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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, May 19, 2011

Are the Lady Dutch unstoppable?

By Jordan J. Michael

SCHENECTADY –– Can another Section II lacrosse team beat the Lady Dutch? It seems less and less likely as time moves on.

Guilderland thrashed through Schenectady’s fleeting defense, 24 to 5, on Tuesday in the Class A quarterfinals to further the discussion. It was raining cats and dogs, but the weather had no effect on the team’s blazing offense and tireless defense.

Guilderland, the top seed, had to play on Schenectady’s synthetic turf field because its home field was saturated. The team will travel to Shenendehowa today for the semifinals.

Eleven different players scored for the Dutch on Tuesday, including senior defender Jess Marini, who rarely, if ever, drops into the offensive zone.

After the emphatic win, Head Coach Gary Chatnik was to the point, saying, “I feel good about this team.” Then, he directed all further comments to Carrie Britt, his trusty assistant.

“These girls are growing and I’ve provided them with a lot of support,” Britt said. “But, they’re still really good.”

Guilderland can hurt opponents in many different ways.

Erin Mossop, Kendall Cietek, Shelby Iapoce, Mackenzie Cietek, Kelly Camardo, Morgan Hardt, and Brianna Phillips all have scored at least 22 points this season. Mossop, the other senior besides Marini, eclipsed 100 points on Tuesday by scoring three goals and assisting on six others. Hardt, only a freshman, scored four goals.

“We have a lot of players that can score big, but each one of them looks to the other,” said Britt. “They support each other. It’s like, ‘Hey, I’ll feed you the ball.’”

The Lady Dutch dished out 15 assists against the Schenectady Patriots. Kelsey Michele didn’t score, but she helped create four goals. Britt doesn’t see selfishness from any of the players, but she wouldn’t mind witnessing some.

“I think you need a little selfishness, a little edge,” Britt said. “Maybe a little arrogance, too.”

Britt told The Enterprise that the Lady Dutch have a unique personality. “They’re so busy supporting each other,” she said, “that they forget to lead.”

“Don’t be afraid”

It’s easier for a team to lose if they second-guess themselves, but Britt said that Guilderland doesn’t do that. That’s the main reason why the Lady Dutch have won 77 straight Section II contests, dating back to 2007.

Everyone who was around when the winning streak started is now gone, except for coach Chatnik. It’s the history of it all that weighs on the current group of players. It gets heavier with each game.

“They’re afraid to lose, afraid of letting people down,” Britt said. “They’re obsessed with winning, but, if they lose, it’ll blow over. Don’t be afraid.”

Britt recalled a bus ride home from a scrimmage early in the season. She asked if the players were afraid that they had done something wrong. “They all raised their hands,” she said. “It was just a scrimmage. What could they be afraid of?”

That’s an indication of how dedicated the team is to winning. “Gary can push them and they’ll listen and follow,” Britt said. “They’re committed to what he’s saying.”

If the Lady Dutch gets by Shenendehowa, it will face either Shaker or Niskayuna, two teams that pushed Guilderland to the brink this season. Britt knows that the sectional final will be a classic, regardless of the opponent.

“No one is going to hate them if they lose,” said Britt. “They should go out there for themselves and no one else.”

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