ALBANY The Shaker girls lacrosse team recorded a pair of firsts Wednesday -- its first Section II Class A title, and its first win over Guilderland in coach Courtney Hill's four years at the Latham school.
Julia Lennon scored off a feed from Lauren Smith with 3:29 left in the second half to lift the Blue Bison past the Lady Dutch 9-8 in the Sectional final at the University at Albany.
"I was real tired, I was out of breath and I thought I was going to puke," Lennon said. "But I knew this could be it. I caught the pass with my left (hand), switched over to my right and put it in the lower corner (of the net)."
"We have a swing play where you look for the open girl,'' said the Siena-bound Smith. "I saw Julia as open as possible, running in the lane holding her left hand up. I knew if I made the pass she would put it in."
Top-seeded Guilderland (18-1) overcame an early 5-0 deficit to grab an 8-7 lead in the second half before Maddie Devine scored with 9:29 left to tie the score at 8. Six minutes later, Lennon put home the game winner.
"This is the best feeling I've had in my life," said Hill. "It's hard to describe. Never beating Guilderland in my four years, and now we are leaving here with tears of joy instead of tears of sorrow. These girls were in such a state of focus tonight. Nothing was going to shake them, and their mental toughness really paid off."
"We came out strong, but I knew they (Guilderland) could easily get right back in it," said Shaker goaltender Anne Morrison. "I just kept trying my best to keep my eye on the ball, and when I made a save to make sure I looked for an outlet to clear it."