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High school girls lacrosse: Fazio helps Lions roar, soar

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DEXTER — Bryanna Fazio is truly building on a breakout season and in turn, the General Brown girls lacrosse team is experiencing one as well.

As a junior forward, Fazio continues to make a name for herself and forge a legacy of her own on the field for the Lions as well as in the classroom.

By scoring 36 goals and assisting on 24 others for 60 points through eight games, Fazio not only leads the Frontier League scoring, she also tops Section 3 in each of these categories.

“She definitely has the love of the sport,” General Brown coach Katie Clough. “And I think that’s what brings her to another level above everyone else.”

Fazio is also at the heart of the Lions’ success this season as the team, which is off to a 6-2 start, including a 4-0 record in the Frontier League that is good for first place in the circuit.

“We’re off to an awesome start,” said Fazio, who is a co-captain for the Lions along with seniors Nancy Bauter and Jill Primicias. “We work well together, which has been important for us and we’re just playing good lacrosse.”

General Brown made strides last season by forging a 9-9 record, including a 5-5 mark and a third-place finish in the Frontier League, with Fazio ranking second in the league in both goals (51) and points (91).

This year, the Lions have improved with an unbeaten record in the league, including an 11-9 victory over reigning league champion Watertown on April 9 and most recently an 11-8 triumph against Carthage on Tuesday.

“It was a high for us, we beat them for like the first time in 10 years,” Fazio said of the victory over Watertown. “But now these next few games against Carthage and South Jeff, they’re going to be tough ones and they’re not just going to be gimmes.”

Fazio, who has also emerged as a faceoff specialist, leads a balanced team effort as fellow juniors Cayla O’Connor (25 goals-one assist 26 points), Emily Amell (15-9-24) and Hannah Peebles (17-6-23) all rank among the top five in scoring in the league.

“We all work together, we’re all looking for each other and we don’t have just one star,” Fazio said. “Everyone contributes and helps out.”

As well as playing at attack, Fazio also excels on draws — which are so crucial in possessing the ball — winning 72 faceoffs so far this season.

“I definitely put more pride in my draws, because I know if we have the ball, we can score,” Fazio said. “That’s the key to the game. You can want to score all you want, but you’ve got to have possession.”

After joining the varsity team as an eighth grader, Fazio mostly played on defense that season.

But the next year, Fazio suffered what could have been a career-changing injury when she tore an ACL in one of her knees on the first day of lacrosse practice and missed the entire season.

“It was devastating because I missed my whole freshman season,” Fazio said. “I tore it the first day, but I’ve seen more good come out of that injury though. Even though it took six months to rehab it, I think I’ve been able to elevate my game.”

Clough also noticed a change in Fazio’s outlook after the injury.

“An injury like that is really quite a physical and mental thing you have to overcome,” Clough said. “And last year, she came out with a vengeance and had a great year. She wore a brace all last year and was really smart about recovering from that injury. During the offseason she was working with different personal trainers.”

The ordeal of dealing with the injury has also influenced Fazio’s plans on what she wants to pursue in college and for a career.

“I plan to be a physical therapist, so science is definitely a strong point for me,” Fazio said. “I always played around about being a physical therapist, but when I tore (my ACL), experienced it (physical therapy) first hand, I could see myself doing this.”

An honors student who enjoys math and science courses in particular, Fazio hopes to attend Le Moyne College to play lacrosse.

However, Fazio and her teammates are focused on the season at hand.

“Our losses were close really year,” Fazio said. “I think this year we’re more prepared — we were sick of losing by one goal. We’re definitely just ready to win and we come out hungry.”

Approaching the midway point of its league schedule, General Brown will face its latest test when it hosts South Jefferson at 6 tonight.

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