MASSENA - The Massena Central girls lacrosse team will look to extend an historic post-season this Saturday as they get set to take on Section 3 champion Skaneateles in the quarter-finals of the New York State Class C tournament on Saturday at the West Genesee High School turf field.
Guided by third-year coach Jeffrey Slack, the Lady Raiders became the first girls lacrosse team from Section 10 and the first lacrosse team from Massena to win a state tournament game when they outlasted Section 4 champion Maine-Endwell 12-11 in an opening round matchup at Vestal High School this past Wednesday.
Massena enters the second round with a record of 16-3. The Lady Raiders captured their third straight NAC regular season banner and went on to claim their third straight sectional Class C title by turning back Canton 15-7.
The senior trio of Erin Francis, Alisha Jacobs and Dominique Valancius has accounted for the majority of the offense this spring for the Lady Raiders. Francis, the NAC regular season MVP who is the first player in sectional history to commit to playing lacrosse at the Division I level as a top recruit for Syracuse University, netted three goals and two assists in the state tournament win to raise her school-record setting point total to 109 points on 70 goals and 39 helpers. Jacobs dissected the Maine-Endwell defense for six goals, giving her 69 points on 48 goals and 21 assists in her first full season on attack while Valancius, a sixth-year midfielder, increased her season totals to 26 goals and 11 assists for 37 points with a goal and assist in the breakthrough post-season victory.
The Lady Raiders have also gotten solid goaltending throughout the season from the duo of junior Annalee Beckstead and sophomore Felicity Love while the backfield quartet of senior Steffanie Premo, sophomores Courtney Hart and Nicole Morgan, and freshman Maddi Dillabough has anchored a tenacious defensive unit.
Other leading contributors to the Lady Raiders success this spring include: juniors - Shannon Casey, Carlie Leary, Megan Hans and Ashlyn Olson; sophomores - Alanna Pyke, Amily Wilmshurst, Mia Jermano, Colleen Besaw, Annie Casey and Ellen Greene; freshmen - Makaul Vandermast, Abby LaClair, Raechal Davis, Molly OConnell, Devin Kelly and Sophia Rusaw; and seniors Courtney Patterson and Astrid Fabia, a foreign exchange student from Belgium.
Skaneateles advanced to the state tournament by downing Marcellus 12-7 in the Section 3 final earlier this week. The Lakers stand at 17-2 and feature a balanced attack that boasts six players with 46 points or more. Hannah Powers is the leading scorer with 46 goals and 14 assits for 60 points followed by Molly Wood (37-18-55) and Alana Navaroli (37-14-51). Three other players have generated 50 points while Malorie Olin (129 saves, 138 goals against, .483 save percentage) has handled the bulk of the goaltending duties.
The winner of this afternoons game, which is slated to face-off at 3 p.m., advances to the state final four at SUNY Cortland on Friday, June 7, starting at 2:30 p.m. Section 9 champion Red Hook and the winner of another first round game between the Section 2 and Section 1 championship are scheduled to square off in the other Friday afternoon semi-final. The state Class C final is set for Saturday, June 8, at 2:30 p.m. at SUNY Cortland.
AIRING ON TWC SPORTS
For area fans unable to attend this afternoons game, it will be broadcast live on the Time Warner Cable Sports Network.