CHENANGO (WBNG) – There is one Section IV lacrosse team still playing into the state semifinals, the Chenango Forks Blue Devils. If not for 12 Sports’ Athlete of the Week Noah Raymond, there could be zero. Chenango Forks battled back from four goals down Saturday in regionals to force overtime against CBA. 18 seconds into OT, Noah Raymond sent the Blue Devils into the state semifinals.
"I don’t know what was going through my head," said Chenango Forks junior Noah Raymond. "But, I saw the opportunity, he gave me the left side of the cage and I took it. I just shot the ball and hoped for the best and it went into the back of the net, so it took me by surprise. Took me a second to realize what happened and it was just one of the best feelings I’ve had in a while."
"He knew he had the matchup and he knew the guy was giving him his left hand," said Chenango Forks senior Sean Wiser. "Noah has a great left hand and he just ran down and finished it for us."
"No, it doesn’t surprise me that he was willing to take that role and go down and score a goal," said Chenango Forks head coach David Pavlick.
Now, Raymond and Chenango Forks are in unfamiliar territory.
"No Forks team has ever been here before," said Wiser. "So, we’re definitely excited about it, a little nervous, but if we just come out and play the way we can, we have no problem beating anybody."
Their opponent, Penn Yan Wednesday at 4 p.m. at St. John Fisher in Rochester
"That teamwork side of things when you get into big games, if you don’t have that, if you revert to that individualism, it doesn’t go well for ya," said Pavlick.
If Forks emerges victorious, they’d be one victory away from the program’s first state championship.
"It would mean everything to me and this team, this program," said Raymond. "We’ve already made history winning our first state game. No team here has done it and a state championship would be amazing."
"I think it would finally show that we’re here and we’re here to stay," said Pavlick. "We’ve been here for a long time and we’re not going to go away."
12 Sports will have highlights from Chenango Forks and Penn Yan Wednesday at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.