FORT COVINGTON – Salmon River girls lacrosse has been a force of nature throughout its 2021 campaign, outscoring opponents 264-66 prior to the final regular season game.
The Shamrocks stayed true to form on Thursday, routing Lake Placid 23-5 at home to cap off a dominant, undefeated regular season.
“We put together a very good campaign. I can’t say enough about these girls,” Salmon River coach Ron LaFrance said. “They’ve been together since second grade and it shows.”
Thursday marked senior day, where the six seniors stopped playing at halftime – then leading 12-3 – to join the day’s festivities. Though, there was a seventh senior who joined their rank.
Watewennenhawihtha Goodleaf isn’t like most spring athletes. She didn’t lose one season to the COVID-19 pandemic.
She lost two.
Goodleaf lives on the Kahnawake Reservation over the border in Quebec, Canada. She attended school and played soccer a couple weeks before restrictions tightened up, keeping her home and away from Salmon River in the United States.
“It was too hard to go back and forth,” Goodleaf said.
Now currently designated as a yellow zone and allowing members of the Tribe to cross once more, Goodleaf let LaFrance know she’d be able to attend the game to watch her teammates. LaFrance got her a sweatshirt, flowers and added her to the ceremonial lineup.
And her teammates were all for it.
“They know if she would’ve been here, she’d be in uniform. It was good to see her come,” LaFrance said. “She told me yesterday she was coming and I saw her today in school. It made my heart feel good, we’re all family.”
Said Goodleaf: “I was happy that he was still going to include me in the whole thing. But it’s definitely not the same, I wish I was able to play.”
Senior day festivities here at halftime.Salmon River 12, Lake Placid 3 pic.twitter.com/gKd5dgG7Gy— Evan Wheaton (@EvanWheaton) June 10, 2021
Joryan Adams (four assists), Paisley Cook (two assists) and Ariyah LaFrance (three assists) all scored four goals each for the Shamrocks (14-0). Paisley Cook netted a hat trick and two assists.
Wynter Jock, Tallis Tarbell, Kendall Jock and Gracie King all had a pair of goals each.
After a Blue Bombers (5-8) goal within 15 seconds of the opening draw, Salmon River flew out with nine unanswered goals to take command of the game.
They never looked back.
“It’s hard to coach this. It’s good to watch, but it’s hard to coach because at times I feel bad for the other teams. But, I mean, that’s what we do,” LaFrance said.
H1: 19:22 — Kaia Swamp puts Salmon River up 5-1 and the floodgates have opened. pic.twitter.com/yBPLJY4TMB— Evan Wheaton (@EvanWheaton) June 10, 2021
Olivia Ferebee scored a hat trick and three assists for Lake Placid. Rylee Preston (two assists) and Sydney Dann both had a pair of goals apiece.
The Shamrocks were able to create turnovers and capitalize on them often, routinely winning ground balls and pacing well around the net on attack.
“It’s mind numbing,” LaFrance said. “And, everyone’s a part of the game. I mix up my lines, I pull my starters out, they play here, they play there – it’s just how it is.”
After playing four games in five days the week prior, a well-rested Shamrocks team looked like the one that’s been dominating Section 10 all spring. Now the No. 1 seed to host a playoff game on Monday, LaFrance has his eyes set on a bright future for the program.
That, and the return of state tournaments for the next school year.
“We’re graduating six seniors this year, but we’ll have a very strong squad next year,” LaFrance said. “That’s what I’m looking forward to.”