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SLP girls lacrosse kicks into gear to beat Heuvelton
April 30, 2019

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SARANAC LAKE - The Saranac Lake Placid girls lacrosse team didn't get off to the start it was looking for when it hosted Heuvelton on Monday, April 29. But once SLP got going, there wasn't much the Bulldogs could do to slow the hosts down.

Trailing 5-4 midway through the first half, SLP scored seven unanswered goals and stayed in control the rest of the way to claim a 16-10 victory over Heuvelton in Section X action at North Country Community College.

Senior captain Ryley Fischer and Alex LaDue paced SLP with four goals each, Olivia Ferebee found the back of the net three times and Meghan Byrne and Rylee Preston scored two goals apiece. Mistre Newton also chipped in one goal for the winners, who improved to 2-2 in Section X play.

After Heuvelton took a 5-4 edge during the first half, SLP buried four straight goals to carry a 9-5 lead into intermission, and then netted the first two goals of the second half to up its advantage to 11-5. The closest the Bulldogs got the rest of the way was a 12-9 deficit with 11:29 remaining. SLP scored the next two goals to regain a comfortable lead again and was never threatened down the stretch.

"We were sloppy at first," SLP head coach Shannon Bromley said. "I think we could have put it away sooner than we did, but I'm glad we were able to get it together."

Bromley said LaDue's performance was a big factor in the win, and added that Fischer also was key for the SLP offense.

"Alex LaDue had a ton of controls on the draw. Not only was she controlling where it went but she was giving it that extra effort to go get that ground ball," Bromley said. "Alex did a great job at midfield and Ryley Fischer did a nice job anchoring the attack."

LaDue started SLP's six-goal outburst with her first of the game, which tied the score at 5-5. The freshman then buried another shot to give her team the lead for good at 6-5. Ferebee and Preston went on to score to send SLP into halftime with a four-goal lead. The hosts opened the second half with two straight tallies before Emma Lafavr and Cyera McNamara netted back-to-back goals for Heuvelton to make it an 11-7 contest. The Bulldogs buried two out of game's next three goals to close the gap, but SLP then took advantage of its depth to pull away.

A year ago, the combined Saranac Lake-Lake Placid girls team started the season with just a dozen players, and had no substitutes for most of its games. The scenario is much different this spring, as SLP has 31 players on the roster. On Monday, the hosts were able to put their numbers to use.

"I have low numbers and they have legs," Heuvelton coach Becky Donnelly said. "They wanted it more, and they just dug for it. They beat us on ground balls, draw control, and possession wins games. When you come up with those ground balls, it's easier to come out on the winning end."

Lafavr, a sophomore, led the Bulldogs with a game-high five goals. McNamara added three goals and Dakota Mouthorp chipped in two tallies in the loss. Luna Kirby also played a strong game in goal for Heuvelton.

Senior Erica Swirsky earned the win in net for SLP.

Fischer, who has been on the varsity lacrosse team since seventh grade, said a deep roster has provided SLP with an asset that it hasn't had in recent seasons.

"It's reassuring," Fischer said. "Being that we only had 12 girls last year, we didn't have subs, it was tougher to get a passing game going. The dynamic of the team has really changed this year. We've tripled in numbers, so we kind of getting used to each other. We've definitely got good at moving the ball around and passing it.

"We're playing much better as a unit this year," Fischer added. "I noticed today when she (coach Bromley) took me off the field, it was the first time I've been subbed out in two years. It was cool."

Heuvelton fell to 1-6 with Monday's setback.

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