SCHUYLERVILLE — Given the age of the players who rose to the top of Tuesday’s game, Suffern vs. Saratoga Springs might be a state regional girls’ lacrosse game for a few years.
Freshman midfielder Michaela Fay delivered a strong performance for Suffern, of Section 1, while junior Carly Wise and sophomore Janie Baringer delivered the goods for the Blue Streaks in Suffern’s 9-7 Class A win at Schuylerville.
Fay had three goals and one assist for Suffern (12-6), and the Mounties also got a solid six saves from sophomore goalie Jillian Terlizzi. Wise, a six-foot attacker, led Saratoga Springs (14-6) with four goals and two assists, while Barringer finished with two goals and three assists. And the Blue Streaks’ sophomore goalie Jenna Amodio played well in making five saves.
What ultimately won the game for Suffern — a state semifinalist last year — was its opportunistic offense after being methodical for much of the game. The Mounties were hawk-like in that they were content to wait for the right moment to strike. When they did, they rarely missed.
Barringer scored the first goal of the game, but Suffern responded with four straight goals, including three in 51 seconds to make it 4-1.
After Wise, Barringer and Faith Britton tallied, Saratoga Springs cut Suffern’s lead to 5-4 at halftime.
But Suffern scored the first three goals of the second half and, after a Barringer-to-Wise goal made it 8-5, Fahy’s final tally at 13:07 put Suffern in the position of sitting on the lead.
So, starting with around 12 minutes left, the Mounties played keep-away, hardly allowing the Blue Streaks to touch the ball.
When they did, they made the most of it, as Wise, who has already committed to Clemson, added two free-position goals, the last with 1:47 left, to make it 9-7. Saratoga Springs got the ball into Suffern’s defensive end once more, but lost a ground ball with 1:15 left and never got the ball again.
“I wish daily that there was a shot clock in high school lacrosse, that’d be really nice,” Saratoga Springs first-year coach Jennifer Furze said. “Because it’s just a game of keep-away at that point, and I told the girls it’s not about them not having enough skill to win this game, it was just a matter of time.”
Furze said she was pleased with her team’s defensive effort.
“We held off a lot of shots,” Furze said. “They did a really nice job when they would drive, crashing in on it and making sure we sent the slides early. I was really impressed with our defensive game, especially the first half. … Came up short, but I’m really proud of them.”
Offensively, Wise said her connection with Baringer is special.
“I love Janie,” Wise said. “We play on the same club team — two different age groups, but we still practice together in the summer — and we’re just going to continue to work together. Our connection will grow even stronger.”
It was a memorable season for Saratoga Springs one year after it had to play a Section 2 final against Shenendehowa with verbal abuse and body-shaming allegations charged against its former coach. Wise said the players this year turned toward each other ready to turn the page.
“We killed it. I’m so proud of everything we did. We started out with some good wins and just kept building. … We won sectionals with a new coaching staff and all the new connections. We all kind of found comfort in each other. We supported each other the whole entire year, and this season went by so fast and we had so much fun.”
Suffern 5 4 – 9
Saratoga Springs 4 3 – 7
Suffern scoring: Fay 3-1, McCarren 2-2, Leale 2-0, Ruggerio 2-0, Mitchell 0-1. Saratoga Springs scoring: Wise 4-2, Barringer 2-3, Britton 1-0. Goalies: Suffern, Terlizzi, 6 saves. Saratoga Springs, Amodio, 5 saves.