Bad bounce for defending champs

The Enterprise –– Michael Koff

 

Twisting away from her defender, Guilderland’s Rebecca Golderman eludes the Shaker defensive check during the first half of the Class A sectional championship at the University of Albany on Wednesday evening. Golderman scored a goal in Guilderland’s 8 –to- 7 loss to Shaker.

The Enterprise –– Michael Koff

 

Reaching high: Guilderland’s Morgan Hardt, foreground, out jumps a Shaker player to retrieve the ball after the faceoff, which she took, during the Class A sectional championship at the University at Albany. Hardt and Shannon Mackesey led the Dutch with two goals each.

The Enterprise — Michael Koff

Cutting through the rain, and past two Shenendehowa defenders is Guilderland’s Cara Quimby, who scored six goals last Thursday during the Dutch’s 18-to-8 Class A semifinal win in Guilderland. As the defending Class A champions, the Dutch played Shaker in the finals on Wednesday night.

The Enterprise –– Michael Koff

 

Battling for every inch, Guilderland’s Cara Quimby shoots while a Shaker defender has the butt end of her stick on Quimby’s head during the first half of Guilderland’s 8 –to- 7 Class A sectional championship loss to Shaker on Wednesday evening at the University at Albany.

The Enterprise –– Michael Koff

 

Game face: Guilderland’s Shannon Mackesey, right, drives to the net and is checked by Shaker’s Aubrey Conti in the second half of the Class A sectional championship game. Shaker won 8 –to- 7.

The Enterprise — Michael Koff

Sharp shooter: Junior Cara Quimby (#15) scored six goals and had one assist during Guilderland’s 18-to-8 Class A semifinal victory over Shenendehowa last Thursday. Here, Quimby takes a shot. She will try out for the United States Women’s National Under-19 lacrosse team in Baltimore this weekend.

The Enterprise — Michael Koff

Joy: The Guilderland girls’ lacrosse team made its eighth straight Class A championship appearance this week after beating Shenendehowa, 18 to 8, at home last Thursday; the Dutch won titles from 2007 to 2010 and again in 2013. Here, Katie Becker hugs goalie Kaitlyn Hess after beating Shenendehowa.

The Enterprise — Michael Koff

Rough play: Last Thursday, the Guilderland girls’ lacrosse team beat Shenendehowa, 18 to 8, in the Class A semifinals. Here, Cara Quimby, who scored six goals for the Dutch, gets whacked on the shoulder by a defender. Guilderland played Shaker in the finals on Wednesday at UAlbany.

The Enterprise — Michael Koff

Ready…set…Junior Rebecca Golderman awaits the whistle for a free position for Guilderland during last Thursday’s Class A semifinal lacrosse game against Shenendehowa. The Dutch won, 18 to 8, and Golderman scored four goals. Shannon Mackesey also scored four goals, and Morgan Hardt added three goals.       

ALBANY — The Guilderland girls’ lacrosse team has been champions five different times. On Wednesday night, the Dutch lost like champions.

Trying to defend yet another Class A championship, Guilderland had a shot to tie the game with Shaker in the final 25 seconds of regulation play. Rebecca Golderman fired the ball towards the net from eight meters, but the shooting lane was shored up, and the ball deflected hard the other way.

The whistle sounded as the ball rolled away. Golderman’s stick may have made contact with Aubrey Conti’s head, and Conti lay on the turf. Conti eventually walked off, and Golderman sat in the penalty box.  

Shaker ran off the remaining time, and clinched its second title in three seasons. Sure, it was a disappointing moment for the Guilderland players, but they walked gingerly to the bench, and then accepted their runner-up patches.

Guilderland senior Morgan Hardt, now finished with the Dutch after four seasons, showed no signs of sadness, and even cracked some smiles. If she felt anything, it was pride.

“This team was the best group of girls to spend my senior year with,” said Hardt after Wednesday’s 8-to-7 loss to Shaker at the University of Albany; she scored two goals. “I won’t remember a certain play, or a certain game; it’s just the people I spent it with.”

Before the Guilderland players left the field, Hardt led the team for one last “Lady Dutch” chant. Each player raised her stick and exclaimed the Dutch name with dignity.

“I’m happy with our season,” Hardt said. Guilderland had lost three Suburban Council games early in the season — one to Shaker is double overtime — but bounced back to make the Class A finals for the eighth consecutive year.

“We learned to have pride in every play,” added Hardt. “Going out there, especially in sectional play, knowing that it could be your last game.”

Indeed, Wednesday was the end for Hardt and her six sister seniors. Again, no Dutch players seemed too miserable.

Guilderland Head Coach Carrie Britt, in her first season at the helm, said that the Dutch started taking better care of the ball as the season went along, but on Wednesday, the team reverted under pressure.

“They need to settle down and really work for the good shot,” Britt said. “If we had done that consistently throughout the game, I think we would have been up by three [goals], instead of down by one at the end.”

Guilderland had built an early 3-to-0 lead on goals by Cara Quimby, Katie Becker, and Hardt, who said she was all “jazzed up” after that, but Shaker came back. The Bison got goals from Maeve Lennon, Carlie Maxwell, and Julia Lennon, which left the Dutch with a 4-to-3 lead at halftime.

“I was excited, but you can’t give up that early,” Hardt said. “Nothing is ever in the bag.”

Shaker gained momentum in the second half, scoring two goals out of the gate. Senior Julia Lennon scored three of her four goals in the second half, including one to tie the game at 7-to-7, and the game-winner with less than one minute remaining.

Hardt once played on an Under Armour lacrosse team with Lennon, who made decisive moves on Wednesday.

“She’s a great player, great kid all around, but she just has that — when she draws in and draws out — that ability to move the defenders and read that defense,” said Hardt. “No matter how many great players you have, it’s not just about the great players who perform on the field; it’s everybody. If someone isn’t putting out their full heart, full effort, then you’re not going to come off with it, you know?”

Meeting in the Class A finals for the third consecutive year, Guilderland and Shaker are obvious adversaries. Britt used to be Shaker’s head coach.

“It’s been a huge, huge rivalry, and it’s been vicious, but, honestly, this year, it’s two really good teams,” Shaker Head Coach Kara DePaula Lynch said. “We didn’t come into this angry; it’s just two really good teams fighting for a win. It wasn’t a grudge match.”

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