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Girls lacrosse: Shaker surges past North Rockland

Blue Bison advance to state final four for first time

— Eight members of the Shaker girls lacrosse team went to their senior prom happy.

The Blue Bison (17-1) defeated Section I champion North Rockland 10-7 in Saturday's Class A regional final at the University at Albany and advanced to the state tournament for the first time.

"I said it was the best feeling in the world last time (after beating Guilderland in Wednesday's Section II title game), and that's all about I can say this time," said Shaker coach Courtney Hill. "It wasn't the best game we've played. We struggled on clearing and draws. It got scary out there for a bit."

North Rockland (18-1-1) took a 2-0 lead less than six minutes into the first half, but Shaker scored the next five goals to turn the tide.

"We knew we had to pick it up and play as a team," said senior Annie Rehfuss, who contributed a goal and an assist. "We were stuggling, but then we pulled together and took smart shots."

North Rockland closed the gap to 5-4 at halftime and struck for two goals at the start of the second half to gain a 6-5 advantage. After the two teams traded goals, Lauren Smith pulled Shaker even at 7 with a free-position goal. Marissa Hart then tallied the go-ahead goal with 9:37 left.

"Once they (North Rockland) scored those two goals (to start the second half), we knew we had to step it up," said Julia Lennon, who tied the score at 6 with 18:33 left. "We know everybody has the ability. We had to start getting good possessions and play solid defense. And (goaltender) Anne (Morrison) always comes up big when we need her."

Morrison stepped up time and again for Shaker. The Villanova-bound senior stopped eight shots, including one on Tara Monaghan's free-position shot late in the first half and three more during a crucial seven-minute stretch of the second half while the score was tied at 7.

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