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CBA-Syracuse halts Massena in state girls Class C lacrosse tourney opener

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CANTON - The Massena Central girls lacrosse team got a first-hand look at what it takes to win a New York State championship on Thursday.

“They are as good a team as I’ve ever seen,” said coach Jeffrey Slack after the Lady Raiders dropped a 21-6 decision to top-ranked defending champion CBA-Syracuse in the first round of the state Class C tournament at the SUNY Canton turf. “We want to get to their level some day. That’s what we’re hoping for and we are making progress. Our minor program is coming along in leaps and bounds which is going to be great for us in the long run.”

“Our girls kept their heads up and we did some good things today,” he added. “We didn’t get a lot of opportunities in the offensive zone, but when we did, we either converted or got a good shot on goal and that was something positive.”

The Lady Raiders fell behind 10-0 before Shaydi Oakes controlled a loose ball near midfield and raced in to score a breakaway goal with 11:26 left in the first half. CBA quickly restored the two-goal advantage before back-to-back goals by Steffanie Premo and Erin Francis made it 11-3 with 5:41 remaining. CBA countered with four more goals before the break to put the game well out of reach.

Francis, a junior, highlighted the Massena effort with a three-goal performance, completing her hat trick in the final minute off an assist from classmate Dominique Valancius who finished with a goal and assist along with Oakes and Premo. Shannon Casey contributed an assist.

Taylor Poplawski (3 assists), Caroline Webster (2 assists) and Rachel Perla netted three goals apiece to anchor a balanced CBA attack that saw five other players score twice.

Junior Alisha Jacobs made nine saves weathering the CBA storm while the duo of Courtney Henderson (2 saves) and Sydney Murphy (4 saves) shared crease duties in the win.

The Lady Raiders closed out a second straight banner season with a 15-3 record that included an undefeated defense of its NAC regular season title along with a successful defense of Section 10 honors. In two seasons under Slack’s guidance, they have gone 31-5 with all five losses coming against non-league rivals.

“This team has a lot to be proud of,” he noted.

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