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Sports Archives The Altamont Enterprise, June 18, 2009
State championship eludes Lady Dutch
By Jordan J. Michael
CORTLAND The Lady Dutch lacrosse team watched its ultimate goal disappear in the final seconds on Saturday in Cortland.
After beating Fairport, 13-9, in the Class A semi-final on Friday afternoon, Guilderland watched as Farmingdale’s Kyra Ochwat scored on a free position with nine seconds left in the final on Saturday to take a permanent 10-to-9 lead.
The call was questionable and the two-year goal of a state championship for the Lady Dutch faded away as some girls on the team buried their heads in the Cortland turf while the clock ran to zero.
“It all happened so quickly,” senior Courtney Davis said of Farmingdale’s three consecutive goals in the final minutes. “We eventually pulled ourselves together, but it was too late. We played our hearts out. It’s hard to see a state title be decided by one call, but there’s nothing you can do.”
Guilderland faced the Dalers for the second year in a row at Cortland. The Long Island team had a 16-to-10 win in last season’s semi-final. Again, Farmingdale matched the speed and skill of the Lady Dutch on Saturday.
“I can’t really compare this game to last year’s because Guilderland looked so seasoned,” Farmingdale Head Coach Shari Campbell said after the game. “It was the perfect match-up this time. They were killing us on the draw all game, but I knew if we could secure some draws that we could score. We got some good bounces at the end.”
“We’re feeling a lot of disappointment right now because the state title is all we wanted,” Dutch Head Coach Gary Chatnik said. “It was a great game to watch, but even more of a tough one to lose. It’s really not the way I would have liked it to end, but I assume the ref was right. We played well, but it just didn’t work out.”
Cruising to the final
Guilderland came into Cortland on Friday with a head of steam after pounding Lakeland/Panas in the regional final. Fairport, a team from Section V, gave the Dutch a test early on.
Abigail Runyan passed the ball over the goal from behind and hit Lindsay McKinnon for the first Raider goal. Runyan had another assist on Shelby Vakiener’s goal and Fairport had a 2-to-0 lead.
The Lady Dutch got on the board with 15:14 left in the first half when Senior Danielle Tetreault snuck in from behind the goal and scored. She did the same exact move minutes later to tie the game at two.
Tetreault added two more goals off a broken clear by Fairport and a breakaway to give Guilderland a 4-to-2 lead with 3:33 left in the half. She had all four Dutch goals.
“I was surprised by how long it took us to score because we usually get one quickly,” said Chatnik on Friday. “Fairport controlled the ball at first, but we eventually kicked into gear. Tetreault had an amazing day.”
Amanda Best continued the Lady Dutch’s scoring with a free position goal and Kristen Cagino found Davis for another score. McKinnon put a free position shot past Amanda Santandrea to leave the score at 6 to 3 going into halftime.
“We really didn’t want a repeat of last year,” said Tetreault, who scored seven goals in the game. “We know what to expect now. Being in Cortland for the second straight year is a dream come true.”
Laura Puccia got Fairport within two at the beginning of the second half, but Tetreault answered off an assist from Best. Guilderland led, 7-4.
Tetreault left the game for a brief moment after injuring her left ankle on a fall out of bounds. It didn’t take Tetreault long before she coasted down field and scored another goal.
The Raiders showed signs of life when Shelby Vakiener scooped up the ground ball and ran all the way to the goal before being fouled. She netted the free position shot and the score was 8 to 5.
The Lady Dutch proceeded to score five unanswered goals to push the lead to 13 to 5 with 5:20 left in regulation. Erin Mossop, Tetreault, Kelly Camardo, Bridget Daley, and Davis scored during the run. Santandrea had some beautiful saves down the stretch and ended with 12 on the day.
Fairport strung four goals together at the end, but it was too late. Guilderland headed to the final round against Farmingdale on Saturday.
“We had a great week of practice and knew we had some unfinished business to take care of,” Chatnik said. “The road hasn’t been as easy as some people may think. I’m very proud of these girls.”
Best told The Enterprise that playing Farmingdale again would psyche up the team more than any other opponent. “They took us out last year, so hopefully we can get a little revenge.”
The final episode
The Lady Dutch and the Lady Dalers met on a warm sun-drenched Saturday afternoon for the Class A lacrosse title. The game was a back-and-forth affair with a climatic ending.
Farmingdale won the first draw and Ochwat fired a shot that was saved by Santandrea. Jamie Leone found Ochwat moments later for the first goal. Best answered by sinking a free position at the other end.
Janine Hiller scored a goal for the Dalers as she was getting pushed, waving off the foul. Lauren Maksym and Santandrea both made huge saves to keep the score at 2 to 1.
Jenna Crupi drew Guilderland even with a free position goal until Melanie Raso put Farmingdale ahead with 14:00 to go in the first half with a free position score of her own. Ochwat put the ball through Santandrea’s legs off a feed from Hiller to bring the lead to 4 to 2.
Maegan Meritz had a wide-open chance for the Dalers, but Santandrea somehow managed to make the stop. Best made a move equivalent to a crossover in basketball to score the third goal for the Dutch.
Cagino and Daley had two solid attempts on goal, but Maksym saved both of the shots. With 6:53 to go, Daley rolled in and scored to tie up the game, 4-4.
Best scored a free position goal to give Guilderland a one-goal lead and Maksym made a save on Cagino’s free position at the buzzer. The Lady Dutch had a 5-to-4 lead at halftime.
“We had a good string of goals to give ourselves a lead to build on,” said Chatnik. “We came out strong in the second half but no one was going to pull away in this defensive battle.”
The excellent goaltending did not let up in the second half. The Dutch lead was pushed to 6 to 4 when Tetreault found Daley for a goal. The Guilderland fans were loud and chanted at every free moment.
Kelly McPartland and Hiller each had a goal to even the score, 6-6. Kat Keegan received a yellow card with 12:48 to go for a crosscheck, putting the Lady Dutch down a player for three minutes. The Dalers took advantage and got a goal from Raso, giving the team a 7-to-6 lead.
Tetreault assisted Cagino with 10:57 left to tie the game again, 7-7. Jen Madsen put in another goal for Guilderland off a pass from Daley, and Casey Gerety marched all the way down the field from the defensive side to score. The Dutch had a 9-to-7 lead with 6:44 left.
The final few minutes were owned by the Farmingdale offense. Guilderland couldn’t find the net after the momentum shifted.
McPartland started it off with a bouncer past Santandrea on a free position. Raso charged in with 0:59 left to tie the game, 9-9. The Guilderland defense was trying to hold on, hoping for overtime.
“I don’t know why, but we couldn’t possess the ball at the end,” Chatnik said. “Our defense was good. The Dalers just kept pushing and pushing. All we needed to do was hold the ball. I can’t even process the end because it happened so fast.”
As the clock was winding down, Ochwat looked for an opening and attacked. She converged with two Dutch defenders and the whistle sounded. The Guilderland sideline and fan base couldn’t believe the call.
Santandrea had made excellent saves all game but couldn’t put a stop to Ochwat’s free position shot. The Lady Dutch and Section II would have to wait for its first state title in lacrosse.
“Lacrosse is a really quick sport and we had a few mishaps at the end,” said Tetreault between sobs after the game. “Farmingdale came up big. We should be holding our heads high because we worked extremely hard and truly earned this.”
“Guilderland is a really great team and they’re right on the cusp of a state title like we were,” Farmingdale’s coach Campbell said. “This is our fourth year here and we finally got one. I’m sure they will be back here next year.”
“I’ve been coaching a wonderful group of kids,” said Chatnik as he walked away. “That’s all I can say.”