May 25, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
East Syracuse-Minoa’s girls lacrosse team came within an eyelash of joining Christian Brothers Academy at the Carrier Dome in the Section III Class B championship game.
The Spartans rallied from a four-goal deficit in Friday night’s Class B semifinal against no. 2 seed Watertown at Chittenango High School and led at different points down the stretch, but the Cyclones still prevailed 14-13 in overtime.
This followed a first semifinal game dominated by the top-seeded Brothers, who turned aside no. 4 seed Jamesville-DeWitt 19-4 and will play Watertown Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the Dome.
Though CBA had flattened J-D 17-0 back on April 15, the Brothers knew how much the Red Rams had improved since that game, entering the semifinal with a seven-game win streak that included a tough 13-12, come-from-behind victory over Auburn in the previous round of the playoffs.
Also, CBA had not played in nine days, a rest period extended by a day because bad weather delayed the entire post-season schedule. But it didn’t take long for the Brothers to start clicking again.
Marisa Romeo’s goal three minutes into the game triggered a 90-second outburst where Taylor Poplawski, Emily Ehle and Rachel Vercillo all would convert, putting J-D in a quick 4-0 hole.
That margin doubled to 8-0, with Romeo tacking on two more goals, before the Rams finally got a goal to end what had been a run of 25 unanswered tallies from CBA in their two games this spring. Still, it went to halftime with the Brothers up 11-2 after another outburst of three goals in the span of less than a minute late in the half.
CBA spent the rest of the game adding to its margin as Romeo finished with five goals and two assists, while Poplawski had three goals and two assists. Rachel Perla scored twice, adding a pair of assists, with Olivia Pitonzo and Maddie Cook also getting two goals.
Emily Ehle managed a goal and three assists as Alyssa Pitonzo, Adrianna Fess and Amanda Fess notched one goal apiece. Taylor Fallon scored three of J-D’s four goals and assisted on the other, by Sam McKenna, as Carly Stone added an assist and goalie Cameron Buck recorded 17 saves. The Rams finished its season with an 11-7 record.
With a berth in the finals secured, CBA got to sit back and watch ESM battle Watertown in a classic back-and-forth affair where the Spartans trailed most of the night, yet almost came out on top.
Sluggish on defense at the outset, ESM trailed, 6-2, late in the first half, but battled back, cutting the deficit in half, to 8-6, by halftime, Rachel Toole notching three goals to spark the rally.
Then the Spartans pulled even, 9-9, early in the second half, and then traded goals with Watertown until, at 10-10, Toole converted hit on her fifth goal to put ESM ahead for the first time all night.
Now it was the Cyclones’ turn to come back, as Bri Arthur and Morgan Caldwell notched back-to-back goals, putting ESM behind again at 12-11. Facing elimination, the Spartans showed great resolve as Haley DeVona found the net with 57 seconds left in regulation to tie it at 12-12.
That’s where it stood going to the pair of mandatory three-minute overtime periods. In the first OT, Nicole DeVona pushed the Spartans back in front 13-12, only to have Ashley Flick put in her third goal as Watertown got even again, 13-13, going to the second OT.
Arthur won the draw in the second extra period, tore down the field and found an open Alyssa Barrett, who beat Courtnee Notaro for the go-ahead goal. Several times, the Spartans had a chance to get back on level terms, but Watertown resisted them and held on.
Toole led her side with those five goals, plus an assist, while the DeVona sisters both had three-goal hat tricks. Morgan Young and Ashley Scalzo had one goal apiece. Flick had four assists to go with her three goals as Caldwell and Barrett added three goals apiece. Both goalies, Notaro and the Cyclones’ Christina Matthewson, finished with 10 saves.
ESM, who nearly got to the sectional title game despite a mid-season torn ACL that sidelined top scoring threat Sam Dooling, finished 13-5.