ALBANY Julia Lennon saw a small opening, and she took advantage of it.
The senior scored the game winning goal with two defenders in her face to lift Shaker to an 8-7 victory over Guilderland in the Section II Class A girls lacrosse final Wednesday, May 21, at the University at Albany.
Lennon’s shot went around the two Guilderland defenders and tucked inside the post with 50.7 seconds left to give Shaker (16-0) its second Sectional title in the last three years.
“I just saw the opening really fast, and I had to release it very quickly to catch the goalie off guard,” said Lennon.
“She’s really good. That’s all there is to it. She’s just that good,” said Shaker coach Kara DePaula-Lynch.
Guilderland (14-5) did everything in its power to stop Lennon, who entered the game with 83 goals on the season. But despite being double teamed on a regular basis, Lennon still scored four goals.
“Their defense played very well in this game,” said Lennon. “We just figured out we had to spread it out and pass the ball around, and the openings would come.”
“She usually scores six to eight goals a game. She didn’t today,” said Guilderland coach Carrie Britt. “We played very well, considering we were on defense most of the game.”
The first five minutes of last Wednesday’s final was similar to last year’s Class A championship game between the two Suburban Council powers in that Guilderland took advantage of a yellow card penalty to strike for two goals. Cara Quimby got the first one 40 seconds after Sarah Cheney was sent off, and Katie Becker tallied the second one 40 seconds after Quimby’s goal to put the Lady Dutch ahead 2-0.
DePaula-Lynch called a time out with 19:12 left in the first half following a Morgan Hardt goal to give Guilderland a 3-0 cushion. The message she gave her team was clear: don’t forget what happened one month earlier when Shaker rallied for a 12-11 overtime win against the Lady Dutch.