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Saturday, June 8, 2019: Recapping Friday's NYSPHSAA girls lacrosse semis

   Leading off today: After blowing a five-goal lead late and falling behind with under five minutes left, John Jay Cross River rallied to beat Jamesville-DeWitt 13-12 on a free position goal from Charlotte Wilmoth with 14.9 seconds remaining to clinch a dramatic 13-12 win in the NYSPHSAA girls Class C lacrosse semifinals at SUNY Cortland on Friday.

   JJCR advanced to its first state final, where it will take on Cold Spring Harbor on Saturday.

   Two weeks ago, JJCR trailed by three goals late in its Section 1 final vs. Rye before pulling out a win.

   "The entire team has rallied around our seniors because they are an incredible group of six kids," coach Stacey Wierl said. "They have really sparked an incredible culture in our lacrosse community."

   Trailing 10-5 early in the second half, Jamesville-Dewitt went on a 6-1 run capped by a goal from Lily Loewenguth with 8:07 to play. The Red Rams took the lead four minutes later on a goal from Riley Latray (four goals).

   Melina O'Connor tied the game on a feed from Wilmoth (three goals, one assist) with 1:34 left, setting the stage for the game-winner after Cara O'Reilly won the ensuing draw.

   "For the past two seasons now, we've established as a team that we don't let down," Wierl said. "When things don't go our way, we make sure that we rally around each other. There was never a moment of doubt."

    • Her second goal of the game was NO. 200 in Wilmoth's career.


   Overtime drama: Katie Pascale scored her sixth goal of the game on a free-position shot 48 seconds into overtime to lift Baldwinsville to a 15-14 win over Bethlehem in the Class A semifinals.

   It was a game of momentum swings, with the Bees leading by six in the first half, Bethlehem surging to a two-goal advantage late and then Baldwinsville fighting to tie the game twice in the waning moments to keep alive hopes of its first state crown since 2000.

   "Honestly, I think we just weren't done," said Baldwinsville attack Emma States, who scored the tying goal with :26 to go. "The whole season, states is our goal. We had just lit a fire under our butts and we all agreed that we've got to give it our all. We came up with everything we needed to and we just finished strong."

   Emma Gebhardt scored four times for the Bees and States and Jenna Pastore added two apiece. Lauren Riker led Bethlehem with five goals.

   Sec. 5 swept aside: One of the truisms of girls lacrosse is that it's never a good year to be paired with the Long Island representative in the state tournament semifinals. Given the depth of Nassau and Suffolk counties, few schools north of New York City live to see another day in the tourney.

   It was Section 5's turn to be flogged Friday, with Section 8 or 11 opponents sweeping the Rochester representatives.

   In Class A, Northport used five goals from Olivia Carner and four by Kaylie Mackiewicz to dominate Pittsford 13-3 at SUNY Cortland. Kate McLam chipped in with one goal and four assists.

   Sixth-year varsity player Claire Morris made four of her


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  • seven saves in the first half as Northport, seeking its first championship since 2011, built a 4-0 lead.    "She sets the tone for the whole team," Carner said. "I've been playing with Claire since third grade, and I just look up to her so much."

       In Class B, Eastport-South Manor shook off a three-goal run by Canandaigua with a three-goal run of its own and went on to a 7-4 victory.

       Ellie Masera fed Aidan Carlson for the go-ahead goal with 13 minutes to play and then tacked on two goals of her own in the closing minutes.

       "Obviously it's a little scary, but I have confidence in our attack and our defense," Masera said. "I wasn't having a doubt in my mind that we weren't going to bring it together."

       In Class C, defending champ Cold Spring Harbor overwhelmed Honeoye Falls-Lima 15-5 as Caroline DeBellis posted five goals and two assists. Isabelle Vitale had four goals and three assists, and Niki Mormile added a goal and three assists.

       DeBellis and Vitale each scored four times during a 12-0 run in the rematch of CSH's 18-3 romp in the 2018 title game.

       "For us, it's like we came here last year with a really strong senior group, but we didn't want to just think we won the state championship last year and that's all we ever needed," defender Sophia Taglich said. "We knew we had a strong group coming back this year, and we wanted to prove to everyone that it wasn't a one-time thing."

       In Class D, Mattituck/Southold moved one win closer to defending its title by beating Palmyra-Macedon 9-5.

       Francesca Vasile-Cozzo scored with 46 seconds left in the first half for a 5-4 lead. Mackenzie Hoeg connected from the free position early in the second half, then her older sister Riley followed with two goals. Rachel Janis’ free-position tally made it 9-4 with 6:39 to go.

       More lacrosse: Fayetteville-Manlius advanced in Class B with a 12-9 win over Suffern by overcoming a three-goal deficit midway through the first half.    Katie Shanley finished with four goals and three assists for the Hornets, whose six goals in nine minutes generated a 7-4 advantage.

        • Down 5-0 to start and 8-2 at one point in the first half, Bronxville rallied to tie by halftime and went on to a 15-11 triumph over Skaneateles to reach the Class D final.

       Anneke Pulkkinen led the way with four goals and an assist. Alex Doukas had three goals and an assist.

       The Broncos had previous lost overtime battles against the Lakers in the 2016 Class C semifinals and 2017 Class D title contest.

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