Somers lacrosse coach Lew Janavey was anticipating a tight battle with Niskayuna Saturday, and in the first half, that’s exactly what transpired.
“We thought we’d be in it for 48 minutes. Right until the end,” he said after Niskayuna surged for a 14-6 non-league victory at Union College. “The bottom line is when you don’t have the ball in this sport, things can unravel fast.”
The game changed dramatically in the third quarter, with the Silver Warriors dominating in every way in what ended up being an impressive bounce back after last week’s 8-7 loss to Connecticut power Darien.
“Everything was clicking in the third quarter,” said Niskayuna freshman attackman Lu Quinn. “Dylan [Pantalone] was winning faceoffs. The defense did their job. Guys were getting open and we were scoring.”
Niskayuna (6-1) rattled off six unanswered goals in the third frame to pull away from a 6-6 tie. Quinn produced three of his Niskayuna freshman-record seven goals in the flurry, Aidan O’Brien had two goals and an assist, and Mike D’Amario collected four assists.
“They were playing a zone the whole game. We had some things we wanted to try to do against it,” said Niskayuna coach Mike Vorgang. “It came down to executing and doing the things we drew up on the board.”
“We were picking apart their defense in the first half,” said Quinn. “We weren’t finishing.”
Quinn made his second start at attack after getting three goals and an assist in his first one Thursday when Niskayuna topped Bethlehem, 17-1. The ninth-grader took the place of Reed Avveduti, who was moved back to defensive midfield, where he proved so valuable during last season’s run to the state semifinals.
“He didn’t play like a freshman,” said Janavey.
Quinn scored two goals in the first quarter, another in the second, and his three in the third included a behind-the-back bouncer that made it 11-6. Quinn added the game’s final goal to put the last touch on Niskayuna’s fourth win against Somers in five games going back to 2009.
“I was getting open and guys were doing a great job of getting me the ball,” said Quinn.
Niskayuna had the ball a ton in the third quarter as Pantalone won five of six faceoffs. The Silver Warriors scooped up eight ground balls in the quarter and outshot the Tuskers (Section I, 6-4) by an 18-2 margin.
“We didn’t have the ball,” said Janavey. “The things we were doing in the first half, winning faceoffs and getting some ground balls, we stopped doing. They possessed the ball in the third quarter and took advantage of it.”
Niskayuna didn’t have the ball enough in its loss to Darien, and managed just one goal in the second half.
“We only won five of 20 faceoffs and that gave them an extra 15 possessions. We turned the ball over on our first four possessions,” said Vorgang. “We needed more possessions.”
“They whole week we were a little mad. We definitely didn’t want to lose two [non-league games] in a row,” said Quinn. “We had a good week of practice, had the Bethlehem game, and came into this one fired up.”
Nick Testa made 12 saves, including five in the fourth quarter to preserve the second-half shutout.
Somers 1 5 0 0 — 6
Niskayuna 3 3 6 2 — 14
Somers scoring: Tim Cousin 3-0, Justin Corpolongo 1-0, A.J. Cartelli 1-0, Marc Fiocco 1-1, Mike Cegielski 0-1. Niskayuna scoring: Sam Kaplan 1-0, Lu Quinn 7-0, Ryan Lawson 1-3, Mike D’Amario 1-5, Aidan O’Brien 2-3, John Prendergast 1-0, Dylan Pantalone 1-0.
Goalkeepers: Somers, Nik Genualdo, 10 saves. Niskayuna, Nick Testa, 12 saves; Dalton Goldstock, 0 saves.