SCHUYLERVILLE — The Niskayuna girls’ lacrosse team knew it had its hands full up against Bethlehem in the Section 2 Class B championship game on Thursday night.
“We’re more than happy to be the underdog,” said Niskayuna coach Alexis Licht, “and try to take it to them and give them a good game.”
The Eagles outlasted the Silver Warriors, picking up a 12-6 victory and the Class B title.
After dropping down from Class A to B this season, Bethlehem received a bye to the championship game as the top seed. No. 2 Niskayuna defeated No. 3 Columbia 11-4 in a semifinal game last week, earning a spot in the championship.
Maeve Conway and Sophie Klein led the scoring effort for the Eagles with three goals apiece. Avery Eick and Kait Tietjen each tacked on two goals, while Caroline Marotta had two goals and an assist. Addison Daggett contributed two assists.
In their Suburban Council matchup on April 27, Bethlehem defeated Niskayuna 17-3.
“We’re a different team than we were the last time we played them,” Licht said. “I don’t think we were ready for what they had the last time, but we had the chance to go over that film, develop as a team and learn to play together as a group.”
“On defense, and even on offense, we were much more confident than we were last time,” said freshman midfielder Ava Roemer. “We weren’t winning the draw that much, but we were doing well on defense and that was getting us some opportunities on offense.”
Niskayuna’s scoring was spread out on Thursday, with six different players scoring the team’s six goals.
Abigail Licht and Jackie Reffelt each contributed a goal and an assist. Roemer, Allison Boler, Emily Bateman and Abigail Daversa-Russo each scored a goal.
“We had them within three a few times, and I think we rattled them a little bit. But once they kept scoring, we got down a little bit,” Roemer said. “Getting here and losing, it makes me want to win the next three years that much more.”
“I hope that they see that putting in the time,” Licht added, “the effort and trusting each other is worth it — win or lose — and that it’s about how you play the game that’s the most important thing.”
Niskayuna finished its season with a record of 8-9. The girls advanced to the championship game, along with their counterpart on the boys’ side, who earned a 9-3 championship victory over Ballston Spa on Thursday.
“Every day on the announcements, they’ve been talking about both our teams being in the championship,” Roemer said. “It motivates us, seeing what the boys’ team is doing, because we want to be just as good as them.”
Bethlehem advances to a sub-regional contest against the Section 1 champion on Wednesday at Schuylerville High School at 7:30 p.m.
Niskayuna 3 3 — 6
Bethlehem 6 6 — 12
Niskayuna scoring: Roemer 1-0, Boler 1-0, Bateman 1-0, Licht 1-1, Daversa-Russo 1-0, Reffelt 1-1. Bethlehem scoring: Marotta 2-1, Conway 3-0, Daggett 0-2, Eick 2-0, Tietjen 2-0, Klein 3-0. Goalies: Niskayuna, Batko, 11 saves. Bethlehem, Ward, 8 saves.