Parity has arrived in Section II, and that's good news for the Shaker girls lacrosse team.
The Lady Bison will be the No. 3 team coming out of the Suburban Council when the class A playoffs begin after Bethlehem wrapped up the No. 2 seed with Monday's 13-12 victory over Saratoga.
Unlike previous years when being the No. 3 seed meant a Sectional semifinal exit, Shaker has as good of a shot to winning the title as any of the other top four teams Guilderland, Bethlehem and Saratoga. That's because the Lady Bison have beaten Bethlehem and Saratoga this year and had a pair of one-goal losses to top-seeded Guilderland, including one in five overtimes.
It's great. It's definitely bringing the level of play up in the section," said Shaker coach Carrie Britt.
The Lady Bison (10-4 league, 12-5 overall) are one of the hottest Section II teams heading into Sectionals. Since their 12-11 five overtime marathon loss to Guilderland April 24, they have won eight of their last nine games " the latest being a 16-3 non-league victory over Scotia-Glenville Monday. The lone setback was a 15-11 loss to Bethlehem May 7.
"We had a bad 15 minutes in that (Bethlehem) game where we were so tense because we were trying to beat them again," said Britt. "Once we got that out of our system, we got rolling."
Shaker's loss to Bethlehem was one of only three games during its 8-1 stretch where it allowed 10 or more goals. The Lady Bison also averaged nearly 16 goals per game.
"I've got a lot of fire power up front, and my goalie (Claire Littlefield) has really stepped up," said Britt. "When she makes a big save, it really invigorates the team."
The lone concern for Shaker is its health. Two key offensive players " Katherine Thomas and Liz Hunter " suffered injuries during Saturday's 16-12 victory over Columbia, but Britt said she expects them to return in time for the playoffs.
Shaker will learn what team it will face in the Sectional quarterfinals later this week.""