Nicole Beardsley’s role with the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake lacrosse team expanded this season, and her collection of accolades got bigger, too.
The record-setting senior attacker has been named a US Lacrosse All-American for the second time after leading the Spartans to new heights. Beardsley was selected BH-BL’s most valuable player for the third time and made the Suburban Council all-star first team for the third time before receiving repeat recognition from the sport’s governing body.
“She had to take a different role, a combination role,” said Burnt Hills coach Jake McHerron. “She still needed to be the scorer, but she also had to control tempo and distribute. We lost Jordyn Godfrey who had 41 assists, and we lost some other people who dished the ball.
“She had to fill that spot, and did a great job.”
Beardsley set a BH-BL season record with 47 assists, and set another program mark with 86 goals, topping the 66 she produced as a junior. As a sophomore and freshman, she notched 58 and 49 goals, respectively.
“She became more of a complete player,” said McHerron. “She attacked, and when nothing was there, she looked for her teammates and gave it up.”
Beardsley had a one-game BH-BL record with six assists in a win over Ballston Spa, and set two other single-game records with eight goals and 11 points when the Spartans rallied past Shenendehowa in their senior game. Beardsley also had three 10-point games after piling up that many points twice as an 11th-grader.
“She was doubled all year long,” said McHerron. “She still got her four to six goals and got her assists.”
Beardsley collected 10 goals and five assists when BH-BL beat Minisink Valley and upset Somers to clinch its first regional title. The Spartans reached the state tournament for the third time in four years when Beardsley’s goal in the third overtime lifted them past Niskayuna in the Section II Class B final.
“She had big goals when we needed big goals,” said McHerron.
Beardsley concluded her five-year varsity career with 288 goals, 166 assists and 404 points, setting school records that may never be touched.
“We’ve got young kids idolizing her and the other seniors,” said McHerron. “You hear them saying, ‘I want to be Aubrey [Kamppila]. I want to be Nicole.’
“Our seniors raised the bar,” he added. “I couldn’t ask anything more from a senior class. Great group of girls.”
Beardsley will attend seven-time NCAA champion Northwestern University.
“She’s going to one of the top programs in the country, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she pushes for some playing time her first year because of her demeanor and mindset,” said McHerron. “She’s not one to settle.”
Any advice from the coach?
“It’s more physical at the college level, and she needs to be physically ready. I told her, ‘You’re quick, but so is everyone else,’ so she’ll have to continue to develop moves. She has to grow, as far as her lacrosse IQ,” said McHerron. “She’s motivated. She’ll work.”
Shaker senior midfielder Julia Lennon and Guilderland senior attacker Morgan Hardt also earned their second US Lacrosse All-America nod, and are joined by Shaker senior defender Eva Torncello. Lennon reach the 100-goal mark for the Section II Class A champs.
Shaker senior midfielder Sarah Cheney earned special recognition with the US Lacrosse Jackie Pitts Award. It goes to a senior who excels as a player and a student, displays strong leadership and has community involvement with the game.
PICKING IT UP
Schalmont coach Bob Anderson talked about guys picking up guys after the Sabres beat Clinton, 14-6, and Rye Neck, 3-1, to capture the state Class B title Saturday at Binghamton University.
Nick Bird was one of many who did so in a key spot in the semifinal, just after Clinton had tied the game at 5-5 and stopped a Schalmont threat.
Schalmont starter Matt Capovani stumbled awkwardly as he faced the first batter in the fourth and departed. Bird came on and got a flyout, a groundout and a lineout, and after the junior surrendered two singles in the fifth, Greg Musk began his superb 10 innings of work by fanning the side.
“We had some struggles in the first game. Matt going out was part of it,” said Musk, who earned wins in both games. “We got through it. Guys stepped up and things worked out.”
Musk fired a six-hitter and singled home a big insurance run against Rye Neck.
“Greg took us home. Like he’s done all season long,” said Anderson.
Anderson made a key move when he squelched a pre title-game conversation with state officials about moving the game to a lighted field.
“We talked about that,” said Anderson. “I had my pitcher all warmed up. It was, ‘No way, let’s play.’ ”
Schalmont (26-1) finished the season with a 22-game winning streak, and became Section II’s first state Class B champ since the tourney expanded to five classes in 2003.
“We dedicated the first game to Matt,” said Musk. “The second one was for coach.”
Niskayuna junior midfielder John Prendergast was one of three players who received special recognition following tryouts for the Upstate New York boys’ team that will compete at the July 11-13 Under Armour Underclass Lacrosse Tournament at Towson University.
Prendergast and schoolmates Aidan O’Brien and Dylan Pantalone will be joined by Peter Vadney of Ballston Spa on the 24-player team.
“A big, strong midfielder and dynamic dodger,” UNY coach Mike Felice said of Prendergast in a release announcing the team roster. “Excellent in the open field and transition.”
Prendergast, who has committed to Duke, was the star of Niskayuna’s 14-7 Section II Class A title-game win over Shenendehowa with a career-high seven goals.
Ten teams will be divided into two pools at the underclassmen showcase, and the top two advance to the July 13 title game. Players from the 2015-17 graduating classes will compete.
O’Brien, a junior midfielder, was on last year’s UNY team that went 2-2 and placed third in its five-team pool.
Pantalone is a sophomore faceoff specialist, and Vadney is a junior defenseman.
West Genesee junior defenseman Nick Mellen and Minisink Valley junior attackman Joseph Sessa also received special recognition by the UNY coaching staff.
The UNY girls’ team will include the Niskayuna trio of Rebecca Curro, Marissa DiVietro and Asa Goldstock, as well as Cara Quimby of Guilderland and Mary Rahal of Queensbury.
Meaghan Podlaski of Colonie set a national junior class one-mile race walk record Friday with a winning 7:23.40 at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals at North Carolina A&T University’s Aggie Stadium.
Podlaski went out fast and never trailed in the Championship Division race. She beat the national junior outdoor record of 7:26.8 which Kate Cannon of Somers set in 2005.
“I’m not a very good pacer and I always go out too fast in my races, but today, that strategy paid off,” said Podlaski.
Podlaski’s time was the fourth fastest in the history of the New Balance Outdoor Nationals.