p>Suffern’s strategy was strikingly simple: Keep the ball away from Guilderland scoring whiz Cara Quimby.
Although the senior midfielder entered the game with an eye-catching 97 goals, including a Section II single-game record of 12 against Saratoga Springs, she scored only once as the Mounties beat the Lady Dutch 17-6 in the girls’ Class A regional championship game Saturday at University at Albany’s John Fallon Field.
The Mounties of Section I accomplished their plan in two ways. They triple-teamed Quimby, allowing her to get off very few shots, and they also won 19 of 25 draws, which limited Quimby and the rest of her teammates to precious few possessions.
It was the second time in the last three years that the Mounties eliminated the Lady Dutch in the regional championship game.
Suffern, which has ousted the Section II Class A representative in three straight seasons, outshot the Lady Dutch 29-13. Guilderland goalie Kelsey Cox made 11 saves. Mikaila Cheeseman stopped eight shots for the Mounties.
Sophomore Ali Iodice led the way for Suffern. She not only produced five goals and two assists, but she also dominated the faceoff-X. Dana Gisonno, a senior attack, also scored five times for Suffern, which advances to play either Lancaster or Pittsford Friday at SUNY-Cortland in the state’s Final Four.
Guilderland rebounded from an 8-2 halftime deficit and an hour lightning delay just after the intermission by slicing its deficit to 10-6. But Suffern scored the last seven goals of the game.
“No. 11 [Iodice] is one of the players we knew they were counting on,” said Guilderland coach Carrie Britt. “We knew they would have the advantage on the draws. If you can’t win the draws, you are going to have a lot of trouble in every level of lacrosse.”
With Quimby being neutralized, senior Rebecca Golderman stepped up for the Lady Dutch with four goals, but she couldn’t do it all by herself.
“It was definitely frustrating not having the ball off the draw all day,” said Golderman, who finished with 62 goals. “Suffern is a great team, and she [Iodice] is great on the draw.
“They are a senior-based team that played very well. We just couldn’t control the draws at all today. She is as good as there is on the draw, and I think Suffern had the best defense we faced all year.
“It was a fun ride this year, and I’m so glad we won the Section II title,” Golderman said. “But it all came down to the draw today. I thought our energy was high, but we just couldn’t finish.”
It was Quimby’s lowest scoring game of the year. She was held to two goals against Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake on April 18.
“You’ve got to give Suffern props,” Quimby said. “We weren’t able to get the ball as much as we would have liked to. That’s definitely the toughest defense I’ve seen all season. The shots weren’t going my way today, but we had a lot of heart. Suffern just kept the pressure on us, and I give them a lot of credit.”
“Cara kept fighting out there, and you’ve got to remember that it took three defenders to stop her,” said Britt. “Cara will have to find a way to deal with triple-teams next year.”
Quimby will attend Syracuse in the fall.
“I’ve had a great time at Guilderland. The program is great, and so are all the coaches. I’ve had a great time here, and I’ll never forget all the fond memories I have of playing here,” Quimby said. “But I’m very excited to be going to Syracuse.”
Britt said the loss, although hard on the seniors, will be a catalyst for the younger players coming back next season.
“Guilderland lacrosse is all about championships,” Britt said. “We have a tradition here that starts in the third and fourth grades. Success at Guilderland starts in the offseason, not in March, April or May.
“This was a frustrating game for our seniors, but our younger kids can’t wait to get started on next year. These kids learned that this kind of game is a different dynamic. Sectionals are different than regionals or states.”
Suffern 8 9 — 17
Guilderland 2 4 — 6
Suffern scoring: Baley Parrot 1-2, Caitlin Leary 1-0, Dana Gisonno 5-1, Jessica Gay 1-0, Ali Iodice 5-2, Regina Sharp 3-0, Elizabeth Trojan 1-0. Guilderland scoring: Kerry Gerety 1-0, Cara Quimby 1-0, Rebecca Golderman 4-0, Isabella Sericola 0-2.
Goalies: Suffern, Mikaila Cheeseman, 8 saves. Guilderland, Kelsey Cox, 11 saves.