Due to a late cancellation we actually had a staff writer on hand for the North Rockland-Albertus Magnus game. Brian Heyman was in the area and able to cover the game. Below is his story.
THIELLS Kaitlyn Rau finished with a little extra red on her white jersey, courtesy of the scrape above her upper lip. But she gave more with her lacrosse stick than she received from any errant Albertus Magnus stick in Tuesday’s game at North Rockland.
The Villanova-bound junior midfielder scored all of her five goals in the first half and got the Red Raiders rolling in the direction of a 16-6 win.
“She’s got a unique ability to score goals,” coach Greg Borchers said. “She’s been kind of doing that since eighth grade. It seems like she can score at almost any given time.”
North Rockland lost, among others, all-America midfielder and leading goal scorer Tara Monaghan – now at SUNY Cortland – and all-county goalie Katie Lonergan – now at St. Thomas Aquinas – from its 19-1-1, first-time sectional championship team.
But Rau is back after a 68-goal season and the Red Raiders have a promising cast around her. This group is off to a nice start, now at 4-0. North Rockland would love another shot at another Class A title.
Albertus stayed with Borchers’ team for the first six minutes, matching goals by Rau and Jenna Fox with ones by Lauren Gruffi and Mikaela Connell. But Lauren Mazza made a nice move to her right to get free for a Red Raiders goal, then went low for another off an 8-meter situation. Jeanie Peluso scored her first of three off the same type of situation, making it three goals in a span of 1:35.
Rau scored four more, including the final two of the half, and freshman Kaitlyn Gutenberger scored her first of three, so it was a 10-3 game at the break. Rau said there’s “a little bit” more pressure on her to make up for Monaghan’s production.
“But I don’t really think about it,” said Rau, who recently crossed the 200-point milestone. “It’s more of a team effort. Everyone’s stepping up.”
Freshman goalie Gianna Guerra, in her second game since she came up from the JV after junior Cara Moran came down with mono, stepped up with three saves in each half to help contain the Falcons. They lost all-time leading goal scorer Casey Silvestri – now at Manhattan – and are 1-2.
“We’re very young,” coach Missi Holland said. “We only have four seniors. They are gaining composure with every game and gaining strength. So I have a very positive outlook for the season. Each game we learn something new.”
Photos courtesy of Matthew Brown/The Journal News. For the entire gallery click here.