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Sports Archives The Altamont Enterprise, July 14, 2005
By Tim Matteson
GUILDERLAND This past spring, the fate of the Stonehill College womens lacrosse team was in the hands of Lauren Stone.
And thats where she liked it.
After watching Stonehill win its first national championship as a back-up goalie two years ago, Stone was one of the main forces behind the Chieftains second national championship, this time a 13-10 win over West Chester University of Pennsylvania.
"It was more suspenseful the last time," said Stone, a junior at Stonehill. "I was there watching and there was nothing I could do.
"This time, it was more exciting," the 2002 Guilderland High School graduate added. "Whatever happened was in my hands."
The petite Stone stood tall for the Chieftains in goal, making 10 saves in the Division II Championship Game and being named the games most valuable player. The title-game MVP award was among the many trophies Stone earned this year.
"That was shocking," a modest Stone said. "I didn’t think I deserved to get it. I was into the game. The defense was good. They blocked shots and, when the defense plays like that, they should get more credit when the other team doesn’t score.
"It was a whole team effort," Stone added.
Stone began playing lacrosse in the eighth grade and started as a field player.
"I kept with it through high school," she said. "I started playing goalie my freshman year and did it on and off. I didn’t expect to play it in college."
Stone also played soccer at Guilderland High School and wanted to play that sport in college.
"I changed my mind in my senior year," Stone said. "I just love soccer, I wish I was still playing."
Stone decided to attend Stonehill, a Catholic College in Massachusetts, but also wanted to play lacrosse in college.
"I wanted to be part of the program," she said. "But I didn’t know how good the program was."
There were plenty of other reasons she picked the school located in North Easton, Mass.
"I picked it for the whole atmosphere," Stone said. "It’s close to Boston and it was close to home. My parents could visit on weekends and stuff. It also had the academic programs I wanted."
The English major is writing quite a story on the lacrosse field.
Stone was named a first-team Division II All-American by the Inter-collegiate Womens Lacrosse Coaches Association, US Lacrosse, Inside Lacrosse Magazine, and Womenslacrosse.com. She was also a first-team Eastern College Athletic Association all-star.
Additionally, Stone was named Division II goalkeeper of the year by the IWLCA. US Lacrosse, Inside Lacrosse Magazine, Womanslacrosse.com, and the ECAC.
She also earned repeated accolades, during the 11-week season, she was named Northeast 10 Conference Goalkeeper of the Week 10 times.
Stone was the national leader in goals against average with 4.45 goals per game. She was also second nationally in save percentage with .586.
Stone helped the Chieftains to a 21-0 record a single season record for wins and has a career record of 34-3.
She also earned a spot in the Sports Illustrateds Faces in the Crowd section that features amatuer athletes.
Not bad for a player who didnt know how good the program was when she tried out for the team as a freshman.
"I walked on my freshman year," Stone said. "I always wanted to play a college sport and I thought it would be a good way to get to know people on campus. I didn’t realize how much of a commitment came along with it."
But the major commitment didnt deter Stone from sticking with the team.
"I didn’t know how much my life would revolve around lacrosse," Stone said. "But I’m glad I did it.
"It takes a good amount of time," Stone added. "We practice every day for two hours. No one knows why, but we never get out on time. We want to perfect a drill, and we stay until we get it right."
The program was on the rise as Stone was set to attend the school. The team was working to catch traditional powers West Chester and Longwood University in Virginia, now a Division I team.
"My senior year of high school, they were in the national championship game," Stone said of Stonehill. "The next year we were Division II champions. Last year, we were knocked out. The program had progressed, and we were mad that we didn’t go further than that."
When Stone arrived on campus, she was not sure if she would play in the goal or in the field.
"I brought a field stick and a goalie stick to tryouts," Stone said. "A few weeks into practice, I realized I wasn’t going to need my field stick. I was the only goalie in the fall."
Stone was the starting goalie for fall ball during her first semester at Stonehill. The starting goalie, Katie Shannon, was away for the semester, but came back for the spring.
"The starting goalie was a senior and an All-American," Stone said. "She was back for the spring. She’s my goalie coach now."
Stone didnt get down after moving into the back-up role. She learned from Shannon and realized she had a lot of time to make her mark.
"I knew my sophomore year I had a chance to start," Stone said. "They had recruits so it wasn’t set in stone and I had to compete for the position for a while. One girl decided to transfer; her heart was not there. There’s a lot of commitment."
In Stones first year as the starting goaltender, the Chieftains did not make the playoffs.
"Only four teams make the NCAA’s in Division II," she said. "There are two teams from the north and two from the south. Three of the top teams are in the north, so one of us between Adelphi, C.W. Post, and us wouldn’t get in. We had a bad season; that’s the way it is."
Adelphi won the Division II championship with a 12-11 win over West Chester.
Adelphi had beaten Stonehill earlier in the 2004 season.
Stone says, unlike in the 2004 season, she and her teammates will be more prepared to defend their title.
"It’s not going to be like that next year," she said. "Last year, there was pressure to defend the championship and we didn’t know how to deal with it. We want to shut down all the pressure next year.
"We went undefeated," Stone added. "And no one expected us to win the championship. But we knew we could do it. We knew it would be a battle but we knew we could win it in the end."
The Chieftains graduate only four seniors, so they could be favorites to repeat.
One of the reasons Stonehill got overlooked in the post-season is because her team plays in a league they dominate.
"Most of the teams in our league are not at our level," Stone said. "We had a lot of blowouts. We could score 20 goals and still not play well."
The Chieftains do play an out-of-league schedule that prepares them for the playoffs.
"At the end of the season, we do have some gut checks," Stone said of tougher contests.
Stonehill faced Adelphi in the semifinals for the 2005 championship.
"It was a good game," Stone said. "They are a physical, intense team."
Stonehill had beaten Adelphi during the regular season but Adelphi knocked Stonehill out of the NCAA tournament in 2004.
"It was a tough game," Stone said of this year’s contest. "But we set the pace. They didn’t play their best game, but we kept them from playing their best."
Stone did not give her own performance a high rating.
"I made some saves," she said. "I didn’t play as well as the first time. It’s hard to rate. You never see the same shot. You think, ‘I would’ve blocked this in another game.’"
"We knew we could do it"
A week later, Stonehill put the finishing touches on the season with the win over West Chester, though it was unexpected by a lot of people.
"Everyone on the team thought that we would win," Stone said. "But we taped the game on CSTV [College Sports Television] and the comentators seemed very one-sided toward West Chester. They didn’t think we knew how to play.
"But we knew we could do it," Stone added. "We really wanted to beat West Chester. We were talking about it in the locker room. We weren’t talking about playing for a national championship. We were thinking about beating West Chester."
The Stonehill players also had some added motivation.
"Chocolate cake," Stone said. "We wanted to come back after winning the game and have chocolate cake."
The championship has been the icing on the cake for Stones college life. Lacrosse is an everyday thing for Stone, like going to classes and studying.
"A lot of friends I’ve met at school are on the team," she said. "Or they are friends of people of the team. It has shaped what I’ve done since I’ve been in college. Our coach reminds us that we’re a lacrosse team, not a social club. We just love to spend time together. We all get along so well."
Fox creek 5k 2005
By Tim Matteson
BERNE Despite a smaller-than-usual turnout, the Fox Creek 5K went off without a hitch.
"We had a small turnout and that can be attributed to a race in Mechanicville," said race coordinator Jim Hamilton. "The weather was nice, after all the rain. For the seventh straight year, it was a beautiful Sunday morning. We got a lot of support from the town and people in the community."
The race was won by Knox resident Ryan Walter. He finished in 17:03. Walter, 20, is a cross-country and track runner at the State University of New York College at Oneonta.
Jim Maney came in second with a time of 17:47. Maney, 47, is from Slingerlands.
Bernes James Jacobs, 48, came in third with a time of 19:35.
"Ryan Walter is an ex-BKW runner," Hamilton said. "And he is running well in college. He had no real strong competition.
"Jim Maney was seven seconds off the masters’ record," Hamilton added. The record is held by Mark Warner. "Jacobs was in his first race in a while and finished third. He was off due to injuries and a layoff. It was good to see him there."
Sarah Furman, 17, of Berne was the top female finisher. The Berne-Knox-Westerlo runner finished in a time of 22:36, good enough for 11th overall.
Janine Groves, 43, of Gilboa was the second female finisher, clocking 25:21. Megan Reynolds, 16, of Burnt Hills was third, coming in at a time of 25:32.
Groves was 20th overall and Reynolds finished 21st overall.
The times were a little slower than they have been in the past.
"It’s because we didn’t have a big turnout," Hamilton said. "We did not have the elite runners."
All the course records were safe, though.
The course record for male runners is 16:04, set by Chuck Terry of Albany.
Sarah Domermuth of Knox set the course record for female runners with a time of 19:13.
"I’m a little disappointed," Hamilton said of the turnout. "Last year, the Mechanicville race was on the same day and we lost 20 people. This year, we lost even more. I tend to think that affected it."
Hamilton said that he thinks the Mechanicville race will be scheduled for the same weekend next year.
"I have not talked to anybody up there," Hamilton said. "But I presume it will be."
Hamilton said that a lot of the elite runners from the area compete in the Utica Boilermaker race that takes place around the Fourth of July. The Boilermaker draws about 10,000 people and is the largest 15 kilometer race in the nation.
A date has not been set for next years Fox Creek 5K race.
"We need to talk about it," Hamilton said. "We’ll wait for things to calm down and we’ll talk about whether we’ll change the date or even whether we’ll make some course changes."
The race has had the same course since it started seven years ago. The race begins near the Berne Town Park and features a natural obstacle.
"There is a big hill in the first-half mile," Hamilton said. "Some people think it’s nice. You can see the Schoharie Valley and the mountains; it’s beautiful.
"But some people think it’s a negative to have a really big hill," Hamilton said. "But, hey, this is Berne."
The race continues to get support from the community and about 30 volunteers helped out this year, lower than previous years.
"This is the seventh year of the race," Hamilton said. "We know what we are doing now. We don’t need as many people."
But Hamilton said that the help he gets is well received and makes the race run smoothly.
"It was a good day," Hamilton concluded. "Everybody had a good time and everything went well. I appreciate the support of the community."
Age group results
Abigail Swint, 10, of Berne was the top finisher in the one-to-12 age category. She finished in 39:33.
Tom Della Rocco, 13, of Berne was the top finisher in the 13-to-15 age group, finishing in 21:03. David Haverly, 14, of Berne was second and Jeffery Moller, 14, of Knox was third.
Gale Della Rocco, 18, of Berne was third in the 16-to-18 age group. She finished behind Furman and Reynolds. Sarah Raymond, 17, of East Berne was fourth and Caitlin Willsey was fifth in the age group and received awards.
Joe Pericone, 17, of Scotia was the top male in the 16-to-19 age group. He ran 20:28 to edge out Aaron Giebitz, 16, of East Berne and Jayson Villeneuve, 16, also of East Berne.
Jennifer Schermerhorn, 23, of Nassau topped the 20-to-29 age group in a time of 30:19. Christine Knawacia, 28, of Berne was second.
Mark Tinney, 28, of Troy followed Walter in the 20-to-29 age group. Sean Connolly, 22, of Cornwall also recieved an award in the age category.
John Furgele, 37, of Delmar was the top runner in the 30-to-39 age group, finishing the race in 19:46.
Jason Pulliam, 35, of Toronto was second in the age group and Travis Stevens, 30, of Knox was third.
Lori Becker, 45, of Albany followed Groves in the 40-to-49 age category, running in 29:15. Becker was followed by Liz Chauvot, 43, of Berne and Laura Chase, 48, of East Berne.
Maney and Jacobs were the top finishers in the 40-to-49 age category. James OShea, 46, of East Berne; Dwight Brown, 42, of Berne, and Joel Willsey, 48, of East Berne were awarded for the finishes in their age group.
Susan Klim, 50, of Altamont topped the 50-to-59 age category in 28:14. Barb Altrock, 58, of Rensselaer was second and Gail Hein, 53, of Altamont was third.
Robert Lee Rivers, 57, of East Berne was the top finisher in the 50-to-59 age category, coming in with a time of 22:41. Robert Fairman, 58, of Wallkill was second and Martin Patrick, 51, of East Greenbush was third.
Terry Hatton, 72, of Berne was the top finisher in the 70-plus age group, finishing in 41:31.
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