When Rebecca Golderman fed Ali Cardinal for a goal 13 seconds in, scored twice herself and then Morgan Hardt delivered, it was only a prelude of things to come for the Guilderland girls’ lacrosse team.
“To be honest, I knew we were going to have a good game,” Hardt said after the Lady Dutch soared past Shaker, 15-8, to capture the Section II Class A championship. “I thought we were ready play well. I didn’t think it would be quite like this.”
Guilderland put together a three-goal run late in the first half, and another three-goal spurt late in the second frame sealed their fifth title in seven years Thursday at the University at Albany’s John Fallon Field.
“It took us a while throughout the year to mesh. We’re coming together now, and I believe there’s still more in us,” said Cardinal.
Hardt fired in five goals, Cara Quimby notched four with two assists and Golderman finished with four goals and one assist as Guilderland (No. 1 seed, 16-1) beat Shaker (No. 2, 15-2) for the second time this year, and extended its win streak to 10 games heading into Wednesday’s regional semifinal against the Section I representative at Fox Lane High School.
“Their reactions and their reads tonight were outstanding,” said Guilderland coach Gary Chatnik. “Shaker played a new defense on us, and once we stopped trying to run through it and started moving the ball, we were all right. We figured it out.”
Guilderland scored in a variety of ways, with six of its goals coming on free-position shots, and four others coming in player-advantage situations. Shaker was called for four yellow cards.
“We stayed under control and kept our heads,” Cardinal said of Shaker’s physical play that resulted in the cards and the calls in shooting space. “We didn’t fight back. We played our game.”
Shaker lost standout attacker Maddie Devine to a second yellow card just after the horn sounded to end the opening half. Nine seconds before, Erin Sorday had scored one of Shaker’s two free position goals to trim Guilderland’s lead to 8-4.
“It’s a rough loss. It’s a rough loss when every call goes against you. It’s impossible to recover. I feel bad for the girls,” said Shaker coach Kara DePaula. “Did I feel Guilderland played the better game? Yeah, but I don’t think it should have been how it was.”
Golderman scored 36 seconds into the second half, and Hardt picked up a rebound and stuffed the ball past Julia Maloney while Guilderland was still a player up to make it 10-4.
“It was a physical game with lots of cards,” said Hardt, a junior attacker who has committed to James Madison. “When given the opportunities, we performed. Man-ups were a big part of the game, and we converted well.”
A player advantage goal by Hardt gave Guilderland a 5-2 lead. Two goals by Quimby and another player advantage goal by Cardinal made it 8-3.
Quimby sandwiched goals around a tally by Hardt when Guilderland pulled away for a 14-7 lead with 8:49 left in the second half.
“When we were down four, five goals, I didn’t think we were out of it,” said DePaula, whose team had rallied several times in a 10-game win streak that led up to the final. “We couldn’t get momentum going.”
Sarah Cheney paced Shaker with two goals and an assist, and Aubrey Conti and Julia Lennon both had two goals. Cheney’s goal made it 11-7 before the state’s No. 15-ranked Class A team countered with its three in a row, the first two 34 seconds apart.
“It was a goal to win this. I’m very, very pleased,” said Chatnik. “This group really worked hard. They played from beginning to end.”
“We knew we had to come out with our ‘A’ game,” said Hardt. “It was hard to hear coach out on the field, and we did a good job of listening to each other.”
Shaker 4 4 — 8
Guilderland 8 7 — 15
Shaker scoring: Sarah Cheney 2-1, Erin Sorday 1-0, Aubrey Conti 2-0, Julia Lennon 2-0, Maddie Devine 1-1. Guilderland scoring: Ali Cardinal 2-0, Cara Quimby 4-2, Amanda Coppolo 0-1, Morgan Hardt 5-0, Rebecca Golderman 4-1.
Goalkeepers: Shaker, Julia Maloney, 8 saves. Guilderland, Kaitlyn Hess, 3 saves.