CORTLAND In the end, there was too much goalie and not enough clock.
The John Jay girls lacrosse team mounted two come-from-behind surges before falling Saturday to Section 3 champion Christian Brothers Academy 17-13 in the Class B state semifinals at SUNY Cortland.
Brothers’ goalie Alea Bonner was officially credited with just eight saves but two were huge, coming late in the game with the momentum clearly belonging to John Jay.
The Syracuse-based Brothers, now 18-2, entered the game having outscored opponents 315-95.
And early on it was apparent why.
The Brothers jumped out to an 8-2 lead with 10-plus minutes left in the first half when Harvard-bound middie Marisa Romeo scored her third of six goals.
Romeo, who, at one point, eluded three defenders to score, was also strong on first-half draws.
“She’s a very athletic, great player. She and (Taylor Poplawski) were all over the field,” John Jay coach Christina Smith said.
Smith spoke of being proud of her team and, indeed, the Indians showed fight.
They cut the Brothers’ lead to 10-7 at the half. Highlights included goals by Hanna Bocklet (two goals) off a nice inside feed from Amanda Flayhan and Flayhan finding net off a pass from Sarah Lang.
But, like it did at the outset of the game, Christian Brothers opened the second half on a run, outscoring John Jay 5-1 in the first 11 minutes with Romeo netting two from down low.
“Today, I think we played against a more aggressive teams than we’ve ever played before,” said Indians’ senior Delaney Spencer, who had three goals. “They had a lot of fast players who we couldn’t seem to stop… We were in a rush against the clock.”
Despite the Brothers’ defense, which Lang (two goals) praised as “very, very high-pressure” and which Brothers’ senior middie Taylor Poplawski (two goals) characterized as Christian Brothers’ “heart and soul,” the Indians registered five of the last seven goals scored.
In part, it got a boost from Molly O’Reilly, who dominated on second-half draws and who finished with three goals and two assists – one assist a second-half beauty to Bocklet, who one-timed the ball past Bonner.
O’Reilly, who earned all-tournament honors and who scored the game’s last goal with 3:58 left, said, “We kept chipping away. We came pretty close. At the end we were pretty beat but we showed a lot of heart.”
Part of that heart belonged to Abby Silverstein, who had six saves, including an outright, second-half robbery on Maddie Cook (three goals).
Christian Brothers will play Section 5 Brighton tomorrow for the Class B championship.
John Jay finishes 16-5-1, having advanced farther than any previous Indians’ squad.
“I am so proud of my team,” said Lang, a four-year player. “It’s been a hell of a ride.”