Revenge was sweet for the Owego girls lacrosse team Thursday night, and rather emphatic.
Andrea Zlinsky had three goals and four assists, Jenna Harris added three goals and an assist and Owego’s defense shut down M-E in an 11-1 victory in the Section 4 Class C title game at Binghamton Alumni Stadium.
The Indians (10-2) avenged their 14-13 loss to the Spartans in last year’s Section 4 Class final and now move on to a state Class C Regional game on May 31 at Ithaca against the Section 3 champion.
“Our coach kept it on our minds,” Zlinsky said of last year’s title-game loss to M-E. “We knew it all season, we just had to work hard and redeem ourselves.”
The loss to M-E last year came after Owego had swept the two regular-season encounters. This year, Owego again won both regular-season meetings, outscoring M-E by a combined 27-7.
It was evident early that it might be a long night for the Spartans (10-6), as Owego excelled in all facets of the game from the onset of Thursday’s contest to grab control early.
Offensively, Zlinsky was at the forefront of things. She scored the game’s first two goals, the opener coming unassisted after a quick move up the middle of the M-E zone, the second coming on a cut after receiving a nice feed from Harris to give Owego a 2-0 lead just 3½ minutes in.
Zlinsky then assisted on Owego’s next four goals, the last of those by Kaylee Miner to put the Indians up 6-1 with 19:25 remaining in the second half. Harris followed with a pair of unassisted goals and the Indians would soon after begin emptying their bench.
“She’s definitely our quarterback of the offense,” Owego coach Jason Westervelt said of his Brockport State-bound senior. “She’s all over the field … she’s one we’re going to miss.”
Maybe even more impressive than Zlinsky’s performance was that of Owego’s defense.
Senior goalie Cayla Harris made seven saves, several of them difficult ones early on when the outcome was still in doubt, and the defensive quartet of Katlyn Henry, Harper Prentiss, Claire Liberty and Jadyn Dodge broke up countless M-E offensive chances deep in the Owego zone.
M-E managed only a Chelsea Cable goal with 7:43 remaining in the first half.
“We changed up our defense this year a little bit, we changed to a zone defense instead of a man-to-man defense,” Westervelt said. “They really grasped that concept.
“This was our best defensive effort thus far. We had a lot of good checks and loose balls inside the eight. They did a great job, holding that good team to one goal is fantastic.”
M-E goalie Hannah George played well in a losing effort, making nine saves.