Girls' lacrosse: Wall, Plainsmen hold off Streaks
CLIFTON PARK Kelly Wall starred in the final act Thursday after Saratoga Springs staged a grand comeback.
Wall scored on a bounce shot with 17.3 seconds left, her third goal giving Shenendehowa a dramatic 10-9 Suburban Council victory over its longtime lacrosse rival at Steuerwald Stadium.
“Wall and her teammates are true athletes. They have the true athletes’ mentality to go with it,” Shenendehowa coach Jennifer Sykes said. “They’re going to keep going. No matter what the situation is, they will fight until the end.”
Saratoga made Shenendehowa battle hard for this one. The Blue Streaks fell behind early, 6-1, sliced their deficit to 7-6 by the half, and pulled even at 7-7 and 9-9 before things got hectic at both ends of the field.
“We just had to stay calm and play until the end,” said Wall, a junior attacker. “We couldn’t stop.”
“Saratoga made a great run at us,” said Sykes after her team’s first win of the season. “I’m proud of my girls for hanging in there.”
Kristen Connors scored four goals, Emily DePoy notched two, and Makala Foley made eight saves for the Lady Plainsmen (1-2, 1-2). Bri Sirianni topped Saratoga (1-3, 1-4) with three, Hanna Wise and Emily Lange both delivered two goals, and Lauryn Huck made five saves.
Huck stopped Connors on a low free position shot with 1:05 left, and denied Wall on a free position bouncer with 30 seconds remaining before the junior got another opportunity.
“I had to relax, first of all,” said Wall. “My thought was I had to bury it. I tried to look for an open space, go where her stick is not.”
“She’s been in pressure situations twice this week and handled herself very well,” said Sykes.
Wall had an opportunity to win Shenendehowa’s game with Niskayuna Tuesday, but hit the post just before regulation time elapsed in a 9-8 overtime setback. Wall produced half of Shenendehowa’s goals in that loss to the reigning Section II Class A champions.
“She made a great play just to get off the shot. She went around three defenders and didn’t have much of an angle, and she still nipped the post,” Syked said of Wall’s effort. “We trailed the whole game, and that would have been a storybook ending, had she made the shot.”
Wise made good on two shots, with 11:27 left and again at the 7:17 mark, to pull Saratoga even at
9-9. The Blue Streaks had two good chances to take the lead after that, but Foley stopped a high free-position shot by Iszy Wager with 3:50 left, and Emily Kern’s bid to the low left corner sailed wide with 1:55 to play.
“Our mood at the half was very positive,” said Saratoga coach Sue Hoffman. “My message to the girls was don’t settle for having gotten better. I told them to continue to push it.”
Sirianni scored on a free position to cap Saratoga’s 5-1 run to close the opening half, and Sirianni’s fast break goal 1:07 into the second frame knotted the contest at seven. Shenendehowa went up, 9-7, on free-position goals by Connors and DePoy before the Blue Streaks countered again on the tallies by Wise.
“This was the best game we’ve played, and it’s going to get better. It’s starting to come together,” said Hoffman. “With our youthful fearlessness and with our experience, watch out for us in May.”
Saratoga dropped a 10-9 overtime decision to Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Tuesday, and also bowed to Niskayuna and Section IX Class A champ Kingston.
“These girls just need some confidence. They’ve got speed. They’ve got stick skills. They’re not new to this game,” said Hoffman. “A little bit of confidence will go a long way.”
Connors scored with 16:10 left in the first half to give Shenendehowa its 6-1 advantage.
“We just attacked aggressively,” Sykes said of her team’s fast start. “We saw some inside looks and our shot selection was very good.”
Saratoga Springs 6 3 — 9
Shenendehowa 7 3 — 10
Saratoga Springs scoring: Emily Lange 2-0, Bri Sirianni 3-0, Iszy Wager 1-0, Emily Kern 1-1, Hanna Wise 2-0. Shenendehowa scoring: Kelly Wall 3-0, Shannon McMillan 1-0, Emily DePoy 2-0, Kristen Connors 4-0, Paige Byrne 0-1.
Goalkeepers: Saratoga Springs, Lauryn Huck, 5 saves. Shenendehowa, Makala Foley, 8 saves.