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Pairings set for Section II girls' lacrosse tourney

Pairings set for Section II girls' lacrosse tourney

Saratoga, Niskayuna, BH-BL, Schuylerville top seeds
Pairings set for Section II girls' lacrosse tourney
Lindsey Frank's Saratoga Springs lacrosse team is among the No. 1 Section II tournament seeds.
Photographer: PETER R. BARBER/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER

Pairings and seeds for the 24-team Section II girls' lacrosse tournament were released Wednesday.

Competition begins Thursday with a pair of Class A quarterfinals, and continues Friday with six more quarterfinals in Class C and Class D. The Class D bracket was added to the tournament last year.

All four championship games will once again be held at Mohonasen High School next Wednesday and Thursday, and those winners advance to state regional play.

CREAM OF THE CROP

Saratoga Springs is the No. 1 seed in Class A after posting the best record in the Suburban Council (11-1) and going 14-2 overall, which includes a current six-game win streak, and a six-game win streak earlier in the season.

The other top seeds are defending champions in Niskayuna (Class B), Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (Class C) and Schuylerville (Class D). Niskayuna received the Class B No. 1 over Foothills Council champ Queensbury based on strength of schedule according to Section II girls' lacrosse coordinator Allison Anaya.

Saratoga Springs was Section II's first dynasty team with seven straight championships from 1992-98, but the Blue Streaks haven't appeared in a final since 2004.

TOP MATCHUPS

If the seeds hold true in the Class A quarterfinals, that would set up a pair of  interesting semifinals sending No. 4 Shenendehowa to No. 1 Saratoga and No. 3 Bethehem to No. 2 Guilderland.

Shenendehowa won six of its last seven games with only a loss to Saratoga mixed in. Guilderland beat Bethlehem in early April before the Eagles found their groove. Bethlehem has beaten Saratoga and Shenendehowa, and lost by a single goal to Queensbury and Vestal.

Class B No. 3 Ballston Spa has never reached a Section II title game. Queensbury, the No. 2 seed and seven-time title-game participant, is its semifinal opponent.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

After leading Saratoga Springs to the Section II Class A field hockey championship in the fall, Lindsey Frank will play a significant role in the Blue Streaks' bid for area lacrosse supremacy with her work on draws and as an offensive threat. The junior intends to play both sports at Division I Richmond University.

New Hampshire commit Rachel Spaulding was a points machine for Queensbury during the regular season including an 8-goal, 12-assist effort against South Glens Falls.

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake goalkeeper Abbie McHerron has a chance to win a fourth Section II title. She helped Scotia-Glenville snare Class C crowns in 2015 and 2016, and backstopped the Spartans' Class C title-run last spring.

DANGEROUS UNDERDOGS

Class A No. 2 Guilderland has been the most successful Section II tournament team for over a decade, with 11 consecutive championship game appearances and 12 in the last 13 years. Guilderland won seven titles in that span.

Class B No. 2 Queensbury was Section II's highest scoring team in the regular season, piling up 32 and 30 goals in two of its wins, and amassing over 20 goals eight times.

Class C No. 4 Scotia-Glenville has lost only to Queensbury and Schuylerville, and is in line to meet Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake in what could be a very entertaining semifinal.

BLAST FROM THE PAST

The Section II large-school title game had never gone to overtime before last year, when Kadi Futia's goal gave Guilderland a 9-8 win over Shenendehowa. GuildShenendehowa dipped to 0-6 in title games.

Niskayuna defeated Queensbury for the third year in a row in the 2017 Class B final 8-7. The Silver Warriors have captured eight championships, all of them coming in the last 11 years.

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake topped Albany Academy 9-6 for the 2017 Class C flag, and for its fourth sectional crown, behind Taylor Safford's five goals.

Schuylerville made sectional history by beating Catholic Central 13-4 in the first Class D title game last spring, and made school history with its first area championship. Catholic Central reached the title game in only its second varsity season.

SECTION II TOURNAMENT

CLASS A

Quarterfinals

Thursday

No. 5 Shaker at No. 5 Shenendehowa, 5 p.m.; No. 6 Colonie at No. 3 Bethehem, 4:15 p.m.

Semifinals

Monday

Shaker/Shenendehowa at No. 1 Saratoga Springs, 4:15 p.m.; Colonie/Bethlehem at No. 2. Guilderland, 4:15 p.m.

Championship

Wednesday

Semifinal winners at Mohonasen, 4:30 p.m.

CLASS B

Semifinals

Monday

No. 4 Columbia at No. 1 Niskayuna, 4:15 p.m.; No. 4. Ballston Spa at No. 2 Queensbury, 4:15 p.m.

Championship

Wednesday

Semifinal winners at Mohonasen, 6:30 p.m.

CLASS C

Quarterfinals

Friday

No. 5. South Glens Falls at No. 4 Scotia-Glenville, time TBA; No. 6 Emma Willard at No. 3 Albany Academy, time TBA.

Semifinals

Tuesday

Scotia-Glenville/South Glens Falls at No. 1 Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, 5:30 p.m.; Emma Willard/Albany Academy at No. 2 Averill Park, 4:15 p.m.

Championship

Thursday, May 30

Semifinal winners at Mohonasen, 4:30 p.m.

CLASS D

Quarterfinals

Friday

No. 8 Greenwich at No. 1 Schuylerville, 4:15 p.m.; No. 5. Holy Names at No. 4 Johnstown, time TBA; No. 6. Hoosick Falls at No. 3 Cohoes, time TBA; No. 7 Glens Falls at No. 2 Catholic Central, time TBA.

Semifinals

Tuesday

At highest remaining seeds, times TBA.

Championship

Thursday, May 24

Semifinal winners at Mohonasen, 6:30 p.m.

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 518-395-3143, jims@dailygazette.com or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.

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