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High school girls lacrosse: Potsdam denies Canton for Section 10 title

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CANTON — Potsdam goalie Katelyn Bloom didn’t let a tough break get in the way of a championship.

Bloom was left scrambling to find a new helmet immediately before the game, but once she did, she turned aside 10 shots to help the Sandstoners keep Canton from defending the Section 10 Class C championship on Thursday.

Potsdam (14-3) defeated Canton 7-4 in the title game at the SUNY Canton turf field.

“We beat Canton twice during the season and we needed to beat them a third time to get where we wanted,” said Potsdam coach Sarah Bullard. “Our whole season has been about playing strong defense, and we did a nice job again today. Once we settled into our defense, we were just about unstoppable this year.”

“We lost in the first round last year and we did not want to be eliminated in the first round again this year,” she added.

Bloom capped off the defense in goal, including three saves off point-blank shots late in the first half that helped preserve the lead.

“My helmet broke before the game but (teammate) Paige McCabe called her dad, who owns MVP Sports, and they delivered a new helmet right to the field,” Bloom said. “I’m just glad I was able to contribute. Our defense has been strong all year and they made me look good today.”

“Katelyn has come up with big saves for us all year,” Bullard said.

With the win, Potsdam earned a third trip to the state tournament in four years. The Sandstoners will now get set to take on the Section 3 champion at Liverpool High School next Thursday. Before heading to the state tournament, Potsdam will face Class B champion Massena Central in the Section 10 Overall final at 6 p.m. Tuesday at SUNY Canton.

In downing Canton, the Sandstoners overcame an early deficit and worked their way to a 5-3 halftime lead before controlling the ball the majority of the second half where they went ahead 7-3 before allowing a late goal.

“I’m super proud of the way our team played today,” said Canton’s first-year coach Melanie Knight after her squad closed out the season at 10-4. “We had our chances on offense, but their goalie made some big saves, and I thought we defended well.

“Potsdam is a very solid team. They’re a well-oiled machine. We were right there with them in the first half, but they didn’t give us a lot of chances in the second half,” she added.

Senior Meg Howard recorded 10 saves for Canton.

Senior Annette Rishe anchored the Potsdam offense with two goals and four assists. Sophomore Kalie Grant tallied two goals and one assist while eighth-grader Hannah Drecshel (1 assist) and seniors Abby Gruneisen and Kiona Loran struck for the other goals.

Emily Pinckney netted a goal and helped set up another for Canton. Rachel Huntley, Courtney Marsh and Claire Bartlett broke through for the other goals.

Pinckney opened the scoring 2 minutes, 23 seconds into the game and the teams went on to trade goals through the first nine minutes before the Sandstoners reeled off three straight to take a 5-2 lead. Canton countered with a goal by Marsh with 4:35 remaining to make it 5-3 at the half.

The second half saw the teams go more than seven minutes without scoring before two goals less than two minutes apart by Rishe and Loran put Potsdam ahead 7-3. Canton closed out the scoring when Bartlett converted from Pinckney with 8:07 left in regulation.

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