You could say that Bay Shore girls lacrosse team spent Wednesday afternoon building an immunity to Sachem East.
When under offensive pressure, their backer defense, led by Caroline deLyra, surrounded and swarmed, not too unlike white blood cells rooting out an infection. When Sachem East stalled its attack by holding on to the ball to cut down on the fast break, Carly Cox and the rest of the offense adapted, scoring with finesse and precision.
In fact, with the 15-6 win over their Division I rivals, you could very well say that the Marauders have a perfect bill of health.
"They did a good job of disguising what they were doing [on defense]," Bay Shore coach John Pfeffer, adding that he and his wife, coach Allison Pfeffer "would try to figure out what they were doing, but the girls on the field were figuring it out already . . . And, once we took the lead, they couldn't keep playing their game."
The Flaming Arrows, using a mix of a man-to-man, a backer defense and a backer zone (loose zone defenses that involve a "backer" who follows the ball), were able to control possession for most of the first nine minutes of play, but eventually faltered on Kaitlyn Arnold's goal off a feed from Cox with 16:11 left in the first half.
Bay Shore (8-0) scored four more goals in the next 4:22, capped by Kyra Harney's score on an assist by Kaitlin Arnold off the draw. Katie Trombetta's free position with 10:47 left was the only Sachem East score of the first half, as the Marauders entered the break with an 8-1 lead. Cox finished with four goals and four assists, while deLyra, the backer anchoring the defense, had three and three. Trombetta led Sachem with four goals.
"We were moving the ball quickly and that helped us find holes in their defense," Cox said. When Sachem East switched defensive schemes "we were able to recognize it fairly quickly."
Sachem (7-2, 9-2) wasn't as fortunate, with deLyra and defenders Alex Dolder and Casey Taggart limiting their chances -- three of the Flaming Arrows' six goals were on free positions.
"In our backer defense, we put a lot of pressure on them," said deLyra, who had four interceptions and five groundballs. "They were a little frazzled. They started to rush."