LIVERPOOL — Skaneateles got off to a fast start and overwhelmed Chenango Forks.
The Lakers scored six times in the first seven minutes and controlled the play for long stretches of the game, as the Skaneateles girls lacrosse team routed Section IV’s Chenango Forks, 17-7, in the first round of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class D tournament at Liverpool High School Thursday.
Skaneateles, the Section III champion, plays Section X’s Canton in the regional final at Odgensburg Free Academy Saturday.
“It helps because I think teams can get intimidated and back down,” Lakers coach Bridget Marquardt said of the fast start. “I give them a lot of credit. They fought to the end. They got a couple good players and they kept coming back.
“I think we just needed to keep our team focused and composed, which has been the message for us all year long.”
Kyla Sears registered four goals and four assists to pace the Lakers’ offense, while Grace Dower had four goals and three assists.
Riley Brogan added three goals and one assist, Mae McGlynn recorded a hat trick, and Maggie Newton and Olivia Navaroli each had one goal and one assist. Abby Logan scored once, and Sophie Kush finished with one assist.
Emily Baldwin recorded eight saves in the win for Skaneateles.
Marquardt was focused on her team continuing to play how it had in the win over South Jefferson in the Section III, Class D finals Tuesday.
“We wanted to make sure the team wasn’t complacent after our big win against South Jeff (in the section finals), and we stressed that we needed to continue to play well and improve and come out strong,” Marquardt said. “We have a tendency that when we do that, we seem to have a little more confidence”
The Lakers opened the scoring 2:01 into the game, and rattled off five goals over the next 4:47. Chenango Forks went on a three-goal run to cut Skaneateles’ lead to six, but the Lakers took a 12-5 advantage into halftime.
“It sets the intensity for the whole game, and it gets us going,” Brogan said. “It makes us want to keep going.”
With the Lakers holding a big lead at halftime, Marquardt reminded her team it needed to continue to push early in the second period.
“We start off the game saying ‘It’s the first five minutes. We need the first five minutes,’” Marquardt said. “Then at halftime, when we come out we need to win the first five minutes. We try to not look at the whole picture and just take little chunks.”
Skaneateles and Chenango Forks traded goals early in the second half, but the Lakers scored the next four goals, got the clock running with 11:35 remaining and cruised to the win.
“It’s a really good feeling,” Navaroli said of advancing. “We worked really hard for to get here, and I think we really deserve it. I’m proud of our team.”
Now Skaneateles shifts its focus to Canton, with the winner Saturday earning a spot in the NYSPHSAA Final Four. The Lakers have made the trip to SUNY Cortland each of the last four seasons.
“We have to expect anything,” Navaroli said of preparing for Canton. “We just have to go out hard and play our game.”