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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, May 27, 2010

Lady Dutch run magic number to four

By Jordan J. Michael

ALBANY –– Mark it number four for the Lady Dutch lacrosse team.

Guilderland’s epic Section II winning streak, dating back to 2007, continued on Wednesday night at the University of Albany with the team’s fourth Class A title in a row. This year’s victim was the Blue Bison of Shaker.

The Lady Dutch scored a barrage of goals in the first half for a 10-to-3 lead at the break. Shaker tried to crawl back, but the damage was too deep and Guilderland’s determination too strong.

The final score read 18 to 10 and the girls in red and white stormed the field in traditional fashion.

For some players, it was the third title and for others it was the first. For seniors Amanda Santandrea, Jenna Crupi, and Kristen Cagino, it was the fourth. Those three girls have been on board for the entire journey.

“You almost don’t want to believe it’s true,” said Crupi, who netted three goals on Wednesday. “I would have never imagined this for us four years ago. It’s an amazing feeling.”

Cagino said that the Lady Dutch have been riding the same winning attitude since 2007. “We always get nervous for big games like this,” she said. “But, we’re always ready to play.”

After winning four titles in a row, an outsider may think that Guilderland is taking a walk in the park at this point. The players and coach say otherwise: The team has earned everything and none of it came easy.

“We’ve worked extremely hard for all of this,” said Kelly Camardo, who broke out for four goals and an assist. “We take one step at a time. It’s a steady progression.”

During the regular season, Head Coach Gary Chatnik repeatedly mentioned that his team was “climbing a ladder.” The Dutch had a lot to learn after losing seniors who had scored 300 goals.

“We didn’t have any doubts about winning,” Chatnik said. “But we had a lot of space for growth.”

Guilderland has relied more on its defense this season, and Chatnik knew going in that defense would be the strength of the team. The defense completely suffocated Shaker at times in the first half and Santandrea was there to back up the defense with huge saves in goal.

“The girls in the back have kept us alive all year,” Chatnik said of the defense and Santandrea.

But, the offense exploded for 18 goals in the Class A final against a quality team. Camardo, Cagino, Crupi, Erin Mossop, Kendall Cietek, Shelby Iapoce, and Taylor Mead all scored goals against the Bison.

“The offense definitely matured tonight,” said Chatnik, who was pleased, but not surprised by the first half. “They understood the plan and got it going.”

Cagino told The Enterprise that multiple contributions are key to the team’s success. The Lady Dutch hit opponents with several angles.

“Everyone on this roster can contribute in one way or another,” Cagino said. “We’re so well rounded.”

When will a Section II team beat Guilderland? Shaker Head Coach Mary-Lynne McKee was left shaking her head.

“They will get beat some day. It will happen,” said McKee. “Just not today and not this year.”

Until then, winning will never get old for the Lady Dutch. The team gets a chance to climb another rung of its ladder on June 5 in a regional game at UAlbany. Victory there would take the Lady Dutch back to Cortland for another try at the State Championship.

“We’ve been culminating for some time,” said Chatnik. “Three more climbs and we’ll be at the top.”

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