MIDDLEBURY, VT - The SUNY Poly women's lacrosse team's historic season ended on Saturday with a heart breaking loss to FDU Florham in the first round of the NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Championship Tournament. The game was a thriller, both teams playing hard to keep their seasons alive; fighting and hoping to earn a spot in the second round of the tournament. The deciding factor in the game was a long run of unanswered goals by the Devils. The final score of the game was 11-7.
The Wildcats got off to a hot start. Meghan Serota (Black River, N.Y.) got the game started with an early goal on a free position shot. The Wildcats offense would strike two more times unanswered in the first six minutes. Both goals were scored by Mari Ames (West Carthage, N.Y.) assisted by Krysta Beha (Marcy, N.Y.), a connection that Wildcat fans have become quite accustomed to during this season. Despite the early deficit, FDU had no plans of going down without a fight. The Wildcats offense slowed to a halt and the Devil's gained momentum and scored six unanswered goals to end the first half bringing the score to 6-3.
The second half of the game was opened up with a goal by FDU's Cassidy Vastano in just the 24th second of the half giving the Devils a 4 goal lead; which is ultimately where the game ended up. FDU was not finished after the quick second half goal however as the team would go on to score the next four goals of the game giving them an impressive 11-0 run and an 11-3 lead.
Facing a big deficit with time ticking away, the Wildcats got the offense back in gear and started to chip away at the lead. Krysta Beha and Meghan Serota got the team rolling with back to back scoring plays; both goals by Beha assisted by Serota. Nichole DiPiazza (Colonie, N.Y.) than found the back of the net, assisted by Mari Ames. Ames than netted her third goal of the game, again assisted by Krysta Beha to bring the Wildcats within four goals. However the clock was not on the Wildcats side. With a few more minutes, the outcome might have been changed; but alas time expired and the Devils got to celebrate their victory and their date with Middlebury on Sunday.
Megan Will (Remsen, N.Y.) faced a barrage of shots in the game. She made 13 saves which is the third highest saves total ever recorded by a Wildcat goalie in a single game. She also had a game high six groundballs. Hope Cerasuolo (Johnstown, N.Y.) caused a team high three turnovers in the game. She also had three draw controls and a groundball.
Krysta Beha ended up with a game high five points on two goals and three assists. She also had two groundballs, a caused turnover, and a draw control. Mari Ames had four points in the game on three goals and an assist. Meghan Serota put up three points on two assists and a goal. She tied Cerasuolo for the most draw controls for the Wildcats with three and had a caused turnover.
The Wildcats composure in the face of adversity and defeat was something to be admired. This team will go down as the most successful SUNY Poly women's lacrosse team to date. They should be incredibly proud of their achievements. These young women are extraordinary individuals who came together as a team and exceeded all expectations. The three seniors of this team can never be replaced and will always remembered; they have helped lay a foundation of success for a growing program. The bar has been set extremely high for future teams. This team had heart, character, integrity, and last but certainly not least; played some darn good lacrosse.