Emotion could only take Ballston Spa so far Saturday its first Section II championship lacrosse game against potent Niskayuna.
“We felt if we could jump on them early, maybe we could give them a game,” said Scotties coach Joe Pollicino. “We started out looking good, and then they went on one of their patented runs. They’re a machine.”
Niskayuna answered two quick goals by Ballston Spa with 11 in a row, strung together five more goals in the third quarter and rolled to the Class B title by logging a 20-4 victory in the rain at the University at Albany’s John Fallon Field.
Niskayuna’s response after Jake Gargiulo twice found the top corner of the cage included three goals in the final 22 seconds of the opening period.
“We expected them to come out and play hard, and they did,” said Niskayuna junior attackman Mike D’Amario, who scored six goals and assisted on two. “We were resiliant after getting behind.”
The Silver Warriors (No. 1 seed, 19-0) followed a season-long trend of ball possession and a load of goals, and ended up with their second straight sectional crown, their eighth in nine years and the program’s 12th overall.
“Our kids have been there before. There was no surprise with what was going to happen,” said Niskayuna coach Mike Vorgang. “In the first four minutes, they [Ballston Spa] played really well. They had high energy. The game being 1-0, 2-1, that was good for us.”
Luke Goldstock piled up five goals and four assists as part of Niskayuna’s third win over Ballston Spa (No. 2, 11-8), Lucas Maloney had three goals and an assist and brothers Tyler and Dylan Pantalone combined to win 20 faceoffs.
“They wanted to slow it down a little bit and get regrouped,” said Vorgang. “The ground-ball battle and the faceoffs took them out of what they wanted to do. It was a game of possession.”
And a record game in terms of goals scored for Niskayuna in a sectional final. Niskayuna’s previous high was 19 in a Class A victory over Guilderland in 2005.
“A team like that, they just wear you down. They’ve got depth. They’ve got three Division I attackmen, and they were clicking on all cylinders,” said Pollicino. “If we played a perfect game today, they would still come out on top by five goals. That’s how good they are.”
After Gargiulo scored his second goal with eight minutes left, Ballston Spa netminder Jon Blake made three saves and four more shots by Niskayuna sailed wide. Maloney eventually tied the game with 3:02 left, and Goldstock and D’Amario both connected twice before the quarter was through.
“We were really excited to play the game. Sometimes, too much excitement isn’t a good thing,” said D’Amario. “It was about getting a feel for what we wanted to do. Playing our brand of lacrosse.”
Goldstock scored with 22 seconds left in the opening quarter, D’Amario delivered with seven seconds to go and beat Blake again just before the horn sounded to give Niskayuna a 7-2 advantage.
“This was our first time getting into this situation, and it’s about maintaining composure,” said Pollicino. “A few times, we didn’t do that. It’s something we’ll continue to work on.”
The Virginia-bound D’Amario and Goldstock, a North Carolina recruit, both struck twice in a five-goal spurt that made it 12-2 in the second quarter. Goldstock set up one of D’Amario’s goals when he gave Blake a hard body check behind the cage, the ball popped out of Blake’s stick and Goldstock zipped a pass toward the crease.
Maloney, who is headed to Penn State, scored two goals in the third frame as the lead grew to 18-3.
“We had a ton of shots early, and eventually, they started to fall,” said Vorgang.
Niskayuna, which amassed 66 goals in its three sectional games, will play Yorktown (Section I, 17-2) in a regional semifinal Wednesday at 3:30 at UAlbany.
Ballston Spa reached its first area title game when it beat Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake in Thursday’s semifinal round, 10-6. The Scotties had lost previously in three semifinal games.
“The goal we had was to get to the sectional final, and we wanted to win. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen, but look who we played. We lost to a team that’s ranked No. 1 in the state and ranked nationally,” said Pollicino. “The kids did something no team had done before. I’m very proud of them.”
Ballston Spa 2 1 1 0 — 4
Niskayuna 7 6 6 1 — 20
Ballston Spa scoring: Jake Gargiulo 2-0, Collin Cunningham 1-0, Garrett O’Grady 1-0,
John McDonald 0-1. Niskayuna scoring: Lucas Maloney 3-1, Mike D’Amario 6-2, Luke Goldstock 5-4, Aidan O’Brien 0-1, Reed Avveduti 1-1, Brandon Melius 0-1, Cam Pierce 1-0, Sam Kaplan 1-0, Sam Assini 0-2, Dylan Pantalone 1-0, Ryan Lawson 2-0.
Goalkeepers: Ballston Spa, Jon Blake, 15 saves; Armani Spensieri, 3 saves. Niskayuna, Evan Quinn, 6 saves; Nick Testa, 4 saves; James O’Rourke, 0 saves; Dalton Goldstock, 0 saves.
indians extend streak
ALBANY — Nate Plocharczyk and Tyler Mello scored three goals apiece, and Glens Falls (No. 1, 9-5) claimed its fourth straight Section II Class C championship with a 13-10 win over Schuylerville (No. 2, 15-3) at John Fallon Field.
The Indians return to UAlbany Wednesday for a 5:30 regional semifinal game with Bronxville (Section I, 19-1).
Schuylerville 3 1 3 3 — 10
Glens Falls 3 5 3 2 — 13
Schuylerville scoring: Morgan Cornell 3-0, Anthony Craft 1-0, Dom Mercurio 1-1, Will Nevins 2-1, Zach Pierce 2-3, Luke Pumiglia 0-1, Ian Vincent 1-0. Glens Falls scoring: Chris Haas 2-1, Nate Plocharczyk 3-3, Tyler Mello 3-0, Matt Girard 2-0, Connor Toich 2-3, Connor McGuirk 1-2.
Goalkeepers: Schuylerville, Tommy Thompson, 12 saves. Glens Falls, Nate Austin, 15 saves.