CANTON - What started as a rebuilding season ended with a fifth straight Section 10 Overall Championship for the Massena Central girls lacrosse team on Tuesday.
We lost some very strong players to graduation and we are a very, very young team that didnt have a lot of experience at this level. The younger players did a great job of stepping up and they were a big part of this win today. I thought we played our best overall game of the year, said coach Jeffrey Slack after the Lady Raiders, who got off to a 2-2 start this spring as the lone Class B team in the section, followed up their NAC regular season championship by outscoring Class C champion Potsdam Central 10-3 in the overall final at the SUNY Canton turf field.
Both squads will now be heading to Liverpool High School on Thursday to open their respectively NYSPHSAA tournaments against their Section 3 counterparts with Potsdam (14-4) taking on Skaneateles in the Class C game at 5 p.m. and Massena facing CBA at 7 p.m. in the Class B matchup. Skaneateles beat South Jefferson 17-6 in the Section 3 final while CBA stopped Watertown High 17-10.
In the win over the Lady Sandstoners on Tuesday, the teams traded a pair of goals through the first 10 minutes before the Lady Raiders steadily took over, working their way to a 5-2 halftime lead then adding four more unanswered goals in the second half.
If you look at the game in terms of possession, we held the ball for most of the game but Massena was very strong defensively and we werent able to capitalize, noted Potsdam coach Sarah Bullard.
Junior Courtney Manley anchored the Lady Raider scoring with three goals and two assists while eighth-grader Trysten Burns generated four goals and classmate Jacelyn Lazore chipped in a goal and assist. Senior Shannon Casey and Mimi Lazore, a seventh-grader, struck for the other goals. Sophomores Devin Kelly and Maddi Dillabough closed out the Massena scoresheet with an assist each.
Senior Annette Rishe broke through for two of the Potsdam goals and set up the other by sophomore Kalie Grant while senior Kiona Loran tallied a solo helper.
Junior Felicity Love stood tall between the pipes for the Lady Raiders, making four of her five saves in the second half while breaking up another five potential scoring chances by intercepting passes from the goal crease. Junior Katelyn Bloom worked the Lady Sandstoner crease for eight saves
After trading the early goals, Manley helped the Lady Raiders begin to take control when she struck for the go-ahead goal unassisted with 12:20 left in the first half then set up Jacelyn Lazore with what would hold up as the game-winner just 68 seconds later before pushing the lead to 5-2 when she took a pass from Kelly then struck for her second of the game with just 10.4 seconds left in the first half.
The Lady Raiders steadily stretched their lead to 9-2 before Rishe ended the Potsdam scoring drought by converting off an assist from Loran with 4:08 remaining. Manley restored the seven-goal lead with 2:47 left assisted by Dillabough.
Weve been practicing hard the last few days to get ready for this game, noted Slack. We put in a new defense and it worked very well today.
We know its going to be a different pace on Thursday. We just have to go out and play our game and hope for the best, he added as the Lady Raiders look to follow up on their breakthrough win in the first round of last years state tournament. If we play like we did today and put forth the same kind of effort, who knows what can happen?