CANTON - A stingy Potsdam Central girls lacrosse team kept Canton Central from defending the Section 10 Class C championship on Thursday.
We beat Canton twice during the season and we needed to beat them a third time to get where we wanted, said coach Sarah Bullard after the Lady Sandstoners knocked off defending champion Canton Central 7-4 in this years title game at the SUNY Canton turf field. Our whole season has been about playing strong defense and we did a nice job again today. Once we settled into our defense, we were just about unstoppable this year.
We lost in the first round last year and we did not want to be eliminated in the first round again this year. she added.
With the win, the Lady Sandstoners improved to 14-3 overall and earned a third trip to the NYSPHSAA in four years. They will now get set to take on the Section 3 champion at Liverpool High School next Thursday. Before heading to the state tournament, Potsdam will face Class B champion Massena Central in the Section 10 Overall final on Tuesday at SUNY Canton starting at 6 p.m.
In downing Canton, the Lady Sandstoners overcame an early deficit and worked their way to a 5-3 halftime lead before controlling the ball the majority of the second half where they went ahead 7-3 before allowing a late goal.
Im super proud of the way our team played today, said first-year coach Melanie Knight after her squad closed out the season with a 10-4 record. We got our chances on offense but their goalie made some big saves and I thought we defended well.
Potsdam is a very solid team. Theyre a well-oiled machine. We were right there with them in the first half but they didnt give us a lot of chances in the second half, she added.
Junior netminder Katelyn Bloom overcame pre-game technical issues that left her scrambling to find a new helmet by turning aside 10 of the shots she faced to backstop the win, including three saves off point blank shots late in the first half that helped preserve the lead.
My helmet broke before the game but Paige McCabe called her dad, who owns MVP Sports, and they delivered a new helmet right to the field, said Bloom. Im just glad I was able to contribute. Our defense has been strong all year and they made me look good today.
Katelyn has come up with big saves for us all year, coach Bullard noted.
Senior Meg Howard also recorded 10 saves working the crease in the losing effort.
Senior Annette Rishe anchored the Potsdam offense with two goals and four assists. Sophomore Kalie Grant tallied two goals and one helper while eighth-grader Hannah Drecshel (1 assist) and seniors Abby Gruneisen and Kiona Loran struck for the other goals.
Emily Pinckney netted a goal and helped set up another for Canton. Rachel Huntley, Courtney Marsh and Claire Bartlett broke through for the other goals.
Pinckney opened the scoring 2:23 into the game and the teams went on to trade goals through the first nine minutes before the Lady Sandstoners reeled off three straight to take a 5-2 lead. Canton countered with a goal by Marsh with 4:35 remaining to make it 5-3 at the half.
The second half saw the teams go more than seven minutes without scoring before two goals less than two minutes apart by Rishe and Loran put Potsdam ahead 7-3. Canton closed out the scoring when Bartlett converted from Pinckney with 8:07 left in regulation.
POSTGAME NOTES: Following Thursday evenings title game, the All-NAC Awards were presented. Heuvelton Centrals Jackie Sovie was named the MVP while she and her teammates were presented with the Stephanie Putney Memorial Outstanding Team Sportsmanship Award, as chosen by the leagues officials.