Guilderland girls’ lacrosse seeks improvement

Dutchmen win rematch with Shenendehowa
Shen's Bridget Shanahan goes after the loose ball with Guilderland's Courtney Rafferty, teammate Sydney Fess and Shea Thomson.
Shen's Bridget Shanahan goes after the loose ball with Guilderland's Courtney Rafferty, teammate Sydney Fess and Shea Thomson.

GUILDERLAND CENTER — New Guilderland girls’ lacrosse coach Kara DePaula kept the compliments to a minimum. She praised Christine Fish for her defensive work, and lauded Jamie Golderman for her offensive execution.

Other than that …

“I walked away from that game thinking we have a lot to work on.” DePaula said after Thursday’s 10-6 Suburban Council win over Shenendehowa.

DePaula is a believer in the gradual build, something she experienced as a championship-winning player at Albany Academy and as a coach at Shaker. That’s the objective this spring, too, with a re-tooled Guilderland team that’s trying to add to its seven Section II Class A titles and do damage at the state level.

“I want us to do better than the day before,” DePaula said. “As long as we can win that last game, it’s all I care about.”

Guilderland (3-1) was much better Thursday than in its previous game, a 17-5 non-league loss to John Jay-Cross River.

“John Jay was a wake-up call,” Golderman, a junior, said after scoring all four of her goals in the second half to spark Thursday’s win. “It pushed us to step up. It showed us that nothing is going to be handed to us.”

Guilderland built a 3-1 lead Thursday, let it slip away before the first half was through, and took control with four unanswered goals in the opening seven minutes of the second half.

“This group is learning how to deal with adversity in a positive manor,” DePaula said.

Goals by Syracuse-bound Kara Gray and McKenzie Ballard to close the first half pulled Shenendehowa (1-1) into a 3-3 tie. Golderman scored three goals in Guilderland’s run to begin the second half; Courtney Rafferty had the other.

“I think we really stayed composed,” said Golderman, who has committed to Binghamton. “You’ve got to stay calm. Mistakes happen. It’s what you do after mistakes that make the difference.”

While pleased with the early minutes of the second half, DePaula thought her team could have had more goals later on. Over the final 13:10, Guilderland had a player advantage after Shenendehowa was hit with a fourth yellow card.

“We have a bunch of really good players,” said DePaula, whose cast includes University at Albany commits in Kadi Futia and Rafferty. “Right now, they’re not all clicking. We need everyone clicking.”

Guilderland opened its season with wins over Ballston Spa (10-4) and Bethlehem (11-6), with Amanda Nieman generating five goals in each.

“If we focus only on wins and losses, we’re not going to get where we want to go,” Futia said.

Shenendehowa, which lost to Guilderland 9-8 in overtime  in the 2017 Class A final, is also far off from finding its groove.

“We won most of the draws,” Plainsmen co-coach Heidi Ackerley said. “We didn’t take care of the ball as well as we could have, and we made mental mistakes that hurt us. We’re just getting it going.”

Shenendehowa 3 3 – 6

Guilderland 3 7 – 10

Shenendehowa scoring: MeKenzie Ballard 1-2, Jenna Graf 1-1, Kara Gray 3-0, Grace Paliwodzinski 1-0. Guilderland scoring: Kadi Futia 2-0, Courtney Rafferty 2-0, Jamie Golderman 4-0, Amanda Nieman 1-1, Shea Thomson 0-1, Emily Burns 1-1.

Goalkeepers: Shenendehowa, Aislinn Sweeney, 9 saves. Guilderland, Alexa DiCaprio, 3 saves.

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 518-395-3143, [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.

Categories: High School Sports, Sports

Leave a Reply