Baldwinsville's girls lacrosse team celebrates its first Section III Class A championship in 13 years, earned Tuesday night at the Carrier Dome when it beat Cicero-North Syracuse 13-10. The last time the Bees won a sectional title, in 2000, it went on to win the only state championship in program history.
continued B'ville did not allow a goal for nearly 10 minutes before Meghan Duffy broke the drought with two goals 39 seconds apart. That, plus Hanna Haven's tally, pulled the Northstars even 4-4 late in the half.
Then it was the Bees' turn to surge, as Gebhardt (twice) and Pollard converted three goals between them in a 48-second span, and though Sarah Bowles also converted for C-NS, the Bees took a 7-5 lead to the break.
They continued to go back and forth early in the second half, C-NS twice cutting the margin to one, and B'ville twice answering with goals from Kennedy Frink and Marjorie Dehm.
Now up 9-7, the Bees found itself in the same situation as in its Class A semifinal win over Liverpool, facing the same strategic choice of holding the ball longer, or attacking and trying to add to its lead.
This time around, B'ville chose the latter course, doubling its margin to four as Gebhardt scored for the fourth time and Marjorie Dehm got her second goal before Klaben struck with 15:13 to play and stretched the Bees' advantage to 12-7.
And the Bees' defense, anchored by Jaclyn Hingre, Amanda Klein and Samantha Ward, made sure that lead stuck, blanking C-NS for nearly 15 minutes as the margin grew to 13-7 thanks to Pollard's third goal with 8:14 left.
Rowe said that his team's patience and success on the offensive end gave confidence to the defense, allowing them to be more aggressive and effective. And he had particular praise for Pollard, saying that she never comes off the field and is strong on both ends.
By the time Bowles broke the Northstars' drought with 6:19 left, B'ville could afford to slow it down - which it did, eating away at the remaining clock and absorbing late goals from Ryan and Haven until it could celebrate a long-awaited championship.
On Saturday, the Bees go to West Genesee High School to play the Section IV champion in the Class A regional final, eyeing a return to the state final four at SUNY-Cortland that also would be 13 years in the making.
"They want to get back to the state championship," said Rowe. "They want to see what that is all about."