Niskayuna will be looking to repeat history, and then make some, this week as Section II’s lone remaining team in the boys’ state lacrosse tournament.
Niskayuna goes against Suffolk County power West Islip in a Class A semifinal game today at 5:30 p.m. at Hofstra University, a rematch from the Silver Warriors’ breakthrough victory in 2005. Niskayuna became Section II’s first semifinal winner that day, 11-6, but later bowed in the New York title contest to West Genesee.
Niskayuna also prevailed in a 2009 Class B semifinal against Sayville before a title-game loss to Canandaigua, and the Silver Warriors dropped “B” semifinals in both 2000 and 2010 to Garden City.
No Section II team — boys or girls — has ever claimed a state championship. Niskayuna (20-1) reached today’s game by beating regional opponents Minisink Valley, 19-5, and Mamaroneck, 23-3, when Matt Sexton tied a school record for points with seven goals and five assists.
The win over Minisink Valley was the 300th for Niskayuna coach Mike Vorgang, and marked the Silver Warriors’ ninth consecutive victory since an 8-7 loss to Massachusetts heavyweight Duxbury.
West Islip (Section XI, 19-1) extended its winning streak to 17 games by beating Syosett, 11-4, in the overall Long Island championship. Its only loss came against Chaminade, 7-6.
West Islip got five goals from Tom Moore, three goals and four points from Brendan Smith, and nine saves from Jack Kelly in the win over Syosett. West Islip went on a 9-0 second-half scoring run to keep its bid alive for a fifth state title since 2006, the others coming in 2007, 2009 and 2010.
Ithaca (Section IV, 17-1) and Fairport (Section V, 20-0) meet in the other state Class A semifinal today at Cicero-North Syracuse. Today’s winners play Saturday (1:30) at Middletown High School.
Shaker plays Friday
The Shaker girls will make their state semifinal debut Friday at noon at SUNY-Cortland against a Penfield team that started its season 2-5, but has rattled off five straight wins.
Shaker (17-1) beat Guilderland for its first Section II Class A title, 9-8, and topped North Rockland in the regionals, 10-7, coming from behind to take both games. The Blue Bison have won 12 in a row since losing to Guilderland earlier in the season.
Penfield (Section V, 12-8) is in its third state semifinal after beating Lancaster, 15-9, in a regional contest.
Bay Shore (Section XI, 19-1) and five-time champ West Genesee (Section III, 18-1) play in Friday’s other noon semifinal. Saturday’s title game is at noon.