Frontier senior midfielder Hannah Lease (6) chases down Lancaster's Allie Stewart in the Lady Falcon's loss in the Section VI title game on May 28. Photo by Staff Photographer Jeffrey Barnes.
Another Section VI girls lacrosse championship belongs to Lancaster, but as usual, rival Frontier didn’t give it up without a fight.
The Redskins jumped out to a quick start and then held off the hard-charging Falcons for an exciting 10-8 win on Wednesday night in the Class A title tilt at All-High Stadium.
“It’s never easy, it really isn’t,” Lancaster coach Julie Buccieri said. “They’re a great team and they wanted it as bad as we wanted it. We knew it was going to come down to the end. We’re excited.”
The title was the third straight for Lancaster after the Falcons shocked the local girls lacrosse world by upsetting the Redskins in the 2011 championship game. Since then, Lancaster and Frontier have been regulars in the 1 and 2 spots atop Class A in both the regular season and postseason.
“Every single game is a good game,” Lancaster senior Allie Stewart said. “Beating them just feels so great. It’s so much fun to play against them; they’re a great team.”
The Redskins will play Pittsford on Saturday in the Far West Regional. Pittsford upset rival Penfield on Megan Plain’s game-winning goal with just three seconds left in regulation in Wednesday’s Section V title game.
We’re excited, it’s someone different,” said Buccieri, whose husband Jeff was scouting that game. “We’re ready go, we’re going to adjust some things from last year and give it our best shot.”
Stewart and Grace Gabriel were their usual dynamic selves on Wednesday night. Gabriel scored five times - her fifth five-goal game of the season - while Stewart added two goals and three assists.
“They work well together and that’s great for us,” Buccieri said. “They work hard, they do a good job every time.”
Goals by Gabriel, Hannah Nagowski and Stewart in the game’s first 6:03 gave the Redskins an early lead - a lead they never completely relinquished. But on three separate occasions, Frontier closed within one-goal.
It really looked over when Gabriel scored twice in less than a minute to push Lancaster’s lead to 9-6 with 11:39 showing on the second-half clock. But goals by Claire McMahon and Alexis Rockey just 13 seconds apart brought Frontier right back into the game.
It wasn’t until Anna Orlando’s goal with 2:16 left that Lancaster had some breathing room.
My girls will give everything that they have,” Frontier coach Tim Myslinski said. “I think the biggest problem in our game was defense and turnovers. We forced them to put the ball on the ground and we just didn’t get it up and out. So at the end of the day, I think the turnovers hurt us.”
Reese Addeo also scored for Lancaster, which also got strong goaltending from LarissaKate Robinson. Izzo led Frontier with three goals. Jackie Dufresne and Lexi Rockey scored a pair apiece for Frontier.
The win was the second in three tries against the Falcons this season for Lancaster, which avenged a 9-8 home loss from May 13.
And for the third straight year, the Redskins got the big one in the rivalry.
After the win, Lancaster had its sights set on winning the program’s first Far West Regional title since 2008.
During that season, Lancaster became the first – and to date, the only – Section VI team to beat a Section V squad on the postseason.
“It’s been an honor to play with these girls all season,” Stewart said. “We’ve been thinking about going to states ever since they did it in ’08. It’s going to be a tough game, but I can’t wait.”
Lancaster would fall to Pittsford, 14-8, on May 31.