And Celentano has only one final scene in mind.
“I’d like to win the last game in my life,” she said.
A win Sunday over Rochester’s Brighton High would give Lakeland its fifth consecutive state title and Celentano (number 9 in post-game photo) her third.
Saturday, the Hornets earned the chance to play Sunday by topping Section 4’s Vestal 4-1 in the Class B semifinals.
Lakeland, which got two goals from senior Steph Scala, managed to do what few teams had all year, largely controlling Golden Bears’ sweeper Tori Jo Kakusian.
The huge-hitting senior, who praised Lakeland’s quick, accurate passing, scored 17-2 Vestal’s only goal on a blast that beat goalie Alex Halpin low left off a corner feed from Emily Barnard.
But that shot, which cut Lakeland’s lead to 3-1 with 19:34 left to play, was, remarkably, the only shot Vestal put on net.
“I think it was definitely a big thing not to give them corners. Our defense moved their feet well,” Scala said.
Lakeland enjoyed a whopping 14-2 penalty-corner advantage and scored twice off corners.
The difference proved huge because, as coach Vickie Sax explained, Vestal’s a “corner team,”
“They outhustled us. They beat us to the ball,” Sax said, adding that the Bears’ passing was off and Lakeland was able to stop them before they could enter the circle.
Scala (pictured scoring her second goal) opened the scoring with 8:09 left in the first half, gathering in a rebound off a Dana Bozek drive off a corner and beating starting goalie Olivia Landry, who had eight saves.
Brianna Muniz got Lakeland’s second goal with 26:20 left when her shot caromed in off a Vestal defenseman.
Then, with 21:33 left, Molly Fitzpatrick redirected a Felicia Costanzo drive off a corner past Stockwin.
With Landry back in the game, Scala one-timed a Fitzpatrick far-post pass to score with 3:29 left.
“I think we’re definitely the team to beat and everyone is out to get us,” Scala said.
Sunday, the last “everyone” will be Section 5 Brighton, which beat Section 2 Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 1-0 on a double-overtime penalty stroke after Lakeland’s game.
Celentano, who didn’t score Saturday but created a lot of offense with her speed, said she didn’t know the scouting report on either team but remarked, “We know never to underestimate any team we face.”
Notes: Celentano said of the game, “The second I stepped on the field, my adrenaline was up to 100 percent.” She added she wanted to play the game with “no regrets.” … Lakeland coach Sharon Sarsen watched the Brighton game. She wasn’t happy about the “mental mistake” that gave Vestal its goal-garnering corner but was happy that it had stopped Kakusian from connecting on long passes to the speedy Barnard. Of her reaction after Kakusian scored, she said, “You don’t get worried. You just kind of keep coaching.” Lakeland dominated after that score.