When Brian Prestreau scored a Yorktown goal midway through the third quarter, momentum was on the Cornhuskers’ side again in Thursday’s Class B regional lacrosse semifinal at John Fallon Field at the University at Albany.
Tyler Pantalone got it right back seconds later when the Niskayuna faceoff specialist won a draw and never stopped running until his low drive found the cage.
“We didn’t want it to be our last game. We believed,” said Pantalone, one of Niskayuna’s 11 seniors. “It’s a game of runs, and we had a big one at the end. It was huge.”
The Silver Warriors scored four of the fourth quarter’s five goals after Pantalone’s quick-strike tally provided a jolt, and edged Yorktown in a game matching nationally ranked teams, 13-11.
Mike D’Amario and John Prendergast supplied the final goals after Prestreau created the game’s fifth tie with 6:39 left, and Niskayuna defeated Yorktown for the third time in seven state tournament meetings, but for the first time since 2005.
“It shows resolve. The kids were super resilient,” said Niskayuna coach Mike Vorgang. “Things went against us, and we continued to play. Effort takes no talent.”
Niskayuna (20-0) won this one with a load of grit, and skill to match it, and advanced to Saturday’s regional final at 1 against Cornwall (Section IX, 14-2) at UAlbany.
“That’s just who we are. We don’t give up,” said Prendergast, a sophomore midfielder who has committed to Duke. “We get right back at it and stay positive.”
Niskayuna and Yorktown (Section I, 17-3) came in ranked No. 2 and No. 6, respectively, on the Under Armour/Inside Lacrosse national poll. Yorktown’s resume includes 36 section championships and six state titles.
“We’re usually the underdog in these games,” said Vorgang, who has had 12 state tournament teams. “Being on the same field and getting a win is huge.”
Luke Goldstock paced Niskayuna with four goals and an assist, Aidan O’Brien had two goals and three assists, and although Pantalone won only seven faceoffs against two of the nation’s best in Luke Palmadesso and Danny Manning, several of them came when the Silver Warriors desperately needed possession.
“Tyler had a couple of faceoff wins that were big,” said Vorgang. “He’s a fighter.”
“When we were down three in the first half, he [Pantalone] won three in a row, and at the end of the game, he won two in a row,” said Niskayuna assistant Chris DeLano. “He made a great adjustment.”
Pantalone pulled Niskayuna within 10-9 in the third quarter, and Goldstock and O’Brien scored to push Niskayuna ahead in the fourth. After Prestreau beat a double team and notched his fourth goal to even things, D’Amario connected on a strong run with 5:37 left, and Prendergast delivered with 2:07 remaining on a scramble in close.
“Luke got double-teamed, and the ball popped out. I got it and went upper corner,” said Prendergast. “It was a great feeling. It really helped us out.”
Niskayuna saw a 2-0 lead turn into a 6-3 second-quarter deficit before three faceoff wins by Pantalone led to goals by O’Brien, D’Amario and Goldstock. Another goal by Goldstock tied the game at seven before Yorktown long stick Tomas Rodriguez scored in the last second to give his team the lead.
“It didn’t look good for a while,” said Vorgang. “They were winning the faceoff battle and scoring goals, and the kids continued to play. We encouraged them to get the ball and get the ball to our attack.”
D.J. Edick collected four goals and an assist, Kyle Marr had three goals and three assists and Shenendehowa (17-3) shut down Mamaroneck over the final two quarters in a 13-8 Class A regional semifinal win.
Mamaroneck (Section I, 13-7) managed two second-half goals, including Scott Greenberg’s tally with a second left in the third quarter that made it 10-7. Marr and Edick extended the Shenendehowa lead to 12-7 with fourth-quarter goals, and Marr connected again to create the final margin.
Shenendehowa will take on Minisink Valley (Section IX, 15-3) Saturday at 6 at UAlbany in a state quarterfinal.
Bronxville (Section I, 20-1) used a nine-goal second quarter to pull away, and eliminated Glens Falls (9-6) from the Class C state tourney for the third year in a row, 20-3.
SHENENDEHOWA 13, MAMARONECK 8
Mamaroneck 2 4 1 1 — 8
Shenendehowa 4 4 2 3 — 13
Mamaroneck scoring: Scott Greenberg 4-0, Peter Conley 1-1, Justin Esenge 1-0, Reed Malas 1-0, Dan McCarthy 1-0. Shenendehowa scoring: Nick Arnold 2-0, D.J. Edick 4-1, Kyle Marr 3-3, Brian Rogers 2-2, Joe Romano 1-1, Pete Sacks 1-0.
Goalkeepers: Mamaroneck, Thomas Brill, 7 saves. Shenendehowa, Ben Robbins, 9 saves.
NISKAYUNA 13, YORKTOWN 11
Yorktown 2 6 2 1 — 11
Niskayuna 2 5 2 4 — 13
Yorktown scoring: Nicky Bonitatibus 0-3, Luke Palmadesso 0-1, Danny Manning 2-0, Brian Prestreau 4-0, Nick Marino 2-0, Tomas Rodriguez 1-0, Billy Strassman 0-1, Connor Vercruysse 2-0. Niskayuna scoring: Lucas Maloney 2-0, Ryan Lawson 1-1, Aidan O’Brien 2-3, Luke Goldstock 4-1, John Prendergast 1-0, Tyler Pantalone 1-0, Mike D’Amario 2-1.
Goalkeepers: Yorktown, Zach Reilly, 11 saves. Niskayuna, Evan Quinn, 12 saves.
BRONXVILLE 20, GLENS FALLS 3
Bronxville 5 9 2 4 — 20
Glens Falls 1 1 0 1 — 3
Bronxville scoring: Reilly Walsh 3-0, James McDeemott 0-1, Will Duncan 1-0, Aidan Walsh 1-1, Matt Behrens 5-2, Jack DePaul 2-0, Mike Crawford 1-1, Henry Grass 3-1, Matt James 1-0, Jack Grass 3-1. Glens Falls scoring: Matt Girard 1-0, Connor Toich 1-0, Connor McGuirk 1-0.
Goalkeepers: Bronxville, Eric Pass, 5 saves; Lucas Carneiro, 2 saves. Glens Falls, Nate Austin, 10 saves.