It was Lindsey Frank’s signature field hockey game that late October afternoon, when the Saratoga Springs junior scored two goals and assisted on two more in a 4-3 Section II Class A title-game win against Shenendehowa.
It was a redeeming game for the Blue Streaks, and for Frank, too, who was held without a goal in her teams’ two previous losses to the Plainsmen.
“We kept answering back,” Blue Streaks’ coach Jo-Anne Hostig said of Section II’s highest scoring Class A final. “She was involved in a lot of that.”
Frank’s excellent dribbling, shooting and passing — and desire — that day helped Saratoga win its first area title since 2014. Those ingredients over the course of the season also elevated her to the top of the Blue Streaks’ career charts for goals (53) and assists (39).
“To have those numbers by her junior year is incredible,” Hostig said. “I’m glad I’ll have her for another year. I can’t wait to see what she does.”
The New York All-State Field Hockey Team selection delivered 20 goals this fall, including two when Saratoga (16-3) beat Shaker 2-0 in the sectional semifinals, and collected 16 assists.
“I think she has always had the speed,” Shenendehowa coach Jeanne Frevola said of Frank. “She has developed such good body fakes and she’s able to get through people. She also feeds well. She’s a very dynamic player.”
Early in the season Frank was getting bogged down by defensive pressure to an extent she hadn’t seen before. Opponents were well aware of the forward’s vast skill set after her breakout sophomore year with 19 goals and a school-record 19 assists.
“We hit a couple of games where they were doubling her,” Hostig said. “I told her, ‘You have to see the rest of the game. Open up and see what the defense is giving you, and use that with your offensive moves.’ That was the turning point.”
Aside from an even harder backhand shot than before, and some amazing downfield runs, Frank’s junior season included a verbal commitment to Richmond where the two-time Suburban Council first-team all-star will play field hockey and lacrosse.
Shenendehowa seniors Eliza Branch and Sheridan Messier are the Suburban Council’s other selections to the New York All-State Field Hockey Team.
Branch went from a key contributor on Shenendehowa’s 2016 state title team to one of the Plainsmen’s leaders in a 16-2 campaign that included a 14-0 league mark.
“I saw a big change. She grew up a lot this year,” Frevola said of the Old Dominion commit. “She realized we lost nine seniors and we needed her and Jenna [Graf] and a few other kids to step up.”
Branch had 16 goals to share the team lead with Graf and added seven assists. The speedy forward scored a goal in each game against Saratoga, and her last one got Shenendehowa within 4-3 in the frantic area final.
“From the first game to the last game she gave it everything she had,” Frevola said.
Messier recorded 10 shutouts this season including two against Section II Class B champ Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, another against Section IX Class A champ Kingston, and another against Guilderland in the sectional semifinals.
“She was on fire when we beat Burnt Hills in overtime, and she made an unbelieveble save on a penalty stroke in overtime when we beat Niskayuna,” Frevola said. “She had a lot of big games for us. She held down Saratoga [3-1 and 2-1 wins] in the first two games.”
Messier was also the backstop during Shenendehowa’s 21-0 state title season.
“She was more vocal as a senior captain,” Frevola said of the UAlbany commit, who allowed six goals in league play and 14 in all. “She took on a leadership role which we needed with all of our senior losses, and she was a nice role model for our younger goalies.”
Section II New York All-State Field Hockey Selections
Lindsey Frank (Saratoga Springs), 11, F; Eliza Branch (Shenendehowa), 12, F; Sheridan Messier (Shenendehowa), 12, G.
Morgan Gunter (Schuylerville), 12, M; Emily Fleming (Johnstown), 9, M; Taryn Ringer (Johnstown), 9, F; Grace Hanehan (Schuylerville), 12, M.
Molly Zahnleuter (Emma Willard), 9, M; Heidi Zahnleuter (Emma Willard), 11, M; Ali Shumsky (Taconic Hills), 12, F; Hunter Broockmann (Ichabod Crane), 12, M.
Lillian Hickey (Hoosick Falls), 11, M; Sydney Gagnon (North Warren), 11, M; Charity Rushinski (Salem), 12, F.