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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, April 21, 2011

Lady Dutch remains undefeated after Herculean Blue Bison attack

By Jordan J. Michael

GUILDERLAND –– A dynasty hung in the balance last Thursday.

Down three players with just under five minutes remaining in regulation play, the girls from Shaker were tied, 9 to 9, with a Guilderland lacrosse team that hadn’t lost to a Section II opponent in four years. With only nine players for the last 10 minutes, the Blue Bison were determined to knock the queens off their throne.

The upset didn’t happen. The Lady Dutch escaped and remained seated.

Junior Kelly Camardo, who returned to the line-up from injury for last Thursday’s game, scored her sixth and final goal of the day for Guilderland. The goal sealed the 10-to-9 win, as the Dutch played keep-away for the final three-and-a-half minutes.

Shaker did have one last chance to tie the game. Jess Marini threw the ball high and out of bounds, but Guilderland’s Shelby Iapoce made a huge defensive play; she picked up the ball off the ground after knocking it loose.

After the final whistle blew, Bison Head Coach Courtney Hill cried out loud to her players, ultimately proud of their effort. Dutch Head Coach Gary Chatnik had a lengthy closed-circle chat with his girls.

Hill was upset with what she said were “critical” calls that swung the entire game. Under the new rules, teams have to sacrifice a player for each additional yellow-flag call after said team already has three yellow flags. Referees give yellow flags for major fouls and other dangerous infractions. The rule is meant to make the game safer because girls, unlike boys, do not wear helmets.

“We knew the rules, but it seemed like a happy whistle,” Hill said. “The girls are being held more accountable now. The stakes are higher.”

Those stakes would have been through the roof if Shaker had won the game. The game would have played out differently if the Bison had all 12 players on the field for the final 10 minutes.

When asked if Shaker would have won with 12 players instead of nine, Chatnik didn’t know. “It’s hard to say, really,” he said. “You still have to go out there and execute. Both teams played very hard.”

Just like Hill, Chatnik knew the new rules, suffering the consequences in a previous game. “It’s meant to clean things up,” he said. “It’s for safety, but the referees have an opinion.”

Close call

Coming off a 13-to-7 win at Saratoga Springs, Guilderland didn’t play its best game on Thursday. Passing and catching was an issue throughout; The Dutch at one point dropped three passes in a row.

“We struggled with all of the little things,” Camardo said, naming ground balls as an example. “We just tried to keep up the intensity.”

Shaker came well prepared, stacking up its defense in front of goalie Anne Morrison, who stopped several Dutch shots. The Bison got on the scoreboard first with a goal from Kaitlyn Cheney.

Camardo answered for Guilderland, scoring three straight goals over five minutes with assists from Kendall Cietek and Morgan Hardt. The Lady Dutch had a 3-to-1 lead, but Lauren Smith netted two consecutive goals to tie the game at 3 to 3.

The sun kept disappearing and reappearing from behind the clouds and this turned out to be a metaphor for the game. If a Guilderland score was the sun, then a Shaker score was the clouds. There were nine lead changes and eight ties throughout the contest.

With the prettiest offensive move of the game, Camardo rolled around the cage from Morrison’s right, pulled a fake, and scored into the open net for a 4-to-3 lead with 1:29 left in the first half. Katherine Zangrone evened the score for the Bison after being fouled with 12 seconds remaining.

Shaker took a one-goal lead three separate times in the second half, but Guilderland consistently tied the game. After Camardo tied the score at 7 to 7, the roles reversed, and the Lady Dutch grabbed a one-goal lead after Michaela Maybee scored from on the crease.

At this point, Shaker was starting to lose players, but that didn’t stop Zangrone from winning the draw and racing all the way down the field, untouched while changing hands, for a goal. The Dutch got a goal from Mackenzie Cietek for another one-goal lead, but Charlotte Rehfuss tied the game at 9 to 9.

Clearly, Guilderland, which has won four-straight Class A titles, is talented enough to make many mistakes and still win. Shaker might have been Guilderland’s toughest test of the season. The Dutch went to Shenendehowa on Tuesday, winning 14 to 7 and increasing its Suburban Council record to 7-0.

“I’m always happy with a win, but we played poorly,” Chatnik said last Thursday. “It could have been worse.”

As far as maintaining that Section II winning streak, Camardo insisted that her team doesn’t focus on that, saying, “We use the past as motivation for the next game.”

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