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Massena girls lacrosse wins 3rd straight title; Salmon River boys take crown

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CANTON — A one-goal halftime deficit to Canton spoke volumes to the Massena girls lacrosse team on Thursday in the Section 10 Class C title game.

“Canton came out on fire. They really looked like they wanted it more,” coach Jeffrey Slack said after the Raiders reeled off nine unanswered second-half goals to claim a hard-fought 15-7 win over the Golden Bears at SUNY Canton.

“We really didn’t have to say too much to the girls at halftime,” Slack added. “They knew Canton was beating us to the loose balls and that we were getting outhustled. We didn’t change anything in terms of our game plan. We just had to pick up our intensity and that’s just what the girls did in the second half.

The Raiders captured their third straight Class C title and improved to 15-3 heading into the New York state playoffs, where they will head south to Vestal High School to take on the Section 4 champion in a first-round matchup slated for Wednesday at 4 p.m.

The senior duo of Alisha Jacobs and Erin Francis, who was announced as the Northern Athletic Conference MVP, combined to produce the majority of the offense for the Raiders. Jacobs netted six goals following by Francis with five. They each tallied three assists as well.

“The two of them work so well together,” Slack said. “It just took them a while to get things going today.”

Dominique Valancius chipped in a goal and two assists toward the winning effort while Shannon Casey, Carlie Leary and Devin Kelly broke through for the other goals.

Katie Lapinski and Kali Frank anchored the Canton offense with two goals and an assist each.

Rachael Huntley, Molly McMasters and Makaylee Boak all netted singletons as the Bears, who entered sectionals as the second seed, finished at 10-5 in the final season for 13th-year coach Sparky Newman.

“I’m very happy with the way we played today. We were leading at the half but Massena is a great team and we knew they would tough to beat,” he said. “Our girls left it all on the field and that’s all you want to see as a coach.”

Francis finished off a pass from Jacobs just 24 seconds into the game, but the Bears countered just eight seconds later when McMasters relayed a face-off win into a breakaway goal.

The teams traded momentum swings throughout the first half that saw Massena build a 6-4 lead on a goal by Leary with 10:51 left before Canton reeled off the final three goals.

The Golden Bears took a 7-6 lead with 2:01 left when Boak was awarded a free shot on an empty net after a foul called against Massena goalie Felicity Love.

Jacobs tied the game 2:57 into the second half assisted by Francis.

The two switched roles on what would hold up as the game-winner with 18:49 left in regulation, and the Raiders went on to average a goal every two minutes for a 14-minute span as they gradually pulled away.

BOYS SALMON RIVER 15, SLC 8

Salmon River’s six-year run of not losing a lacrosse game to a Section 10 opponent was definitely in jeopardy in the Class C title game at SUNY Canton.

A scrappy St. Lawrence Central contingent led the Shamrocks by a goal with 8:57 left in the third quarter, and the margin could have been far greater had it not been for several big saves by Salmon River goalie Kobi Johnson.

But junior attack Kyle Lewis and the high-powered Salmon River offense took over, scoring six unanswered goals over the next 11 minutes of play in pulling away to a 15-8 victory.

Lewis finished with four of his game-high six goals in the second half and added three assists.

“They (SLC) had us on our heels a bit, but we started to control the ball more and not force it,” Lewis said. “I was able to step up in the second half. We found the open man and kept it fast-paced. We weren’t going to slow down.”

The Shamrocks (17-0) will host the Section 3 (Syracuse-area) Class C champion on Wednesday at Potsdam High School at 6 p.m. in the first round of the state tournament. That game will immediately follow Massena hosting the Section 3 champion in the Class B state opener beginning at 3:30 p.m.

Johnson kicked out several SLC shots in the first half as Blake Baldwin, who won 16 of 24 faceoffs, gave the Larries numerous offensive possessions.

“St. Lawrence came out strong and they were really fired up,” Johnson said. “I thought I had a good game but I never really felt comfortable until we finally got up 3-or-4 goals late in the game.”

Kason Tarbell contributed four goals and one assist for Salmon River, but he and teammate Sky Sunday were ejected after a fight erupted with 28 seconds left in regulation. Under Section 10 rules, both are ineligible to play in Salmon River’s state opener on Wednesday. Cody Burns, who led the Larries (14-3) with three goals, was also ejected.

Salmon River also received a goal and three assists from Dalston Day and two goals and one assist from Sky Thomas.

For SLC, Lucas Arquiett tallied two goals and one assist, Ian Lynch scored twice while Kody Koscis made eight saves in goal.

Both regular season losses for SLC came at the hands of Salmon River. The Larries were playing their third game in four days under a new sectional playoff schedule for Section 10.




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