Katie Pascale netted the last goal of the regular season for the Baldwinsville girls lacrosse team. And it might prove as valuable as any single scoring play this spring.
When Pascale found the late in Tuesday’s game at Liverpool, it rescued, for the state Class A no. 7-ranked Bees, a 10-9 victory over the state no. 21-ranked Warriors.
It also kept B’ville from the prospect of dropping three of its last four games in advance of the Section III Class A playoffs, a potentially discouraging development after a long win streak that bridged April and May.
Narrow defeats to West Genesee (7-6 on May 7) and Cicero-North Syracuse (8-7 on May 10) had provided some urgency to B’ville’s trip to LHS Stadium, where Liverpool was just as determined to get even after losing 9-5 to the Bees a month earlier.
The first half went back and forth, neither side able to get away or make a sustained run. So it went 6-6 to the second half where the pace slowed and it remained tight.
Up 9-8 with the clock winding down, B’ville saw Liverpool pull back even when Brittany Halpin converted her fourth goal of the night with 1:30 left. Halpin and Bella Brancato (three goals) had accounted for most of the Warriors’ offense.
But with 21.6 seconds to play, the Bees worked the ball to Pascale, who fired it into the net, her lone goal of the evening after Hannah Johnson and Sara Goodwin had both scored three times, with Peyton Fleming getting a goal and three assists. Emma States also scored.
All of this would lead to a Section III Class A playoffs full of familiarity, on and off the field.
As the no. 3 seed, the Bees have to play an opening-round game next Tuesday – against no. 6 seed Rome Free Academy, coached by none other than Doug Rowe, who built the B’ville program into a powerhouse.
Get through that game, and B’ville would reach a semifinal May 24 at Fayetteville-Manlius against no. 2 seed and defending champion Christian Brothers Academy, who ousted the Bees in the 2017 sectional title game.
On that same night, the Baldwinsville boys lacrosse team, with the no. 2 seed in its sectional Class A bracket, will face Fayetteville-Manlius or RFA in its sectional semifinal at Cicero-North Syracuse’s Bragman Stadium. West Genesee gets Liverpool or C-NS in the other semifinal.