ROTTERDAM, N.Y.— If you need a goal to win a title, Yorktown’s Katie Comerford is up to the challenge.
Comerford (5G, 1A) scored the game-winning goal with Casey Duff (3G, 1A) getting the assist with 53.7 seconds left in the second half of overtime to give the Huskers’ girls lacrosse squad an exhilarating 10-9 victory against Section 2 champion Niskayuna in the Class B regional final at Mohonasen High School in Rotterdam on June 4.
Yorktown will now play Section 3 winner Watertown at noon, Friday, June 10 at Tompkins Cortland Community College in a Class B state semifinal.
“The last goal was just a cut and feed from Casey Duff,” Comerford said. “She worked unbelievably hard to get the ball back on the play before and then just found me in the middle. I was so excited for my team and just happy to be moving on to Cortland.”
Comerford scored by charging hard toward the net, like she did on her game winner against Somers in the sectional-title game.
“My role was just to give Katie a ball she could catch,” Duff said. “It was similar to Somers because she does an unbelievable job getting space between her and her defender and I know she’s always going to catch it and bury it in the back of the net.”
The win gave Yorktown its first regional title and appearance in a state final four since 2011.
“It’s an incredible feeling and we’re happy to make our town proud,” Duff said.
Comerford said that winning the regional title meant a lot because it came against a talented Niskayuna team that works hard.
“We really wanted it today,” Comerford said. “It’s great that our school got back to the state final four for the first time since 2011, and it’s even better because we are all such good friends this year.”
Rilea Fusco (5A), Julia Cook (1G), Michelle Seger (1G) and Catherine Calidonna (7 saves) all helped the Huskers earn their eighth regional crown.
Yorktown got to the regional final with a 19-2 triumph in the regional semifinals on June 1 at Dietz Stadium in Kingston against Section 9’s Minisink Valley.
“Our main success was on the draw circle,” said Calidonna, who made five saves. “Carli Mager and Ashley Stilo were resilient on the circle and were a tremendous help to protect the defense and have the ball on offense for the majority of the game. Rilea Fusco also played fantastic on attack. She found all the open cutters, was great with back up behind the cage, and continued to find ways to the cage and finished.”
The Huskers (16-5) were determined from the beginning, getting off to a 12-1 halftime lead.
“We went out really hard and wanted to get a nice cushion early in the game,” Fusco said. “Everything was flowing perfectly.”
Fusco (6G, 1A) led the Huskers offensively against Minisink Valley.
“We were able to pick apart their defense and I happened to be open quite a few times for my teammates to hit me,” Fusco said. “It gave us a chance to work on a different part of our game. I would attribute both mine and my team’s success to hard work, dedication and chemistry.”
Comerford (3G, 2A), Cook (1G, 3A), Duff (2G, 1A), Caroline Garti (1G, 2A), Caroline Keenaghan (3A), Stilo (1G, 1A), McKenna Duff (1G), Ciara Frawley (1G), Emily Hirsch (1G), Seger (1G), Kayla Reilly (1G) and Ellen O’Callaghan (1A) also contributed to the Huskers’ offensive output.
“The offense did a great job keeping possession and working to get as many ground balls as possible in order to keep possession in our hands,” Calidonna said. “At this point in the season, possession is easily the most important part of the game and the more we have the ball and it’s out of the other teams hands, the more successful we’ll be on both sides of the field.”