Red Storm girls lax advances past OFA

SARANAC LAKE – Senior Kylie Sapone scored with 14 seconds left to give the Saranac Lake girls lacrosse team a 9-8 win over Ogdensburg in the opening round of the Section X playoffs Monday.

The goal was Sapone’s fifth of the game and capped off a second-half rally for Saranac Lake, which overcame a 7-4 halftime deficit.

“Every single game, whether we win or lose, we always play our hardest the last 10 minutes, no matter what,” Sapone said. “We played like that the whole time but the last 10 minutes was like extreme today.”

The fourth-seeded Red Storm will now face top-seeded Massena on the road Wednesday at 5 p.m.

This was the third game between Saranac Lake and Ogdensburg. They split the other two, with the Blue Devils winning the last one on May 16 by a score of 12-7.

In Monday’s game, Sapone got Saranac Lake off to a strong start in the second half when she scored at the 1:30 mark to make the score 7-5.

But Ogdensburg looked poised to fend off the Red Storm, as Nikki Holmes scored just four minutes later. Holmes led her team with three goals.

With the outcome still up in the air, the Red Storm then went on to score the next three goals to tie the game at 8-8 with 9:23 left.

Sapone scored the second of those goals while fellow senior Kaileigh Woodruff scored the other two. Woodruff also played a big role in the game-winning goal, as she hit Sapone on a pass to set up the score.

“I just don’t think we were as aggressive as we could have been (in the first half), and I just think it takes us a couple of minutes to get going, during any game,” Woodruff said. “Like Kylie said, ‘We always play our second half better than our first one, and we just need a little time to get going.'”

While Saranac Lake had all the momentum in the second half and seemed to get more of the loose balls, the Blue Devils didn’t give up. With the scored knotted at 8, MacKenzie Bresett found the back of the net to make the score 9-8. That goal came less than a minute after Saranac Lake had worked so hard to tie the game.

For the next seven minutes, neither team was able to score. Then, finally, with 1:13 left, Woodruff took the ball from behind the net, ran to an open spot in front of the net and tossed the ball past the Blue Devils’ goalie for her third goal of the game, tying the game at 9.

About a minute later, fittingly, Woodruff would find Sapone open in front of the goal, setting up the game-winning goal.

Saranac Lake coach Phoebe Burns said that overall the team played well together. In addition to Sapone and Woodruff, Bridget Sullivan and Elena Beideck each picked up goals. Several players also played well on defense, especially in the decisive second half.

“Sheila Decker came up huge for us in between the pipes,” Burns said. “Then Katey Snyder, she was our goalie for most of the season. She played a tremendous game for us on defense, face-guarding their top player. All in all, our team just played like a unit today and that was the bottom line.”

Ogdensburg’s Courtney Sheppard had two goals and an assist. Teammate Hunter Shaver had one goal, as did Nicole Hammond.