this win was atonement for losing in the sectional semifinals to Liverpool a season ago.
"We really pulled together as a team," she said. "We redeemed ourselves."
Someone was going to break a long sectional championship drought. B'ville had last won it all in 2000, the year of their lone state championship, while C-NS, who had stunned six-time defending champion West Genesee in the semifinals, had gone without a title since 1997.
A split of two regular-season meetings only added to the uncertainty, as did the question of how these two teams would handle the unfamiliar pressure of a title game on the large stage of the Dome.
Both sides fought early-game nerves before Tiffany Ryan got the first goal at the 4:18 mark, only to have Abbey Foote answer 27 seconds later, followed by goals from Amari Pollard, Sarah Klaben and Taylor Gebhardt that pushed the Bees in front 4-1 and made the Northstars use a time-out.