Win a draw here, or take a better shot there. Force one more turnover, or make one more save.
Anything of this sort might have allowed the Guilderland girls lacrosse team to become the first Section II squad ever to win a state championship.
Yet, it was Long Island champion Farmingdale that finished in front, rallying to beat the Lady Dutch 10-9 in Saturday's Class A title game at SUNY Cortland.
It was a great game to watch, head coach Gary Chatnik said. "We controlled the ball well and played well. But we just didn't execute (in the final minutes)."
These two sides were familiar with each other, with Guilderland having lost to Farmingdale in last year's state semifinal round.
"We felt comfortable and confident this time around," said Chatnik.
Part of that confidence was in knowing that Farmingdale's defense was going to hone in on Danielle Teterault " the Harvard-bound senior whose seven goals had pushed the Lady Dutch past Section V champion Fairport 13-9 in last Friday's semifinal.
"We figured that would be the case," Chatnik said. "But we have other people who can score, too."
Sure enough, as Teterault lay quiet, her teammates shook off a 4-2 deficit caused by two Dalers goals 23 seconds apart midway through the first half. Amanda Best and Bridget Daley both scored to tie it, and Best hit on her third goal of the game 1:22 before halftime to give Guilderland a 5-4 lead at the break.
Ali Derizzo, Amy Branchini, Corinne Chatnik and the rest of the Lady Dutch defense kept Farmingdale off the board for more than 17 minutes, yet Guilderland could not stretch its lead past two goals.
Down 6-4, the Dalers tied it 7-7, only to see Guilderland make its own push. Off a feed from Daley, Jen Madsen scored with 9:12 left to put the Lady Dutch back in front, and Casey Gerety's coast-to-coast run to the net resulted in another goal with 6:44 to play to make it 9-7.