CORTLAND — Massapequa goalie Christina Fradella was challenged from the opening whistle. Baldwinsville, the defending girls lacrosse state Class A champions, generated multiple early shots against the senior and in the biggest game of the season, nerves could have easily taken over and hindered Fradella. But it was actually the opposite. Protecting a goal is where Fradella feels most comfortable – even while battling those nerves.
“Going into it, I knew we were never going to be more ready and I just felt very ready for the game today,” Fradella said. “Once I made the first save, I knew we had this in the bag and it was going to be a good game.”
Fradella was right. Massapequa defeated Baldwinsville, 12-6, in the state Class A semifinals at Cortland High School on Friday afternoon. The senior had nine saves, including four stops in the first 10 minutes.
“Every single game I feel a little nervous, it’s just how I play, but I think it helps me stay on my toes and be ready for any shot,” Fradella said. “Especially after I make that first save, I just know I can take a deep breath.”
Massapequa (12-5) advances to play Fairport (18-2) in the state Class A final at SUNY Cortland on Saturday at 2 p.m. It’s Massapequa’s first state final in program history. Baldwinsville finished at 15-5.
Jessica Giller had three goals and two assists and Bridget Valentine added three goals for Massapequa.
“We’ve dreamed of this since second grade and to finally be here is unreal,” Valentine said. “We knew no one else had done this before and we deserve it. We’ve put in so much work and effort and I’m glad it’s this group of girls that made it here.”
Massapequa scored five of the game’s first six goals and led 6-4 at halftime. Valentine scored the first goal of the second half off an assist from Giller and Allison Petrullo followed with one of her two goals to take an 8-4 advantage less than four minutes into the second half.
Ellen Leisen, Ashley Melillo and Joely Caramelli each finished with a goal and an assist as Baldwinsville was unable to cut Massapequa’s lead to fewer than four goals after the 8-4 advantage.
“We’ve been talking about focus all week long,” coach Erin Kollar said. “Just focus, focus, focus, and today they came out focused, ready to go and on a mission.”
That focus and mission isn’t over yet though. This was Massapequa’s first trip to a state semifinal. But one more first remains in this journey. A state crown.
“I already have chills thinking about it,” Fradella said. “I’m just so ready to be there and be on that field with everyone. I just know [Saturday] is going to be the best game of our lives.”