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Jackie D'Alleva keys defense in Manhasset girls lacrosse state semifinal win

Manhasset defender Jackie D'Alleva controls the ball against

Manhasset defender Jackie D'Alleva controls the ball against the defense of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake midfielder Emily Clark during the NYSPHSAA Class B semifinal at SUNY Cortland on Friday, June 6, 2014. Credit: Rich Barnes

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."

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