ALBANY — After a very, very long wait, Friday night started with a surge of goals and raucous celebrations for Niskayuna boys’ lacrosse.
It ended with tearful hugs between players and coaches as they realized their long run together was over.
Niskayuna started fast in its NYSPHSAA Class B semifinal game at UAlbany’s Tom & Mary Casey Stadium, but defending state champion Garden City took control over the game’s final three quarters, pulling away for a 12-6 win.
Garden City closed the game on a 10-2 run after Niskayuna led 4-2 at the end of the first quarter.
“The game is about momentum,” Niskayuna head coach Mike Vorgang said. “It’s about scoring in bunches. They’re a really, really good team, and we needed to match every goal that they had. We knew they’re going to play extremely slow, which they did, and they’re going to be patient with the ball. We needed to take advantage of every opportunity.”
The game was postponed for two days due to air quality issues caused by smoke from wildfires in eastern Canada, then delayed for more than two hours on Friday due to rain and lightning in the area.
Greyson Vorgang led Niskayuna with two goals and an assist, but the senior attackman didn’t record a point after the first quarter. Davey Carroll also scored twice, including a goal with 6:48 left in the third quarter that tied the game at 5-5 and ended a nearly 20-minute Niskayuna scoring drought.
However, Garden City dominated possession over the next 11 minutes, scoring six straight goals and barely giving Niskayuna a chance on the offensive side of the field.
“They just capitalized on our fallen energy,” Niskayuna senior midfielder Lucas Klokiw said. “We just couldn’t respond to it.”
While Garden City (17-4) will attempt to complete its state championship defense Sunday at 12:30 p.m. against Victor at Hofstra University on Long Island, Niskayuna’s season concludes with an 18-3 record after the program reached the state final four for the first time since 2018.
“This,” Greyson Vorgang said, “is going to hurt for a while.”
Garden City 2 3 3 4 — 12
Niskayuna 4 0 1 1 — 6
Garden City scoring: Archer 4-0, Finnell 4-0, Paisley 1-1, Ottomeneli 1-1, Kraus 1-1, Gibbons 1-0. Niskayuna scoring: Vorgang 2-1, Carroll 2-0, Klokiw 1-0, Licht 1-0. Goalies: Garden City, Fargione, 7 saves. Niskayuna, Harvey, 9 saves.
Reach Adam Shinder at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_Shinder.