Lose a lacrosse All-American to graduation, and replace him with a player that might someday be one.
That’s what Niskayuna has done, inserting Mike D’Amario at attack to join Luke Goldstock and Lucas Maloney. The duo partnered with Matt Sexton last season and spearheaded the Silver Warriors’ run to the state Class A semifinals.
Sexton, who amassed 63 goals and 52 assists in that 20-2 campaign, is now at Penn State. D’Amario, who has made a commitment to Virginia, managed three goals and three assists last spring in a sophomore season that ended early due to a head injury and a lower back ailment soon after.
D’Amario showed great promise when he collected eight goals and three assists as the only freshman on Niskayuna’s 2011 team.
“Matt was on the left side, and Mike’s a lefty. It’s really great to have somebody who can step right in,” said Niskayuna coach Mike Vorgang. “He’s different than Matt, but he’s very good. Matt is more of a slasher and dodger kind of guy, and Mike is more of a mid-range shooter and feeder that lets the game come to him. Mike is great from 10 yards in.”
Goldstock has taken on the role of offensive kick-starter, something Sexton did so well.
“We asked Matt to initiate a lot of our offense,” said Vorgang. “Now, as a senior and the elder statesman, we’re asking Luke to initiate.”
The North Carolina-bound Goldstock earned All-American recognition as a junior when he piled up a Section II-record 83 goals with 61 assists. The Penn State-bound Maloney notched 79 goals and set up 16 of them as a junior.
Niskayuna graduated its top three midfield scorers, including Trevor MacIvor (29-44-73), an All-American faceoff specialist.
“Beyond anything else, the experience level of those three guys was huge. Tanner was with us for four years. Blake [Pfohl 31-22-53] and Justin [Picardi 32-16-48] were with us for three years. They had been through it and saw everything,” said Vorgang.
Sophomore Aidan O’Brien was fourth (20-12-32) among the Silver Warriors’ midfield scorers. O’Brien and D’Amario both scored three goals in Tuesday’s 17-4 win over Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.
“They’re a little bit green, but they’re talented, and we’re throwing them into the fire,” Vorgang said of midfielders Reed Avveduti, Ryan Lawson, John Prendergast, Sam Kaplan and Anthony Massaroni. “It’s going to take a little while for them to feel comfortable in what we want to do.”
Dom Sloma returns to play close defense, and fellow senior Nate Martin is back after missing last season with a knee injury. Senior longstick midfielder Tyler Pantalone and senior goalie Evan Quinn are other defensive veterans.
“We need to stay healthy, continue to work on conditioning, and continue to get better,” said Vorgang. “With our inexperience at midfield and defense, we’ve just got to play. We need to play, analize what we’re doing wrong, and fix things.”
Niskayuna will be a Class B entrant this season come playoff time. Niskayuna won four of its 11 Section II championships at the Class B level, including banners in 2010 and 2009. The Silver Warriors claimed four consecutive Class A crowns before that.
Niskayuna is No. 4 on the first set of state Class B rankings released by the New York State Sportswriters Association.
Gundrum near milestone
Francesca Gundrum needs two goals to become the third lacrosse player from Emma Willard to reach 200.
The Dartmouth-bound four-year starter will go after the mark today at Hoosick Falls. Jesse Schultz and Libby Schultz are the top two career goal scorers at Emma Willard with 221 and 211, respectively.
Gundrum scored 55 goals as a freshman, 57 as a sophomore and 76 as a junior, and has 10 in a pair of games this season. The Grafton resident also has 39 career asists.
Eagles want to fly
The bounce-back season Duanesburg baseball coach Chris Wyanski envisioned has started with a pair of Western Athletic Conference wins and a near miss against Voorheesville, the reigning Section II Class C champion.
“We’re playing well, and I think it’s going to get better,” said Wyanski, who has started his 30th season as the school’s varsity coach. “I’m excited, but it’s a reserved excited. I think we’re going to win a lot of games, but to win the big ones, we’ve got things to correct. There’s still work to do.”
Duanesburg went 6-13 last season, yet finished strong by winning five of its final seven games.
“I felt positive. We just missed the sectionals, and that was hard to take, but we had no seniors leaving. I knew everyone would be coming back,” said Wyanski. “We went from having nine seniors the year before to having no none. Now they’ve got some experience to build off of.”
With four seniors, six juniors and three sophomores, Duanesburg opened with a 6-4 loss to Voorheesville before beating St. Johnsville, 4-1, and Galway, 9-6.
“We lost to Voorheesville, but at least we put some pressure on them,” Wyanski said. “We scored three runs in the seventh and had a man on base.”
Sean McGarry struck out 10 in the St. Johnsville win, and is batting .875. Gabe Gentile fanned 11 in the Galway win. Henry Holmes is batting .500, Cody Largeteau has a team-high seven RBI, and Patrick McGarry is 5-for-5 in stolen bases.
“Our goal is to win our side [Southern Division] of the WAC and get a good sectional bid, and second, get by that first round of the sectionals,” said Wyanski. “Anything after that is a bonus.”
Wyanski needs four wins to become the first Schoharie County League/WAC coach to reach 300 in a career.
Long time coming
Liam Kane and Jonathan Brewster combined for the Stillwater baseball team’s first no-hitter in more than a decade Monday in a 16-1 Wasaren League win over Granville. Kane struck out eight, and Brewster fanned three over the final two innings and drove in three runs.
Shawn Ryan authored Stillwater’s last no-no in 2001 against Cambridge, and also held LaSalle hitless in 2000. Steve Hare no-hit Hoosic Valley and Fort Ann in 1998.
Quarterback Billy Pine and wide receiver Randy Tutunjian of state Class C football champion Hoosick Falls are both headed to Utica College. Pine threw 24 touchdown passes during the Panthers’ 13-0 campaign, nine of them going to Tutunjian. ...
Queensbury lacrosse standouts Casey White and Dylan Borkowski will compete for James Madision and LeMoyne College, respectively. White, a midfielder, and Borkowski, a defenseman, played key roles for Section II title-winning teams as juniors. White is the first female lacrosse player from Queensbury to sign with a Division I program.