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Inspired Raiders win

Carras’ presence helps Colonie romp past Ballston Spa

Former Colonie girls lacrosse player Markel Carras, center, is greeted by the current squad at halftime of last Thursday’s home game against Ballston Spa. Carras, who is being treated for leukemia, watched the Lady Raiders defeat the Scotties 11-3. The game also served as a fundraiser for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

Former Colonie girls lacrosse player Markel Carras, center, is greeted by the current squad at halftime of last Thursday’s home game against Ballston Spa. Carras, who is being treated for leukemia, watched the Lady Raiders defeat the Scotties 11-3. The game also served as a fundraiser for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Photo by Rob Jonas.

— Following three consecutive losses to start the season, the Colonie girls lacrosse team drew inspiration from one of its former players to earn its first victory.

The Lady Raiders (1-4) jumped out to an 8-1 halftime lead and cruised to an 11-3 victory over Ballston Spa in last Thursday night’s Suburban Council game.

In the stands, 2013 Colonie graduate Markel Carras watched her former teammates earn their first victory for new head coach Allison Anaya. Carras has been battling leukemia for several months, and the team decided to hold a fundraiser in honor of her.

Carras said she was surprised by the team’s decision. “I was really shocked and honored, and I didn’t know what to think,” she said.

“She’s always given back to the program by coaching the younger girls at the modified level,” said Anaya. “So, we wanted to do something for her.”

The team was originally going to give Carras the proceeds from the fundraiser, but Carras told the team to donate the money to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation – an organization dedicated to funding research and cures for childhood cancer. Between a silent auction, concession sales and a donation bucket, the event raised approximately $1,900 for St. Baldrick’s.

The game also generated one of the largest home crowds for a Colonie girls lacrosse game in recent history. One side of the stands at Colonie’s varsity lacrosse field was nearly filled, and there were people standing around the field.

“From what I’ve heard, that’s the first time the girls lacrosse team has had a huge crowd turn out like that,” said Anaya. “I think the fact that it was a benefit game helped … but we also showed that we can be a competitive team.”

What the fans saw was Colonie’s best half of the young season. The Lady Raiders controlled the action for much of the first 25 minutes and found the back of the net eight times – the most goals they’ve scored in one half.

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