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The motto for the Frontier Falcons Girls lacrosse team this season is ‘Rise and Grind’.

The Falcons stayed true to their motto in their season opener as they grinded and rose up in the second half to defeat the Amherst Lady Tigers 15-8 in Section VI Girls Lacrosse action on Thursday night.

Amherst was coming off a 9-4 win over Clarence last week and Frontier hadn’t been on a real field yet this season. It showed early as the Falcons had trouble getting on the same the page. The Lady Tigers took advantage by jumping out to a 3-1 lead nine minutes into the game.

Senior captain Hannah Kennendy and the Falcons felt a little of sync early, but were able to settle in.

“We had to get a feel for how we are all playing and learn how to work together,” Kennendy said. “After a few minutes, we had locked it down.”

The Falcons were in lock down mode as Katie Dlugosz tied the game at four with three minutes left in the half. A minute later, the Tigers fouled Dlugosz giving her Free Position in front of the net and gave the Falcons their first lead of the game.

Dlugosz had four goals for Frontier.

The Tigers were able to get the game tied back up as senior Hannah Smith put one in with 1:15 to go in the half.

But the Falcons came right back down the field as Kennendy found some open space in front of the net and scored to give her team the 6-5 lead at the half.

Frontier took that momentum into the second half, as Kennendy found the back of the net again to give the Falcons’ a two-goal lead.

Kennendy lead Frontier with five goals in the win.

According to her coach the captain leads by example.

“She has a great work ethic. She’s just an all-around great individual,” Frontier head coach Tim Myslinski said. “I can’t say enough good things about her.”

Smith again tried to the stop the Falcon’s momentum as she cut the Amherst deficit to 8-6 with 19 minutes left.

The senior had three goals in the losing effort.

Any hopes of an Amherst comeback were put down as the Falcons scored six straight goals.

Amherst senior Camryn Sullivan scored her second goal of the game with five minutes left. But Kennendy responded with another set of back-to-back goals.

“We were a little sloppy at the beginning but our seniors pulled together,” Myslinski said. “Our offense settled down.”

Junior Haylee Tatar had big night with three goals and serval assists for Frontier.

Senior Melissa Hopkins had two goals and junior Marissa Comerate had one goal in the win.

As the momentum turned against Amherst, the Tigers had trouble adjusting and keeping their composure in the second half.

“They locked on to some of our leaders and we didn’t figure out a way to adjust,” Amherst assistant coach Casey McGuire said. “We can’t let those calls that don’t go our way affect us. We need to keep our composure.”

Frontier’s 2016 season came to an end in the Class A Sectional final with an 8-6 loss to Lancaster.

In 2017 the Falcons want to go back and win it.

“We’re coming back to win the sectional title,” Kennendy said.

In order to get back there, the Falcons will have to ‘Rise and Grind’, which was inspired by the fact they the Falcons have 6 a.m. practices every day.

“If you fall down you have to get up and keep grinding,” Myslinski said. “We get up at the crack of dawn and get to work.”

Both teams will be back in action on Tuesday. Frontier will travel to Iroquois to take on the Chiefs at 5 p.m. Amherst will host rival Sweet Home for a 5:30 p.m. faceoff.