Niskayuna overcomes Ballston Spa to win Section 2 Class B boys’ lacrosse title

Lacrosse team celebrates posing for picture

The Niskayuna boys' lacrosse team celebrates its Section 2 Class B title after defeating Ballston Spa on Thursday at Shaker High School.

Article Audio:

LATHAM — Ballston Spa played an inspired defensive game against Niskayuna’s talented cast of offensive threats, but the Scotties couldn’t stop them all.

Davey Carroll started a four-goal run for Niskayuna with a pair of them in the opening quarter of Thursday’s Section 2 Class B lacrosse final, and the senior scored twice more later on in the Silver Warriors’ 9-3 victory over the Scotties at Shaker High School.

Five other Niskayuna players connected for goals to complement Davey’s four, but nothing came easy against a Ballston Spa defense that was sparked by Dom Zichelli and his 17-save performance.

The last time Niskayuna scored fewer goals in an area final was in 2011 in a 9-4 Class A loss to Shenendehowa.

“Dom played amazing. That’s one of the best games I’ve seen him play. He kept them in it,” said Carroll, a Rutgers-bound attackman. “It wouldn’t have been as close if Dom didn’t make those saves.”

Niskayuna’s defense was even stingier in the program’s 19th championship-game victory, and made an early statement when it blanked Ballston Spa in the first quarter and didn’t allow a goal until Landon Potter tallied with 6:31 left in the second.

“Our defense came to play,” said Niskayuna’s Oneonta-bound long stick defender David Trahan. “We were getting out and pressuring them. We were making them speed up and get rid of the ball.”

Niskayuna netminder Cooper Harvey made four saves behind a quick-sliding group that included Trahan and short stick middies Quinn Gulickson and Gavin Pendergrast. All four of those defenders were also key members of the school’s first Section 2 title-winning football team last fall.

“Our defense played great,” Niskayuna coach Mike Vorgang said. “Our younger guys running the Ballston Spa offense [in practice] did a great job of simulating what they do.”

Ballston Spa’s defense put an emphasis on containing All-American Greyson Vorgang with mostly zone looks and some man-to-man, and the Denver-bound attacker finished with a goal and an assist while others generated points. Vorgang had scored the last two goals and had seven of them and two assists in last year’s 14-13 title-game win over the Scotties.

“They were playing really heavy on Grey’s side, and that helped everyone,” Carroll said. “They pulled their whole defense over, and that opened it up.”

While Niskayuna gradually built its lead, the goals didn’t come in bunches like they had in an 18-1 semifinal win over Columbia, or in 15-6 win over Ballston Spa two weeks ago when Vorgang notched a hat trick and six points.

“Last year, I didn’t play all that well,” Zichelli, a College of Saint Rose commit, said of the 2022 Class B final. “I needed to step up my level.”

Zichelli made several difficult saves among his 17.

“Dom played great,” Mike Vorgang said. “He showed up to play.”

Niskayuna didn’t break through until Carroll delivered the first of his four goals with 7:17 left in the first quarter and he connected again with 2:12 to go. Second-quarter goals by Greyson Vorgang and Saif Chowdhrey made it 4-0. Potter and Ballston Spa teammate Vinny Rossetti sandwiched goals around one by Dillon Licht to make it 5-2 at halftime.

Tanner Williams and Carroll began the third-quarter scoring, and, after Sean Dwyer answered for the Scotties, Carroll extended Niskayuna’s lead to 8-3.

Lucas Klokiw scored the last Niskayuna goal in the fourth frame.

“It feels great to play this well in such a big game,” Carroll said.

Niskayuna improved to 19-5 in Section 2 title games, which includes a championship-game win  in its first season in 1994, six in a row from 2005-10, and three in the last four tournaments (COVID-19 wiped out the 2020 spring season).

Ballston Spa (No. 2 seed, 11-8) slipped to 2-5 in Section 2 finals, with wins in 2018 and 2019. Thursday’s title-game appearance was the Scotties’ fifth in a row.

“We wanted to win this. Obviously it’s heartbreaking,” Zichelli.

Niskayuna will take on the Section 9 champ in a state tournament sub-regional game Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Middletown High School. The Section 9 title games are Saturday.

Niskayuna’s 2022 season ended with an 18-8 loss to Rye in the regional finals.

“Once you make it to states, if you’re going to win, you’ve got to beat good teams,” said Mike Vorgang, whose 2015 team gave Section 2 its only state championship, boys or girls. “Everything matters. Everything has to go the right way.”

Ballston Spa 0 2 1 0 — 3

Niskayuna 2 3 3 1 — 9

Ballston Spa scoring: Potter 1-0, Dwyer 1-1, Rossett 1-0, Staszak 0-1. Niskayuna scoring: Carroll 4-0, Vorgang 1-1, Saif Chowdhrey 1-0, Kerr 0-1, Licht 1-1, Klokiw 1-1, Williams 1-1. Goalies: Ballston Spa, Zichelli, 17 saves. Niskayuna, Harvey, 4 saves.

Categories: High School Sports, Saratoga Springs, Sports, Sports, Your Niskayuna, Youth Sports

Leave a Reply