Jackie D'Alleva keys defense in Manhasset girls lacrosse state semifinal win
CORTLAND, N.Y. -- A chorus of groans came from the Manhasset sideline. Natalie Stefan, exasperated, fell to the ground.
Jackie D'Alleva intercepted a pass near midfield, sprinted upfield and had a one-on-one against the goalie. The crowd roared in anticipation and . . . her bouncer was blocked easily.
But it didn't matter.
Know who else didn't score? The opponent's All-American attack Nicole Beardsley. Because D'Alleva led a defense that stifled Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, 9-3, Friday in a state Class B girls lacrosse semifinal.
"I do get goals sometimes in practice," D'Alleva said, grinning. "But I love playing defense, especially with this unit. That's what I take pride in."
Scoring was left to the experts. Lindsey Ronbeck had three goals and an assist, and Abby Kucharczyk and Julia Glynn each scored twice for Manhasset (18-2) and Erin Coleman made four saves.
Ronbeck and Glynn, roommates on Thursday, "strategized a little before falling asleep," Ronbeck said.
"And we had it in our heads that we wanted to dominate."
Determined to redeem themselves after last year's 9-8 upset to Brighton in this round, the Indians took control from the outset. Manhasset faces Victor in the final at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.
"Having a second opportunity up here is special," Kucharczyk said.
"We didn't want to have another early bus ride home, crying. Everyone had to have an impact."
Glynn scored 2:37 in and Jenny Cook put Manhasset up 2-0 three minutes later. Ronbeck's free-position goal with 4:39 left in the first half gave the Indians a 7-1 lead. Alexandra Pidedjian made it 9-2 with 10:06 left. D'Alleva's almost-goal came with 18:11 remaining.
"It would've been awesome for Jackie to get it," coach Danielle Gallagher said, "but the important part was the interception . . . Our defense was phenomenal."
Indeed. D'Alleva, Riley Garcia and Glynn anchored a group that held Spartans superstar Beardsley scoreless. Manhasset used shifts and slides to effectively limit penetration.
"We talked about it a lot, how we couldn't go through a disappointment like last year again," D'Alleva said. "Now we're a step away from our goal."