The Niskayuna lacrosse team got rocked early, then started to roll.
The Silver Warriors scored five unanswered goals to climb back into Saturday night’s Section II Class A championship game, and strung together four in a row in both the third and four quarters in a 17-11 comeback win over Shenendehowa on the turf at Amsterdam.
The display of firepower gave Niskayuna (No. 1 seed, 18-1) its seventh sectional title in eight years and 11th overall, and left veteran coach Mike Vorgang two wins shy of 300 for his illustrious career.
“In the first quarter, the coaches looked at each other and we were all thinking, ‘We need to win a faceoff. We need to win a ground ball,’ ” said Vorgang, whose team trailed, 4-1, midway through the opening frame. “We felt if we had possessions, we could get good shots. We got good shots, and we scored.”
Luke Goldstock led Niskayuna with four goals and five assists, Lucas Maloney produced four goals and two assists, Matt Sexton had three goals and two assists and Tanner MacIvor finished with a hat trick. Even freshman Aidan O’Brian got into the act with a goal in Niskayuna’s put-away fourth quarter.
The four-goal spurt in the third quarter, a surge that took just over four minutes, though, is the one that pointed the state’s No. 8-ranked team toward its third win over Shenendehowa (No. 3,
13-6) this season. Niskayuna clipped Shenendehowa in the last meeting, 12-11, in overtime.
“We were able stop their instant offense early on,” said Shenendehowa coach Chuck Holohan. “In the second half, the wheels came off. They found matchups. They ran plays. Hats off to Niskayuna.”
“When it was close, it was nerve-racking,” said Goldstock, a junior attackman. “When we pulled away, it was a great feeling.”
Shenendehowa’s Brian Rogers and D.J. Edick tied the game at 8-8 and 9-9 in the third period before MacIvor scored twice in succession, his second goal coming after a midfield strip and hard run to the cage by the senior.
“I though Tanner made the play of the game,” said Vorgang, whose team excelled on ground balls and in 50-50 battles in the second half. “To strip the ball, get the ball and race in there and score, that was big for our momentum.”
Sexton and Goldstock increased Niskayuna’s advantage to 13-9 before Mike Jenkins scored one of his three goals for Shenendehowa late in the third.
Goals by Goldstock, O’Brien, Blake Pfohl and Maloney made it 17-10 in the fourth.
“Both teams can score,” said Vorgang, after his Silver Warriors avenged last year’s 9-4 title-game loss to the Plainsmen. “In the second half, we had more possessions. If they had more possessions, it might have gone another way.”
Joe Romano scored two of his three goals in Shenendehowa’s fast start. Maloney delivered three straight goals to cap Niskayuna’s five-goal response that made it 6-4 early in the second quarter, and the Silver Warriors held an 8-7 edge at the break.
“We needed time to settle in,” said Goldstock.
Niskayuna will meet Minisink Valley (Section IX, 18-1) Wednesday in a 5:30 regional semifinal contest at Shenendehowa. Minisink Valley topped Valley Central, 9-6, Friday to extend its winning streak to eight games.
Matt Mender kept making big saves. Glens Falls kept scoring goals. The combination added up to another Section II title for the Indians, while Scotia-Glenville will have to wait for another year.
Mender made 15 saves, including stops on five point-blank drives, Connor McGuirk scored three goals and Matt Parsons had two as Glens Falls (No. 1, 13-6) earned its third straight Class C championship and 10th banner in all with an 8-5 win.
“Matt had an unbelievable game,” Glens Falls coach Tim Northrup said of his senior backstop. “He’s as good as there is. Some of those stops not only kept us in the game, they gave us energy.”
Mender surrendered a pair of third-quarter goals and none in the fourth, and Glens Falls notched five goals in that stretch.
“They got momentum on their side,” said Tartans coach Darren Van Heusen. “A couple of sloppy clears and a couple of ground balls make all the difference in the world.”
Matt Renko tied the game at 5-5 for Scotia-Glenville with 5:43 left in the third, and Tyler Mello answered 17 seconds later for Glens Falls. Parsons scored late in the third and again in the fourth, and Scotia-Glenville could not muster a counter.
“Glens Falls is a good team, but I felt we were in a good spot,” said Van Heusen. “Unfortunately, this is the way the season had ended for us a little too often.”
Scotia-Glenville (No. 2, 9-5 in games played, 9-10 with forfeits) fell to 0-7 in title games, its previous six setbacks coming at the Class B level.
Mender was also stingy in an earlier 8-5 Glens Falls win this season over the Tartans, when he allowed two second-half goal and collected 21 saves.
Scotia-Glenville led, 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3, on Gramm Gordon’s goal 1:55 into the third quarter. Goals by Nate Spilman and McGuirk gave Glens Falls the lead before Renko tied it.
Glens Falls will take on Red Hook (Section IX, 13-4) in a 3:30 regional semifinal game Wednesday at Shenendehowa. Red Hook beat Rondout Valley, 14-5, Friday for its seventh straight win.
NISKAYUNA 17, SHENENDEHOWA 11
Shenendehowa 4 3 3 1 — 11
Niskayuna 5 3 5 4 — 17
Shenendehowa scoring: D.J. Edick 3-0,
Mike Jenkins 3-3, Kyle Marr 1-1, Tyler Olny 0-1, Brian Rogers 1-0, Joe Romano 3-0. Niskayuna scoring: Luke Goldstock 4-5, Tanner MacIvor 3-0, Lucas Maloney 4-2, Aidan O’Brien 1-0, Blake Pfohl 1-2, Justin Picardi 1-0, Matt Sexton 3-2.
Goaltenders: Shenendehowa, Ben Ribbins, 6 saves. Niskayuna, Evan Quinn, 11 saves.
GLENS FALLS 8, SCOTIA-GLENVILLE 5
Glens Falls 0 3 4 1 — 8
Scotia 2 1 2 0 — 5
Glens Falls scoring: Connor McGuirk 3-0, Matt Parsons 2-2, Nate Spilman 1-1, Tyler Mello 1-0, Carl Sopczyk 1-0, Matt Girard 0-3, Jared Strong 0-1. Scotia-Glenville scoring: Matt Renko 1-2, Nick Leffler 1-1, Gramm Gordon 1-0, Ben Connelly 1-0, Everett Ackerman 1-0.
Goaltenders: Glens Falls, Matt Mender, 15 saves. Scotia-Glenville, Zack Jerard, 6 saves.