Bursting with youthful confidence, the Christian Brothers Academy girls lacrosse team strode onto the turf at SUNY-Cortland Friday morning trying to move one step closer to repeating as state Class B champions.
But it was soon apparent that Section V champion Victor had no intention of aiding in making the Brothers' wishes come true.
From turnovers, to an inability to pick up ground balls, to a key injury early in the game, to a tremendous effort from Blue Devils goalie Liz Nussabaum, little went right for the Brothers as it fell, 11-1, to Victor, who advanced to face Manhasset in Saturday's state title game.
CBA head coach Doug Sedgwick said the team's youth (it starts seven sophomores and two freshmen) showed up in the form of frustration once things turned the Blue Devils' way.
"We didn't do anything well," he said. "Our youth was quite apparent. And they (Victor) pushed us around quite a bit."
The early-morning start time, combined with the inevitable nerves of playing in such a big game, seemed to bother both teams at the outset, with a series of empty possessions and turnovers. But things started to turn toward the Blue Devils when Bridget Flynn's goal at the 8:38 mark gave Victor the lead for good.
Right from that moment, Victor started taking care of the ball, while CBA continued to give it away, a lot of it forced by the pressure that Blue Devils defenders like Jillian Bailey, Taylor Wood and Zoe Spiegelhoff applied to the Brothers' front line.
And it didn't help CBA that, midway through the first half, with the score still 2-0, sophomore star Maddie Cook went out with a knee injury, and would not return.
Trying to draw inspiration from Cook's absence, all of the players put the inititals "MC" on their arms, but the problems remained the same - whenever it did attack and found open space to shoot, Nussbaum, Victor's senior goalie, would gobble it up.