KINGSTON The Suffern girls lacrosse team started the 2013 season with one goal in mind: win a sectional title.
But after the Mounties achieved that, winning their first title since 2005, it seemed only natural to aim a little higher.
“After we won sections we said, why not go to states,” Suffern sophomore Baley Parrott said. “Why not? Why can’t it be us?”
On Saturday Suffern did just that, beating Section 9’s Kingston 18-5 in the Class A regional final to earn a spot in the state semifinals Friday at SUNY Cortland.
Suffern will play the winner of Section 4’s Corning/Section 3’s Baldwinsville at 9:30 a.m.
The win also ends another drought for the Mounties. Suffern’s last appearance in the state semifinals came in 2000.
“It feels great,” said Suffern sophomore Caitlin Leary, who had five goals in the win, on the Mounties return to the state semifinals. “I’m so glad that it’s this team that we’re doing it with. We’ve worked so hard for this. We deserve every second of it.”
While Suffern coach John Callanan credits his team with being an extremely talented group, he said the attitude they bring to every game has helped them reach heights the program hasn’t seen for more than a decade. For the Mounties, every game is another chance to play the game they love.
“They just play,” Callanan said. “It’s weird. They are a very loose group. I don’t think they really feel pressure, so that’s one less thing they have to worry about.”
The Mounties led 10-3 after the first half, unaffected by the one-hour postponement of the game due to a high heat index or the half-hour delay just seven minutes into the game because of thunder.
“We came out really fired up,” said Parrott, who had two goals and one assist. “We knew exactly what we had to do. We knew we had to play our game, and that’s exactly what we did.”
The second half was more of the same, as the Mounties posted a seven-goal run to finish the game.
For Parrott, in her third year on varsity, getting to the state semifinals wasn’t just a huge achievement for the team, but the entire program.
“We kind of represent Suffern as a whole,” Parrott said. “Everyone is just really proud of us. It’s a great feeling that everyone supports us.”
There is still one barrier — the Mounties have never won a state title in program history.
“We are so excited,” said Suffern sophomore Dana Gisonno, who had five goals and an assist, of going to Cortland. “Every weekend we’re together we’re talking about it. We just want to be there.”
Photo courtesy of Peter Carr/The Journal News. For the entire gallery click here.