The Barons never lead as CBA of Section 3 denies them their first state title since 2005. Brighton's Carly Randall finishes with two goals to lead the Barons.
Getting to the state championship game is an accomplishment that would make any team proud. For the Brighton girls lacrosse team though, their appearance in the state championship game may not be remembered fondly.
The Barons suffered their most disappointing loss of the season as they fell to Christian Brothers Academy (Section 3) 14-7 in the NYSPHSAA Class B title game on Saturday at SUNY Cortland. Too many turnovers and defensive lapses denied Brighton their first state title since 2005.
The Barons finished the season 18-4.
“We weren’t focused and clean with the ball like we have been all season,” said Rich Curtis, Brighton head coach. “It was kind of weird, it was a different game than we were used to all season.”
A pair of goals by Taylor Poplowski helped stake the Brothers to a 3-0 lead 11 minutes into the first half. The Barons had plenty of possession in the first half, but turnovers limited their scoring chances.
Goals by Lauren Smolensky, Carly Randall and Meaghan Bowen left Brighton down 6-3 with 1:22 remaining in the half. CBA killed all of the Barons momentum heading into halftime as Marissa Romeo scored twice in the final minute to put the Brothers ahead 8-3.
Romeo, who will play for Harvard next year, finished with a game-high six goals.
“Once we got up early it brought the whole team up and got us motivated,” said Poplowski, who finished with four goals. “We knew they were a very a good team but we knew if we jumped on every loose ball we would come away with the win.”
Romeo scored three times during a 5-0 run to open the second half as the Brothers opened up a 13-3 lead with 9:22 left. Emilie Goldman, McKenzie Harris, Clare McKenna and Randall scored late in the second half for Brighton.
“We didn’t play our best, and we had a lot of turnovers that weren’t necessary,” Bowen said. “I knew this team was special, and we have nothing be ashamed of.”
Bowen is one of only four seniors on the Barons, so Brighton should be back among the elite of Section 5 next spring. The Barons roster includes 10 underclassmen.
“I think next year the team is going to be great again,” said Chloe Papier, a Baron senior who will play for Wesleyan University next season. “The juniors, sophomores and freshmen, they are all great. I can’t wait to come back and watch them play.”