Baldwinsville midfielder Tanner McCaffrey (2) picks up a ground ball and speeds away during last Thursday’s Section III Class A semifinal against Fayetteville-Manlius, where the Bees lost, 8-7, to the Hornets.
An entire year of work by each of Baldwinsville’s lacrosse teams was predicated on getting back to their respective Section III Class A championship games, but their quests would end in equally painful manners.
At Cicero-North Syracuse’s Bragman Stadium, the boys Bees, a well-rested no. 2 seed, took on no. 3 seed Fayetteville-Manlius, and were in great shape until a brutal fourth quarter led to a 9-8 defeat to the Hornets.
Meanwhile, in a game ironically played at F-M, B’ville’s girls lacrosse team would try to do what it could not in the 2017 title game – namely, defeat Christian Brothers Academy, and it too led for a long time before letting things slip away in a 9-7 defeat.
The boys Bees had, for a year, frustrated F-M, doing so in the 2017 sectional semifinals on the way to the title, and then beating them again in two close regular-season encounters this spring.
And as much as the Hornets felt it had improved since those games, B’ville was well-rested, and at least at the outset showed no signs of rust or nerves, smoothly building a 3-0 lead in the first quarter on goals by Adam Davis, Cole Peters and Mike Tangredi.
About the only thing that went wrong early was having F-M’s Mike Howe find the net just as the first quarter ended. That tally didn’t seem to mean much or affect the Bees at all since, for the rest of the half, it blanked the Hornets, Peters and Austin Bolton adding goals.
So it was 5-1 at the break, but as well as B’ville was doing, it hadn’t really put F-M away. So when the Hornets’ defense began to make key stops in the third quarter, momentum shifted.
Then it turned into a full rush when F-M scored twice late in the period, slicing the Bees’ lead in half. It carried over into the fourth quarter, where the Hornets quickly pulled even on a goal by Jack Shanley.
B’ville briefly went back in front thanks to Spencer Wirtheim’s goal, but in a 41-second sequence Howe tied it and Shanley converted with 7:30 left, giving F-M the lead for good.
Try as it could, the Bees could not pull back even. Shanley, with 1:33 left, stretched the Hornets’ advantage to 8-6, and it proved the game-winner, for though the Bees got a late goal from Davis, the Hornets’s Zach Van Valkenburgh got the final faceoff and F-M ran out the clock, its defense containing Pete Fiorini all afternoon as he only managed a single assist.
That same pain was felt by the B’ville girls lacrosse team a couple of hours later as it tried to atone for last spring’s defeat to CBA, and it looked for a while that the Bees would do so.
Following an early scoring exchange, B’ville’s defense settled in and held the Brothers off the board for a large majority of the first half. This gave the attack some time to get settled and, when it did, Hannah Johnson struck twice and Katie Pascale added a goal.
Had the Bees held that 5-2 lead until halftime, things may have turned out different – but Grace Hulslander, with back-to-back goals in the waning moments of the half, whittled B’ville’s lead to one, and Gracie Britton converted 19 seconds after intermission to tie it, 5-5.
Britton returned four minutes later, her goal giving CBA the lead, and now it was the Brothers’ turn to clamp down, its defense shutting out B’ville until the final minute as Amanda Winn and Claire Jeschke added late goals.
Other than Johnson and Pascale, only Maria Henwood earned a goal for B’ville, as Hulslander matched Johnson’s total of three goals.. Peyton Fleming and Maria Henwood had one assist apiece.
B’ville had played two nights earlier, an opening-round game full of off-the-field intrigue since the opponent was Rome Free Academy, coached by Doug Rowe, who had led the Bees to so much success in his long tenure there.
The game itself, though, didn’t have much suspense. B’ville won 21-0, settling matters early by scoring 16 of those goals in the first half and nicely spreading its production around.
Goodwin had four goals and two assists, with Pascale getting three goals and three assists as Emma States scored twice and got four assists. Monica Lannier also had a three-goal hat trick as Fleming matched States’ four assists. Johnson, Jenna Pastore, Sarah Klein and Emma Gebhardt had two goals apiece as Cassidy Hayward also converted.