John Jay-Cross River Defeats Yorktown 8-6

Husker Caroline Garti looks to keep possession of the ball while being pressured by John Jay-CR’s Julianna Duva. Credits: Rob DiAntonio

YORKTOWN, N.Y.— Top-seeded Yorktown’s girls lacrosse squad’s attempt to win three straight sectional titles came to an end when it lost to No. 2 John Jay-Cross River 8-6 in the Section 1 Class B championship game at Torne Valley in Rockland County on May 24.

“Our team didn’t play the best that I think we could have,” Yorktown senior captain Ellen O’Callaghan said. “We put up a fight but there was a lingering feeling of unsteadiness that we just really weren’t playing our game. I wish more than anything to have had another opportunity to play this game.”

Leading Yorktown offensively was Kelsey McDonnell (3G).

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“Kelsey played phenomenal in taking the opportunities given to her,” O’Callaghan said. “She never let up. She was resilient in her offensive attempts and buried her shots.”

The game started out as a back and forth affair, with another Husker senior captain, Caroline Garti, tying the game at 1-1 early in the opening half.

“Ciara Frawley and Mackenzie Merson worked together to accomplish a beautiful draw and secured possession,” Garti said. “The offense started passing the ball around looking for options until I finally decided to drive to the cage. John Jay fouled in the 8 and I got placed on the second hash. I drove it and shot low to tie it up.”

The two teams continued to exchange goals, as the game was tied at 4-4 before John Jay registered four of the game’s next five goals to go up 8-5 with 9:46 remaining.

That was before McDonnell registered her hat trick almost a minute later to cut the Indians’ lead to two.

“Kelsey’s confidence is always high on the field,” Garti said. “She decided at this point in the game it was time to start barreling through the D. She broke through and ripped a nice shot on goal. After this goal, the momentum of our team got going again. We poured our hearts into the tail end of the second half.”

But so did the Indians, as they held off a hard-charging Husker squad at the end, allowing them to win their first sectional title since 2013.

Despite the loss, it couldn’t erase the lifetime of memories for O’Callaghan, who said she will miss everything about the experience of playing at Yorktown (12-6).

“It hasn’t even sunk in how much I’m losing,” said O’Callaghan, who will play at the University of Pennsylvania next year. “It’s every bus ride, locker-room talk, practice, team dinner and game representing the town I grew up in. I will miss most of all playing the game I love with my best friends.”

Garti said that there are many things she will miss about playing for the Huskers and nothing she can say will ever do the experience Yorktown girls lacrosse has given her any justice.

“The one thing that sticks out in my mind is the camaraderie,” said Garti, who is slated to continue her lacrosse career at Lafayette University. “There’s not a single person that’s come out of the Yorktown lacrosse program not itching to be back on the field playing with their best friends again. Not one. Whether you’re a former, current, or future Yorktown girls laxer, we’re all one big Yorktown family and that will never be taken away from us.”

Frawley (1G), O’Callaghan (1G), McKenna Duff (1A), Caroline Keenaghan (1A), and Sophia Altimari (5 saves) also contributed.

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