Shaker’s first state tournament appearance was at times a series of missteps, and at other times a superb display of lacrosse execution.
“It wasn’t the most beautiful game in areas. We struggled with clears at points. We struggled with draws at points. It was scary at points,” Blue Bison coach Courtney Hill said after Saturday’s 10-7 triumph over North Rockland. “We had to use our experience. This was our 18th game, and the things that went wrong, we had to fix them.”
Shaker overcame lulls with five unanswered goals in the first half and the last four goals of the game to deal the Red Raiders their first defeat of the season in a Class A regional final at the University at Albany’s John Fallon Field.
Lauren Smith tied the game at 7-7, Marissa Hart scored the game-winner and Sarah Cheney and Maddie Devine added on in the second flurry that included a pair of big stops by Anne Morrison.
“Every time we had a lapse, we tried to bring our intensity back up,” said Morrison, who finished with eight saves, three of them on free-position attempts. “We knew we had a great shot at winning this, but we had to stay up.”
Morrison kept Shaker (17-1) on a high when she stopped Tara Monaghan on a free position with 4:15 left, a stick save that preserved the Section II representative’s 9-7 advantage. Morrison made her last save moments later, and Devine connected in the waning seconds after Shaker employed a keep-away strategy.
“When it comes down to that, I want to give it my all,” said Morrison, a senior. “On that save [against Monaghan], I saw the ball, punched my stick out and got a piece of it.”
Monaghan had scored three first-half goals for the Red Raiders, her third on a free-position drive.
“That’s been the story of our season,” Hill said of Morrison’s late-game effort. “When we need it the most, she always comes up with them.”
“She [Morrison] is the one that fires us up,” Smith said. “When she makes those big saves, it makes us want to perform at the other end.”
Shaker displayed its balance at the offensive end, with five different players scoring in the first-half spurt before Smith, Hart, Cheney and Devine beat North Rockland (Section I, 19-1-1) netminder Katie Lonergan late.
“We’re so lucky to have multiple scorers who can put the ball in the net,” said Hill.
Smith scored on a free position with 16:41 left to tie the game at 7-7, and Hart delivered after taking a feed from Anne Rehfuss, finishing off a fast break at the 9:37 mark. Cheney turned a Lynn Roberts pass into an empty-net goal with 5:05 remaining.
“Possession is everything. We had the ball, and they needed the ball,” Hill said of Cheney’s goal. “They put on a full-court press, and the cage was free. I’ve seen teams do that before, and we were able to take advantage.”
The first few minutes did not go well for Shaker, which hit a pipe, had a good shot saved by Lonergan and received a yellow card soon after. North Rockland turned that player advantage into a goal by Monaghan, and Monaghan scored again 5:46 in.
“We weren’t ready to go for it,” said Smith, a senior co-captain. “We didn’t know what to expect, and we were a little tentative.”
Shaker got goals from Cheney, Julia Lennon, Devine, Rehfuss and Smith, and North Rockland answered with four straight spanning the halves to go up, 6-5. Lennon and Nicolette Bendertoth exchanged goals for a 7-6 North Rockland lead.
Shaker knocked off its second unbeaten team in as many games after winning its first Section II championship, 9-8, at Guilderland’s expense. Lennon, a rising sophomore, scored the game-winner in the contest.
“I said this is the best feeling the last time. This is the best feeling this time,” said Hill. “It’s amazing.”
Shaker will play the Section V (Penfield)-VI (Lancaster) winner in a state semifinal game Friday at noon at SUNY-Cortland. No Section II team has won a state title.
Sammy Jo Tracy had five goals and six points, and Fox Lane (Section I, 18-3-1) beat Queensbury in a Class B regional final, 17-7. Mary Rahal and Casey White scored two goals apiece for Quensbury (17-2), a first-time state-tourney participant.
Emma Brinkman notched five of her six goals in a big first half that Rye (Section I, 16-5-1) rode to an 18-5 Class C win over Albany Academy.
The Garnet outscored the Bears over the first 25 minutes, 12-2, and ended Academy’s season in the regional finals for the fourth year in a row. Emma Malicki and Emma Hardy led the Bears with three and two goals, respectively.
SHAKER 10, NORTH ROCKLAND 7
North Rockland 4 3 — 7
Shaker 5 5 — 10
North Rockland scoring: Nicolette Bendertoth 1-0, Tara Monaghan 3-2, Lauren Mazza 1-0, Kaitlyn Rau 2-0. Shaker scoring: Anne Rehfuss 1-1, Marissa Hart 1-1, Julia Lennon 2-1, Lauren Smith 2-0, Sarah Cheney 2-0, Lynn Roberts 0-1, Maddie Devine 2-0.
Goaltenders: North Rockland, Katie Lonergan, 6 saves. Shaker, Anne Morrison, 8 saves.
FOX LANE 17, QUEENSBURY 7
Fox Lane 12 5 — 17
Queensbury 3 4 — 7
Fox Lane scoring: Sammy Jo Tracy 5-1, Kailey O’Hagan 2-1, Sarah Corcoran 4-2, Amanda Asaro 3-0, Sydney Stern 2-4, Jen Grecco 1-0. Queensbury scoring: Mary Rahal 2-0, Lindsey White 0-1, Casey White 2-0, Emma Morrissey 1-0, Sami Hawkins 1-0, Sam Ballard 1-0.
Goaltenders: Fox Lane, Kendal Marianacci, 2 saves. Queensbury, Courtney Jenkins, 8 saves.
RYE 18, ALBANY ACADEMY 5
Rye 12 6 — 18
Albany Academy 2 3 — 5
Rye scoring: Emma Brinkman 6-1, Toni Virtue 3-2, Scarlet Sulliman 3-0, Charlotte Tucci 3-0, Annie Van Wagenen 1-1. Momoko Yoshida 1-0, Nina Koester 1-0. Albany Academy scoring: Emma Malicki 3-0, Emma Hardy 2-0.
Goaltenders: Rye, Maddie Kinker, 3 saves. Albany Academy, Alex McAffer, 10 saves.
WEST NYACK — Matt Sexton scored seven goals and assisted on five others as Niskayuna downed Mamaroneck, 22-3, in a Class A boys’ state regional at Clarkstown South High School.
The win was the 300th for coach Mike Vorgang, who has been the varsity coach since the team’s first season in 1994.
The 20-1 Silver Warriors next play West Islip in a Wednesday state semifinal at Hofstra University. West Islip beat Syosset, 11-4, in the Long Island championship.
Vorgang credited the work of Tanner MacIvor and Tyler Pantalone as a major reason Niskayuna was able to take an 11-1 lead after one period and a 19-3 lead at the half.
“Tanner and Tyler were outstanding,” said Vorgang. “We won 26 of 28 faceoffs.”
Those possessions allowed the offense to get untracked early as the Silver Warriors won their fifth regional championship in 11 tries.
“We saw some things that we could take advantage of, and the attackmen really played well. Matt had a great game, the midfielders all played well.”
Evan Quinn and Troy Manchester shared the goaltending duties as the defense held down Mamaroneck’s two top scorers, Peter Conley and Scott Greenberg, and ended the Tigers’ four-game winning streak.
The Georgetown-bound Conley and Goldberg both had four goals in Mamaroneck’s 9-8 Section I title-game win over Mahopac. Conley scored two goals, and Goldberg had the other on Saturday.
“A solid team effort,” Vorgang said of the defense.
The Silver Warriors were coming off a 19-5 win over Section IX champ Minisink Valley, and wasted no time in rolling to a big lead.
“It was one of those games where the offense was able to get rolling, and the attack played at a great level,” said Vorgang.
Justin Picardi added three goals, and Lucas Goldstock and MacIvor both scored a pair of goals and had five assists between them.
Queensbury and Glens Falls both saw their seasons end against Section I teams. The Spartans dropped an 18-7 decision to Yorktown in a Class B regional final. Bronxville beat Glens Falls, 15-2, in the Class C game.
Queensbury (15-3) fell behind, 7-0, after one quarter and trailed, 15-2, at the half.
Brian Prestreau led a balanced Yorktown (16-4) attack, scoring four goals. Nick Mariani and Connor Vercruyesse both scored three goals.
Brad Willows had two goals for the Spartans, with John Countryman scoring a goal and three assists. The game was also the final one for Queensbury coach Keith Ellement, who has announced that he is stepping down.
Jack Grass and Henry Grass both had five points for the Broncos (20-1), with Brewster Warble and Reilly Walsh both adding three goals.
Connor Toich and Carl Sopczyk had the goals for Glens Falls (14-7).
NISKAYUNA 23, MAMARONECK 3
Niskayuna 11 8 3 1 — 22
Mamaroneck 1 2 0 0 — 3
Niskayuna scoring: Matt Sexton 7-5,
Lucas Maloney 5-1, Justin Picardi 3-1, Luke Goldstock 2-3, Tanner MacIvor 2-2, Blake Pfohl 1-1, Aidan O’Brien 1-1, Matt Divietro 1-0, Ryan Lawson 1-0, Tyler Pantalone 0-1, John Prendergast 0-1. Mamaroneck scoring: Peter Conley 2-0, Scott Greenberg 1-0.
Goaltenders: Niskayuna, Evan Quinn, 6 saves; Troy Manchester, 0 saves. Mamaroneck, not available.
YORKTOWN 18, QUEENSBURY 7
Queensbury 0 2 2 3 — 7
Yorktown 7 8 2 1 — 18
Queensbury scoring: Brad Willows 2-0, John Countryman 1-3, Peter Gryga 1-1, Kody Kristel 1-0, Ben Willows 1-0, John Underhill 1-0. Yorktown scoring: Brian Presteay 4-1, Nick Mariani 3-3, Connor Vercruyesse 3-0, Conor Gately 2-2, Brian Quigley 2-1, Nick Marone 1-0, Thomas Apuzzo 1-0, Christian Bender 1-0, Luke Palmadesso 1-0,
Goaltenders: Queensbury, Ben Coughlan, 7 saves. Yorktown, Austin Graham, 3 saves; Zach Reilly, 1 save.
BRONXVILLE 15, GLENS FALLS 2
Glens Falls 1 0 0 1 — 2
Bronxville 3 7 3 2 — 15
Glens Falls scoring: Connor Toich 1-0, Carl Sopczyk 1-0. Bronxville scoring: Jack Grass 3-2, Brewster Warble 3-0, Reilly Walsh 3-0, Henry Grass 2-3, Matt Behrens 2-1, Andrew Walsh 1-0, Ted Frost 1-0.
Goaltenders: Glens Falls, Matt Mender, 14 saves. Bronxville, Eric Pass, 8 saves.