LATHAM — The Stillwater/Mechanicville boys’ lacrosse team wanted to go one step further than last year’s Section 2 finals loss.
It took the step, but Schuylerville’s tradition was in the way. In a rematch of last year’s Class D final, the top-seeded Black Horses defended their title with a 13-7 win over second-seeded Stillwater/Mechanicville on Friday at Shaker High School.
With the exception of the lost 2020 season due to the COVID pandemic, Schuylerville has won four titles since 2018 and lost in the 2021 final to Johnstown.
“Schuylerville’s kind of a dynasty, so we want to keep that streak going,” said sophomore attackman Ollie Bolduc, who led Schuylerville with five goals and one assist.
“Even though the result wasn’t what we wanted, we feel we took that step as a program,” Stillwater/Mechanicville coach Rip Carlin said. “We grew. We played this tough Schuylerville team better than we did last year. We were a lot better prepared.”
Last year’s final was an 18-8 Schuylerville win. Stillwater/Mechanicville had already sent a message during the regular season by losing to Schuylerville just 10-9 on May 6.
“We came out flat in that first game. Coaches got us in the right place,” Bolduc said.
“Our prep for this game, guys were locked in, they were focused,” Schuylerville coach Morgan Cornell said. “It means the world. I think it means a lot to the seniors.”
Schuylerville did all the things it needed to to establish control. When Stillwater/Mechanicville’s Michael Marinello scored the first of his three goals to make it 2-1 at 4:38 of the first quarter, Bolduc responded 34 seconds later to wrestle momentum back. Again, when Anthony Cocozzo’s goal closed Schuylerville’s lead to 4-2 at 1:55 in the second, Corbin Clements — who had four goals and two assists — finished a fast break with a score with 35 seconds left in the half.
Schuylerville erupted in the third quarter, outscoring Stillwater/Mechanicville 6-1, which included two extra-man goals and Bolduc’s fourth goal with 11 seconds left.
“We saw a backside slide,” Bolduc said. “We knew it was open because they got two slides, and we knew it would be open on the back side.”
“He’s probably one of the most mature sophomores we’ve had,” Cornell said of Bolduc. “Thank God I’ll be able to have him for two more years. Such a good kid, a hard worker, leads by example with the rest of the guys. To see him have a game like that tonight is awesome.”
Schuylerville also got solid games from sophomore Asher Harrison, who made 11 saves, and junior Martin Flanders Jr., who took most of the faceoffs in helping Schuylerville win 17 of 23 faceoffs.
For Stillwater/Mechanicville, Anthony Cocozzo added two goals, while goalie Nicholi Halse was impressive with 10 saves. Halse and Marinello are off to Division II Limestone University, a nice feather in the cap of just a three-year-old varsity program. That, the number of returning players and a bright future have Carlin feeling bullish.
“We’ve got all levels, all the tools, all the talent, all the support from both schools and communities,” Carlin said. “The seniors were some of the guys on the Revolution youth team that was started 10 or 11 years ago. They’ve guided us to this point, and now they’re passing the torch. I feel for the seniors, they’ve put in so much work and come up short again, but we’ll be back again next year.”
Stillwater/Mechanicville 1 1 1 4 — 7
Schuylerville 3 2 6 2 — 13
Stillwater/Mechanicville scoring: Marinello 3-0, Cocozzo 2-0, Sgambati 1-0, Paffen 1-0, Robinson 0-2. Schuylerville scoring: Ol.Bolduc 5-1, Clements 4-2, McGarrahan 1-2, Flanders 1-1, Methven 1-0, Bowen 1-0, L.Cumm 0-3, Ot.Bolduc 0-1. Goalies: Stillwater/Mechanicville, Halse, 10 saves. Schuylerville, Harrison, 11 saves.