Don't confuse inexperience with lack of talent.
The Guilderland girls lacrosse team graduated seven players who accounted for more than 300 career goals following last year's run to the state finals, but the players who replaced them showed how capable they are of putting the ball in the net by beating Shaker 18-10 in last Wednesday's Section II Class A final at the University at Albany.
Sophomore Kelly Camardo scored four goals, while junior Erin Mossop and senior Jenna Crupi contributed hat tricks for the top-seeded Lady Dutch (18-1), who won their fourth straight Sectional title.
Our team is balanced, and that's the trick, said Guilderland coach Gary Chatnik. "We have enough people scoring [goals], and that's what makes the difference."
Shaker junior Adrianne Devine tallied four times, but the Blue Bison (14-3) couldn't keep up with Guilderland's scoring pace.
"It makes a difference when you've been to places before," said Shaker coach Mary-Lynne McKee. "They've been to Sectional finals and regionals and states, and those are places we're trying to get to."
Devine notched the game's first goal less than two minutes into the first half, but Guilderland scored the next four goals to take a 4-1 lead. The impressive part was that four different players scored for the Lady Dutch and none of them were Mossop, who entered the game with a team-high 56 goals on the season.
Mossop would be heard from soon, though. Following a Lauren Smith goal that pulled Shaker within 4-2, Mossop took the ball behind Shaker's goal and passed it out front to Camardo, who fired it past Blue Bison netminder Victoria Bulson for a 5-2 lead. Mossop then scored one for herself to increase Guilderland's lead to four goals.
"I thought we were going to turn a corner at that point [when Smith scored], but we had a little trouble handling the pressure [of playing in a final]," said McKee.