As they came across the field at SUNY Cortland, unable to contain their emotions, members of the Guilderland girls lacrosse team received a full embrace from the fans that had traveled to the team's first state Class A final four appearance.
We Love you Lady Dutch, the fans screamed as they saluted a valiant effort made by Guilderland in last Friday's 16-10 state semifinal loss to Section VIII champion Farmingdale.
The Lady Dutch (22-1) may have lost the game, but earned immense respect in the process. A team with just two seniors on its roster gave the more experienced and established Dalers from Long Island a serious battle. In fact, the Lady Dutch even led 2-0 at the outset " with goaltender Amanda Santandrea making a series of spectacular saves " before youthful mistakes turned the game in Farmingdale's favor.
"We were doing what we needed to at the start," said head coach Gary Chatnik. "But we just couldn't control the field and get a chance to play our type of game."
Fired up by Santandrea's series of early stops, Guilderland got on the scoreboard first when Jen Madsen scored 4:57 into the game. Barely one minute later, Bridget Daley burst in and fired a shot past Farmingdale goalie Lauren Maksym to give the Lady Dutch their early two-goal lead.
The Dalers soon started to solve Santandrea, though, as Janine Hillier notched back-to-back goals in a 14-second sequence to tie the game at 2. That ignited a 6-0 Farmingdale spurt that carried through much of the half and put Guilderland behind for good.
"They went on a run, and we were surprised and didn't know how to answer," said Chatnik.
Guilderland went more than 17 minutes without a goal until Danielle Tetreault broke the drought late in the first half, giving the Lady Dutch a glimmer of hope as they went to the break trailing 6-3.