Storm surge past Sandstoners

Saranac Lake’s Lydia Bullock drives toward the Potsdam net while drawing a host of Potsdam defenders during the first half of Friday’s game at North Country Community College. Bullock led Saranac Lake with four goals. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

SARANAC LAKE — The Saranac Lake girls lacrosse team wrapped up the regular season with a victory Friday, topping Potsdam 12-10 at the North Country Community College field.

In a game with playoff implications, the Red Storm broke a 7-7 tie at intermission by scoring two goals during the opening minute of the second half and never trailed the rest of the way. Saranac Lake built up a 12-8 edge and then held on as Potsdam netted two late goals to round out the scoring.

Both teams entered the match with 3-8 records, and by winning, Saranac Lake earned the fifth seed for the Section X postseason tournament and will play at fourth-seeded Heuvelton Monday. The Sandstoners will take on third-seed Massena in the first round of the playoffs.

“Getting to play the No. 4 seed versus the No. 3 seed was a big difference for us,” Saranac Lake coach Shannon Muldowney said. “This game came down to the playoffs. Our girls wanted to go to Heuvelton.

“In the second half, a lot of it for us was just cleaning it up and making better decisions,” Muldowney continued. “I think our offense did a lot better job not forcing drives — getting the possession, getting it down there and then slowing it back down and letting options and opportunities present themselves instead of just forcing things, running through three girls. Earlier in the game we were losing it because we rushed the ball too much.”

Two eighth-graders paced the Saranac Lake offense, as Lydia Bullock scored four goals and Rylee Preston notched a hat trick. Ryley Fischer added two goals and Lindsay Rath, Sydney Andronica and Mistre Newton chipped in a goal each in the win. Bullock also recorded two assists and Newton and Rath had single assists.

Josie Brusso led the ‘Stoners with four goals, Mattie Tremper and Matysin Beamer netted two each and Caroline Bergan and Erica Sloan scored once in the loss.

Erica Swirsky earned the win in net for Saranac Lake. Lauren Shipp tended the goal for the ‘Stoners.

“These were evenly matched teams,” Potsdam head coach Sarah Bullard said. “They got a couple quick goals in the second half, and I think that kind of changed the momentum, the tempo for a bit, but our girls did come back. I think we ran out of time. In the end, they were able to run the clock out and we were down a player at that time, so that made it challenging.”

The win gave Saranac Lake a season sweep over the Sandstoners. The Red Storm won the last meeting 13-7 in Potsdam on April 25.

“We’ve improved, but Potsdam has improved too,” Muldowney said. “They gave us a much better game, and I was anticipating that. Coming into the season we set a few goals. Last year we won three games, so obviously we wanted to do better there and we did.

“We’ve been working on our shots a lot too,” Muldowney added. “We didn’t get a lot of scoring last year, and we’ve gotten a lot more goals this season. And we’ve really closed the gap on the top teams in the league. Today, not only did we get that fourth win, we got the playoff matchup we wanted. Slowly but surely, our girls are growing. And the best part is that we are only losing one senior.”