Magical Run Ends for Horace Greeley in NYSPHSAA Semis

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By Tony Pinciaro
History will show the 2024 Greeley girls’ lax team raised the bar for future Quaker teams after reaching the NYSPHSAA Class B semis Friday before its season ended in heartbreak.

The HORACE GREELEY varsity girls’ lacrosse team came into the 2024 season wanting to author a new chapter in program history. After all, the Quakers concluded the 2023 season as the Section 1 Class B runner-up. It was a nice accomplishment, but not quite what the Quakers were aiming for.

Horace Greeley junior M Rowan Edson (L) and senior M Bae Bounds (8) were the aces in the hole all season long.

The Quakers had a good regular season, winning 11 of 17 games before embarking on a magical run that will leave an indelible record on the program.

Horace Greeley, seeded third in the Section 1 Class B Championship, defeated second-seeded and arch-rival Fox Lane in a semifinal. The Quakers then reversed the 2023 result, dethroning top-seeded Yorktown in the final to win the program’s first Section 1 championship.

The Quakers did not stop there. They followed it up with  regional wins over Minisink Valley (Section 9) and Bethlehem (Section 2), in overtime, advancing to the program’s initial state final four.

Even though Section 3 champion state-ranked (No.2) West Genesee held off a late fourth-quarter surge by the ninth-ranked Quakers in a 10-9 victory, the result does not diminish what senior captains Bae Bounds and Taylor Rice and their teammates accomplished.

In fact, the Quakers proved throughout their title and state-final-four run that they excelled in the second half. Even though they trailed 7-5 at halftime and 10-6 after three, their confidence was still brimming.

“We had the energy and the passion, so we just had to fix the little things,” said Rice of the halftime discussion. “(Coach) Maggie told us we had 24 minutes left of lacrosse so we had to give it our all and that’s what we did. Although we didn’t have the outcome we wanted, we left everything on the field as a team.”

Greeley sophomore D Riley Fitzgerald clears her zone despite a menacing ride in Quakers’ 10-9 NYSPHSAA Class B semifinal loss to West Genny Friday at SUNY Cortland.

The Quakers were buzzing in the final seconds, looking to get the equalizer and force overtime. However, West Genesee’s surge earlier in the game was pivotal.

“I think their biggest strength was their ability to go on a run and maintain it,” Bounds said. “They went on a series where they went up by four or five goals, which definitely limited our momentum. Although we battled back until the very end, it was too big of a hurdle for us to overcome.”

Junior M Rowan Edson and Bounds each had a hat trick for the Quakers. Grace Richards scored twice and Rice added a goal as the Quakers finished the season at 15-7.

Bounds, Rice and their classmates leave the program as champions, something that can never be taken away from them.

“This season meant everything to our team, our coaches, the parents and the school,” said Rice, who will attend the University of Colorado in September and plans on playing club lacrosse. “We made history this year as a family, being the first team in program history to win a sectional title and a regional title. It was amazing. As seniors, we’ve played all year for this and never gave up on ourselves. There is no better feeling than going to states and having that experience. It’s not how we started the year. It’s all how we ended and we gave the whole season our all.”

Greeley G Tatum Walsh controls her crease in Quakers’ 10-9 NYS Class B semifinal loss to West Genney Friday at SUNY Cortland.

Bounds agreed with her teammate and friend and added to accomplishment.

“This season was life-changing,” said Bounds, who will attend Brown University in September and also play lacrosse. “Although we didn’t get the result we hoped for, we made it to states. We made history. Our names will forever be known in our school, and I couldn’t be more proud of everyone. No one ever expected us to even win the section title, let alone go all the way to Cortland. The seniors went out with a bang. We were able to fulfill the dream we had when we first joined as freshmen. I’m so beyond proud of how far we’ve come and I’ve truly never seen a team want something more.”

Sharp, like every coach, sheds a tear knowing her seniors are graduating. However, Sharp marveled at her team’s sectional and state performance.

“I am so proud of this group for their resiliency throughout the season and playoffs,” Sharp said. “They played our game no matter what and just trusted in our system and in each other. I think we battled as a team this year and had some ups and downs, but to watch them take off in the playoffs was really a lot of fun.”

Greeley’s Rowan Edson (L) and Logan Skuro make a bee-line to celebrate a late Taylor Rice goal in the Quakers’ 10-9 loss to eventual NYSPHSAA Class B runner-up West Genny in the state semifinals.

West Genny went on to fall to Section 5 champion Victor in the state finals.



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