By Lindsay Kramer
CORTLND – Her players gave Shoreham-Wading River girls’ lacrosse coach Mary Bergmann plenty of reason to cut loose at halftime against Honeoye Falls-Lima on Saturday, but she refused to take the bait.
“We told them we need to chip away until we tie it up, and then we’re going to take the lead,’’ she said
The Wildcats then went out and proved their coach prophetic.
SWR roared back with seven unanswered goals in about eight minutes early in the second half and raced to an 11-9 victory over the Cougars in the Class C state final here at SUNY-Cortland.
The win returned the championship plaque to the Wildcats’ talented hands after they fell short last season, SWR took four in a row from 2007-10.
“We have amazing girls. I think it’s definitely home,’’ said senior attacker Katie Boden. “I think the tradition is back.’’
SWR (17-3) reclaimed it despite playing all of the second half down one player and the tail end of the contest down two because of an accumulation of yellow cards. Midfielder Paulina Constant and midfielder Jessica Angerman paced the team with three scores each.
Midfielder Alex Fehmel (two goals, one assist) was named the tournament MVP and Boden, Angerman, defender Alyssa Fleming and Constant earned spots on the all-tournament squad.
The Wildcats picked up their fourth yellow with 2:20 left in the first half, leaving them shorthanded the rest of the game. The rainy day looked even bleaker when the Section V Cougars held a 6-3 at intermission.
“None of us were hanging our heads,’’ Fehmel said of the mood in the lockerroom. “We erased every negative thought.’’
HF-L’s Taylor Reed made it 7-3 with a tally 1:02 into the second half, but Bergmann thought that just further jolted her squad.
“That goal was the needle,’’ Bergmann said. “Forget this.’’
The deficit seemed to spark SWR’s transition game. Angerman burst down the field to power home a shot with 22:56 remaining, and Shannon Rosati finished off a rush with 20:42 left to make it 7-5.
“We just knew it wasn’t over and we weren’t going to give up,’’ Boden said. “We just had all the heart and drive and intensity in the world. That motivation was in our favor.’’
Boden scored on a free position with 18:17 remaining, and Constant bounced home a bid to tie the game with 16:02 left.
Even though the Wildcats were short-handed, they played like they had a numbers advantage. Players said they got motivation from their 14-13 semifinal win over CBA on Friday in which the Brothers played the end of the game down four players but nearly rallied to win.
“It didn’t faze us at all,’’ Fehmel said of the disadvantage. “We realized any team can do it.’’
Angerman gave her team an 8-7 edge just 19 seconds later ran she ran down the left side of the field and lit the scoreboard. A little more than a minute after that Fehmel bounced in a shot from the right, and 42 seconds later she scored again to make it 10-7.
“We knew as long as the defense held them pretty well, we could beat them in transition,’’ Bergmann said.
The Wildcats’ zone defense held tight, and goalie Lauren Daly had their back. Daly made five saves in the second half, including a couple late that held off the Cougars and restored S-WR to what it feels is its rightful spot.
“This year, we realized it was in our hands,’’ Fehmel said. “There was so much pressure on us, and we were able to handle it.’’
Tags: Shoreham Wading River