Shaker’s Sarah Cheney, left, looks for a teammate to pass to during the Blue Bison’s 15-6 semifinal victory over Saratoga Springs Thursday, May 15.
Photo by Rob Jonas.
Two years ago, the Shaker girls lacrosse team edged Guilderland 9-8 for its first Section II Class A title.
Guilderland got its revenge last year, as it defeated Shaker 15-8 in the finals.
The rubber match comes Wednesday, May 21, as the undefeated Blue Bison meet the defending champion Lady Dutch for the Sectional title at the University at Albany.
Shaker coach Kara DePaula-Lynch said the memory of last year’s final is what drove the Blue Bison to a 15-0 record this season. In that game, Guilderland jumped out to an 8-4 halftime lead and pulled away in part because Shaker didn’t handle adversity well, she said.
“I think last year’s game, as bad as it was, is the reason why we’re back here this year. We had to fix some things,” said DePaula-Lynch.
DePaula-Lynch said this year’s Shaker team doesn’t get down or panic if it’s trailing. A prime example was the Blue Bison’s regular season meeting against Guilderland April 16 at Siena College in which they rallied from a late two-goal deficit to edge the Lady Dutch 12-11 in overtime.
“They don’t fall apart when they get behind. They bond together through adversity,” said DePaula-Lynch.
The first Guilderland game was the last time Shaker stared into the jaws of defeat. Since then, the Blue Bison have won each of their games by at least eight goals, including their 15-6 Sectional semifinal win against Saratoga Springs Thursday, May 15, in Latham.
However, DePaula-Lynch was quick to point out that even in a nine-goal victory, Shaker had some issues against Saratoga.
“The game was a lot closer than we would have liked after the first 15 minutes,” said DePaula-Lynch. “It was a little nerve wracking, but it’s a great credit to our bench and our kids that we stayed focused.”