With a defensive stand midway through and plenty of goals during it, Shenendehowa won another Class A regional lacrosse championship Saturday at the University at Albany’s John Fallon Field.
“We just didn’t come out talking,” Plainsmen defenseman Ian Grey said after a 15-9 victory over Minisink Valley. “They got us a few times with their cutters, and then we picked it up.”
Shenendehowa gave up two goals in the middle quarters after the teams battled to a 4-4 tie, and D.J. Edick sparked a pair of pull-away runs in what would be the school’s fifth regional title-game win in six tries.
“I think it was just energy,” said first-year Shenendehowa coach Jason Gifford. “Once we started making some energy plays, we got on track.”
Kyle Marr generated four goals and three assists for the Plainsmen (18-3), and Edick notched all four of his goals in the middle frames while also teaming with Matt Taft for 18 faceoff wins.
All-American Jake Levins scored seven goals for Minisink Valley (Section IX, 15-4), including the last two of the opening quarter to tie the contest.
“They came out excited and ready for the game,” said Edick. “It took us a while to get going. We started getting faceoffs and ground balls, and things turned around for us.”
Shenendehowa led at the half, 8-5, and entering the final quarter, 12-6, and added to its regional title collection that included wins in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2011. The Plainsmen will take on New York heavyweight Ward Melville (Section VIII, 20-0) Wednesday night at 8 at Marist College, looking for their first state semifinal win.
“The biggest thing is pace of play when you get to the Island. Their pace is fast. The last time, we fell behind, 5-0, before we settled down and got back in it,” Gifford said of a 14-10 state semifinal loss to Farmingdale two years ago. “We had a lot of sophomores on that team, so it won’t be difficult message. We have to match their energy and match their pace of play.”
Shenendehowa picked up offensive steam as Saturday’s game progressed, and deflated the Minisink Valley offense at the same time with its defensive effort.
“At this time of year, you don’t have a lot of time to prepare for different styles,” said Gifford. “They did a lot of things with their movement. Once we figured out their patterns, it helped us out.”
“We had some jitters,” said Shenendehowa defenseman Tyler Olney. “The big things was settling into the game.”
Minisink Valley was often unsettled against Shenendehowa’s fast-break offense that notched four unanswered goals to start the second quarter and four unanswered goals to begin the third frame. Edick had two goals in each of those four-goal runs.
“Transition is where we separated ourselves today,” said Gifford. “They did a good job six-on-six. They gave us a lot of different looks.”
Edick scored 51 seconds into the second quarter to give Shenendehowa the lead for good, and Marr scored 19 seconds after that. Long stick Brian Guiry began the third-quarter scoring just 14 seconds in after scooping up a faceoff grounder, making it 9-5.
“Guiry’s goal was a big game-changer,” said Edick, a senior midfielder. “His goal was an instant spark for the team.”
Niskayuna coach Mike Vorgang remembers when the shoe was on the other foot. It was back in 1994, when his first-year varsity Silver Warriors played Yorktown in a regional game and got slugged, 20-1.
Niskayuna did the pounding Saturday, and tied a program record for regional goals in a 23-1 victory over Cornwall.
“The same exact thing happened to us,” said Vorgang. “The score was just about the same, and they had their starters out early.
“Six years later, we won,” he continued, referring to a 9-6 win over Yorktown in 2000. “In six years, they could win this.”
Cornwall (Section IX, 14-3) still has much work to do.
“Today was about awareness of how good high school lacrosse can be,” said Cornwall coach Bruce
Reitenbach. “It was good to see what we have to improve on so we can compete at this level.”
Niskayuna captured its sixth regional championship in 12 tries at the expense of Cornwall’s self-funded team that moved from the club level to varsity this spring. Cornwall beat Wallkill in the Section IX title game, 15-8.
“As our season progressed, we found we could compete with the Class B teams in our section, and we won it,” said Reitenbach. “We just wanted to get here.”
Niskayuna (21-0) is a program with much grander objectives. Niskayuna rallied from 6-3, 9-7, 10-8 deficits to beat Yorktown in the regional semifinals Thursday, 13-11, in a contest matching nationally ranked teams.
“We knew they were a first-year team, but we still took them seriously,” said Niskayuna senior Lucas Maloney. “When we talked about our goals at the beginning of the year, most of us said we want to win a state championship. We had to beat these guys to move on.”
Niskayuna led after the first quarter, 7-0, opened up a 15-0 advantage at the half and methodically added on with its cast of second- and third-teamers.
“I had seen Niskayuna when they beat Mamaroneck [23-3 Class A regional final] last year,” said
Reitenbach. “We knew what kind of powerhouse they were.”
Niskayuna’s all-Division I attack group of Maloney (Penn State), Mike D’Amario (Virginia) and Luke Goldstock (North Carolina) piled up nine goals and six assists in less than a half. Maloney led the way with five goals and an assist. Reserve attackman Matt DiVietro finished with a career-high six goals.
Niskayuna will take on Garden City (Section VIII, 17-3) in a state semifinal game Wednesday at 3:30 at Marist College. Niskayuna is 2-3 in state semis, with wins in 2005 and 2009, and setbacks in 2000, 2010 and last year.
SHENENDEHOWA 15, MINISINK VALLEY 9
Minisink Valley 4 1 1 3 — 9
Shenendehowa 4 4 4 3 — 15
Minisink Valley scoring: Jake Lewis 7-0, Scott Giraud 0-1, Luke Hanson 0-1, Brian Hughes 1-0, Joe Sessa 1-2, Nick Puglisi 0-1. Shenendehowa scoring: Corey Acker 0-1, Nick Arnold 2-2, Pat Coll 0-1, D.J. Edick 4-0, Brian Guiry 1-0, Kyle Marr 4-3, Tyler Olney 0-1, Brian Rogers 0-1, Joe Romano 3-1, Pete Sacks 1-0.
Goalkeepers: Minisink Valley, Matt Bogdanski, 5 saves. Shenendehowa, Ben Robbinbs, 8 saves; Drew Hanagan, 1 save.
NISKAYUNA 23, CORNWALL 1
Cornwall 0 0 1 0 — 1
Niskayuna 7 8 4 4 — 23
Cornwall scoring: Dan Begbie 1-0, Brandon Fienco 0-1. Niskayuna scoring: Lucas Maloney 5-1, Ryan Lawson 1-1, Matt DiVietro 6-0, Aidan O’Brien 1-1, Luke Goldstock 2-2, Sam Assini 2-1, Anthony Massaroni 1-0, Jack Burns 1-0, Dylan Pantalone 0-1, Evan Maloney 0-1, Tom Horan 1-1, Sam Kaplan 1-3, Mike D’Amario 2-3.
Goalkeepers: Cornwall, Victor Ramos, 5 saves. Niskayuna, Evan Quinn, 2 saves;
Nick Testa, 0 saves; James O’Rourke, 0 saves.