Guilderland capitalized on the opportunities presented Thursday in its Suburban Council girls’ lacrosse showdown with Shaker.
“When we were man-up, we really had to take advantage of it,” junior Morgan Hardt said after the Lady Dutch pulled away for a 14-11 victory in a game matching unbeaten state-ranked teams. “Converting man-up was a big part of us winning.”
Guilderland scored six goals with an extra player on the field, four of them coming in a mid-game spurt, and the Lady Dutch went on to avenge last season’s loss to the Blue Bison in the Section II Class A final.
Hardt scored five goals, and Julia Lennon equaled that for Shaker. A Lennon tally gave her team a 7-5 lead before Guilderland’s offensive flurry.
“We were able to get the ball from our defense and on draws, and we were finding lanes,” said Guilderland coach Gary Chatnik. “We read things well today. What I liked was our poise and the way we attacked when we saw something.”
Hardt scored 22 seconds into the second half on a strong run, and Shannon Mackesey notched a goal 15 seconds after that on another hard drive to the cage to give Guilderland an 11-7 lead. Hardt, an attacker who has committed to James Madison, set the stage for both goals by winning center draws.
“Those two goals changed the momentum so quickly,” said first-year Shaker coach Kara DePaula Lynch.
Guilderland (6-0) began to make its move when Jackie Rogers scored with 5:31 left in the first half, and Rebecca Golderman delivered at the 3:25 mark to tie it. After Maddie Devine was sent off the field for two minutes with a yellow card, Hardt scored on a free position with 24.3 seconds left, and Ali Cardinal made good on another free position in the final second.
The quick second-half goals by Hardt and Mackesey came with Shaker still down a player.
“We had a three-minute lapse in judgement at the defensive end. We’ve played well man down, but our defense wasn’t clicking. For a while there we couldn’t pull it together,” said DePaula Lynch. “It cost us, but we’ll learn from the experience.
“I think our defense, hopefully, will come together and communicate a little more. It’s going to be up to them sometimes.”
Lennon pulled Shaker within 11-8 in the second half before Michaela Jones and Cara Quimby answered for Guilderland. Those goals came after Shaker defensive standout Lynn Roberts received a yellow card and headed to the sideline.
Shaker received three yellow cards in all, and Guilderland received two. Shaker had a pair of man-up goals, including Lennon’s with 8:04 remaining in the game that made it 14-11.
“It was a very aggressive game,” said Chatnik. “We both wish we didn’t get the yellow cards.”
Golderman finished with three goals and an assist, and Cardinal had a pair of goals for the state’s No. 9-ranked Class A team. Hardt’s final goal that made it 14-10 was the 100th this season for the Lady Dutch. Devine totaled three goals, and Sarah Cheney added two goals and two assists for Shaker (5-1), which came in with a No. 11 state rank.
“It was a total team effort, from the defense up to the offense. We had to have that to win the game,” said Hardt, who increased her season goal total to 29. “We kept pushing it.”
Guilderland led, 3-1 and 4-3, before Shaker went on a 4-1 run to go up, 7-5.
“That was a great high school game,” said Chatnik. “When is the last time you saw a first half like that? Both teams kept answering.”
Shaker outlasted Saratoga Springs in its previous game in overtime, 8-7.
“Saratoga was a wake-up call. This was more of a wake-up call,” said DePaula Lynch. “Every day, they’re going to come out on the field and focus even harder because of this. This is going to give them an extra boost.”
Guilderland dealt Shaker its only regular-season loss last season, 12-6. The Blue Bison won their first Section II championship in the rematch on a late goal by Lennon, 9-8.
Guilderland 9 5 — 14
Shaker 7 4 — 11
Guilderland scoring: Rebecca Golderman 3-1, Morgan Hardt 5-0, Ali Cardinal 2-0, Cara Quimby 1-1, Jackie Rogers 1-0, Shannon Mackesey 1-0, Michaela Jones 1-0. Shaker scoring: Maddie Devine 3-0, Eva Rorncello 1-0, Julia Lennon 5-0, Sarah Cheney 2-2.
Goalkeepers: Guilderland, Kaitlyn Hess, 5 saves. Shaker, Julia Maloney, 8 saves.