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Girls lacrosse state tournament preview

ALEX FEHMEL Midfielder, Shoreham-Wading River, Sr.

Midfielder, Shoreham-Wading River, Sr. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

You may have heard, the state tournament is upon us. For the three Long Island teams competing - you stellar, stouthearted stalwarts, you - the ultimate goal is just two steps away. And for the family, friends and fans headed up north to watch, the lovely town of Cortland is about 250 miles away.

For those unfamiliar, the state tournament will be held at SUNY-Cortland from June 8-9. The university is located at 38 Graham Avenue in - duh!- Cortland. All the games involving Long Island teams will be played on the "White" field (the other semifinals and the championship games are on the "Red"). The order of Friday's games goes C-A-B. The Class C semifinal begins at 9:30 a.m., followed by Class A at noon, and the Class B game at 2:30 p.m. That order and those start times will be kept for the finals on Saturday.

Class A Semifinal
Bay Shore Marauders (19-1)
vs. West Genesee Wildcats (18-1)
Start time: noon

The Marauders will face West Genesee, ranked eighth in the country. Bay Shore will likely utilize its backer zone against a Wildcats offense - led by Erica Geremia and Emily Tripodi - averaging 16 goals per game. The Marauders are balanced but must overcome the disparity in experience. West Genesee, which lost in last year’s state semifinals, has 16 seniors, while Bay Shore has only two and is making its first trip to states since 2005. The winner of this game will face Penfield or Shaker in the state final.

Class B Semifinal
Garden City Trojans (15-5)
vs. Vestal Golden Bears (15-2)
Start time: 2:30 p.m.

This appears to be a mismatch on paper, considering Garden City is after its seventh consecutive Class B championship and Vestal, ranked 289th, is making its first appearance in the state tournament. But the Golden Bears are a talented group, led by Julia Maczko (100 points), and have a solid defense that has held opponents to 8.6 goals per game. The winner will face Canandaigua or Fox Lane in the final. The Trojans beat both in the 2010 state tournament.

Class C Semifinal
Shoreham-Wading River Wildcats (15-3)
vs. Syracuse-Christian Brothers Academy (20-1)
Start time: 9:30 a.m.

Shoreham-Wading River seeks its fifth Class C state title in six seasons. The Wildcats had won it all from 2007-2010 before a jump to Class B last year. Syracuse-CBA edged Mount Sinai, 9-8, in last year’s state final and has dominated this season. CBA's only loss was to West Genesee, 10-9, in April. They return most of last year’s cast, including Taylor Gait and Caroline Webster. The winner will face Rye or Honeoye Falls-Lima in the final.

Tips for Cortland...
- It's a little late now for this one, but make the travel arrangements as soon as possible. For a town that's not exactly happenin', it fills up pretty quickly at this time o' year. Between the lacrosse championships and the Empire State Senior Games, which run from June 5-9, hotel rooms become scarce. (Learned this the hard way last year.)

- If you're looking for somewhere to eat at night, avoid Cortland's hole-in-wall diners. We'll spare you the details - at least on the blog - but trust me on this one. If it's late, you're better off going to an Applebee's. (Learned this the hard way last year.)

- Despite what the GPS might suggest, the quickest route back to New York City is Rt. 17E to I-87. (My co-workers learn this the hard way every year.)

- I've heard Dunk-a-roos is still sold in some stores in Cortland. If you come across a box and don't mind, please e-mail me and confirm. Or if you see me at a game, don't be afraid to shout, "I saw the Dunk-a-roos!"

- Enjoy, and stay out of trouble, ya crazy downstaters!

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