Apr 01, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Not since the 2001 season has the Baldwinsville girls lacrosse team entered a new spring as a defending champion, which was challenging enough.
But the combination of a brutal early schedule and injuries at key positions has added more adversity that head coach Doug Rowe and his players must overcome if it wants to go to the top again.
B’ville ended a 13-year Section III Class A title drought in 2013, edging Cicero-North Syracuse in the finals at the Carrier Dome, and made it all the way to the state championship game at SUNY-Cortland before falling to Farmingdale.
From that team, there was not a large roster turnover. Graduating starters included Sarah Klaben, Amari Pollard, Amanda Klein, Abbey Foote and Johna Kjerstad, but there’s plenty of talent back, from goalie Nicole Burrows to the likes of Taylor Gebhardt, Kennedy Frink, Marjorie Dehm, Erin Nagle, Lexie Pastore and Jaclyn Hingre.
Yet the Bees began the season short-handed, as Gebhardt and Frink both suffered injuries during the pre-season, which included scrimmages against reigning state Class B champion CBA, East Syracuse-Minoa and Penfield.
What’s more, the first two weeks of the season included six games, which included Tuesday’s sectional final rematch with C-NS and a state finals reunion with Farmingdale this Saturday afternoon at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium.
Before all that, though, B’ville had to open Monday night at West Genesee, and the deposed six-time champions from 2007 to 2012 showed how determined it was to regain the crown by defeating the Bees 16-3.
With 17 seniors on its roster, the Wildcats had enough going for it without the prime motivation that last May’s stunning defeat to C-NS in the sectional semifinals provided.
Even if Frink and Gebhardt were out there, it may not have kept WG from controlling matters, starting in the draw circle, where Riley Donahue grabbed eight of the first 10 draws, which allowed her side to control possession through most of the first half.
Before the game was six minutes old, the Wildcats had a 6-1 lead. Jackie Pardee scored in the opening minute and, after B’ville’s Stephanie Roberts answered, WG rattled off five straight goals, three of them less than a minute apart as Donahue, Marissa Hudgins, Hannah Elmer and Grace Osterdale each took turns finding the net.
To its credit, B’ville slowed things down and blanked WG for more than 13 minutes, yet only closed the gap to 6-2. And when Hudgins scored twice in the last 22 seconds of the half, including one off a great feed from Donahue that was converted right at the horn, the Wildcats led 9-2.
Little that the Bees tried would work in the face of WG’s relentless all-around effort. Elmer, with three goals and three assists, paced the attack as Hudgins also had a three-goal hat trick. Baker, Donahue and Osterdale each had two goals. Goalies Katherine Widrick and Jazmin Bello combined for six saves.