ADAMS Morgan Alexander and her South Jefferson teammates had been waiting for this moment for quite some time.
After finishing in second place in the Frontier League in each of the past three seasons, the Spartans are now league champions for the first time in girls lacrosse.
Alexander and Clarisa Perry led the way offensively and in turn South Jeffersons defense again rose to the occasion as the Spartans downed General Brown, 17-8, on Monday to claim the Frontier League title.
Its great for this team and for this school, South Jefferson coach Jen Williams said. Its the first one for our program and weve been on the edge of it for the last three or four years. I think its a compliment to these juniors and seniors who have worked extremely hard over the past four years.
Alexander totaled nine points with four goals and five assists, and Perry scored four goals and assisted on four others to pace the Spartans.
Its a big accomplishment for the team, said Alexander, a junior attack. It definitely makes it more exciting going into sectionals because we have this win and were Frontier League champions.
South Jefferson (13-2), which went 8-2 in the league in each of their past three seasons only to finish as the runner-up in the standings, improved to 9-1 the best showing in the Frontier League in the 13-year history of the varsity program.
Weve been working really, really hard in the offseasons and during practices for this, said Perry, a junior midfielder. Weve never won a Frontier League championship before so this is a really big deal for us. We really stepped up and did our jobs weve been preparing for this all season.
After enduring a triple-overtime loss at defending league champion Watertown in its season opener in April, South Jefferson generated nine consecutive wins in the league.
We knew the league is very tough and that we couldnt take any team for granted, Perry said. We had to learn from our mistakes and it all just really came together for us, and were finally where we want to be.
Senior Madesyn Alexander and junior midfielder Kia Morgia-Horning tallied three goals each for the Spartans, and sophomore attack Quincey Zimmerman scored a pair of goals.
Theyve really bought into working hard in the offseason and really taking pride in their practice sessions, Williams said. And with this I think you can see how theyve grown during the season on making smart adjustments throughout the game ... as well as feeding off the other teams turnovers.
After building a 6-3 lead through the first half, the Spartans only allowed two goals in nearly the first 16 minutes of the second half to take control and senior goalie Courtney Ziegler finished with six saves.
The Spartans also limited General Browns Bryanna Fazio the leagues leader in goals and assists to just two goals.
After General Brown closed to within 4-3 in the first half, Perry then assisted on a goal each by Zimmerman and Morgia-Horning to close the opening 25 minutes.
Morgan Alexander then scored an unassisted goal 44 seconds into the second half and then assisted on Madesyn Alexanders tally with 20:44 left. The Spartans put together an 8-2 surge to seize command.
It was tough and Morgan Alexander is a good player, General Brown coach Katie Clough said. She was one of our focus points, and I think when it comes right down to it, they have a little bit stronger of a defense then we do.
Emily Amell tallied two goals and two assists for the Lions (10-6, 6-4).
After completing their regular season with a game at Cicero-North Syracuse on Wednesday, the Spartans will likely host a game to open up sectional play.
I think were right where we want to be, Williams said. Were playing well right now with our game management. Were getting balanced scoring and our defense is holding up pretty well.
On the strength of its record, General Brown may also host a playoff game as sectional seedings will be announced on Thursday.
I was happy with the intensity of our girls, Clough said. We had a tough week last week and I know its not fun to lose, but we had the intensity here today that we need this time of year.