Jun 01, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
One part of the Class B state regional tournament proved simple for the Christian Brothers Academy girls lacrosse team – but the other did not.
Playing twice in a span of less than 48 hours after earning the Section III Class C title earlier in the week, the Brothers won them both, and by doing so are going back to SUNY-Cortland for another appearance in the state final four.
Facing Massena Thursday in the opening round of regional play at Liverpool High School Stadium., the Brothers handled it with relative ease, pushing past the Red Raiders 20-4.
Before Massena even had a possession, CBA had pushed out to a 5-0 lead. Though the Red Raiders settled down a bit, the Brothers kept pushing the tempo and had a 12-2 lead by halftime, pulling further away in the second half despite a running clock.
Sam McKenna, pouring in five goals, led the way this time as Emily Ehle, Maddie Cook and Rachel Vercillo settled for two goals apiece, joined on that number by Evie Lopoo.
Hannah Werner had a goal and two assists as Hailey Dobbins, Claire Jeschke, Katie Anderson, Ryan Congel, Lilly Hunt and Amanda Fess earned goals, too.
Now CBA faced Vestal (Section IV) in Saturday’s regional final at Ithaca High School, with a berth in next weekend’s state final four at SUNY-Cortland at stake.
And it didn’t prove one bit easy, as the Brothers trailed for most of the first half and mostly leaned on its defense to earn a 7-4 victory over the Golden Bears.
Right from the start, Vestal did a good job in the first half gaining the draws, and as a result dictating the game’s tempo, slowing things down. And that patience led to two early goals from Nicole Lyons and a 3-2 edge.
Vercillo tied it, 3-3, late in the first half, only to have the Golden Bears reclaim the lead. And that set up the game’s most important sequence.
As the final minute of the first half ticked down, CBA turned the ball over, only to force a Vestal turnover and get a fast break. Just seconds before the horn, Vercillo passed it to Ehle, who beat Golden Bears netminder Nicole Lehra and tied it, 4-4.
Flush with that momentum, the Brothers saw goalie Alea Bonner (the team’s lone senior starter) make a pair of big stops early in the second half before, at the 4:24 mark, Cook’s hard shot to the high part of the net gave CBA a lead it would not relinquish.
So much of that was due to Dobbins, Kate Derrenbacker, Lexi Luthringer, Alexa Radziewicz and sisters Amanda and Adrianna Fess, who kept breaking up Vestal chances as Bonner, the team’s lone senior starter and would pitch a second-half shutout.
Goals by McKenna and Rachel Ziemba, the last of them with seven minutes left, helped seal the Brothers’ return trip to Cortland, where powerhouses like 14-time state champion Garden City and Brighton will not be waiting for them.
Instead, CBA meets Victor (who knocked out Brighton in the Section V final) Friday at 9:30 a.m. in the state Class B semifinal. The winner returns 24 hours later for the state championship game.