Shenendehowa had a championship game to get back to, and a bit of payback to attend to.
With a solid all-around performance Friday that included a six unanswered goals midway through the game, the Plainsmen accomplished both of their objectives on the Ballston Spa lacrosse field.
“There was a lot for us to play for,” Plainsmen senior Kyle Marr said after his team’s 16-8 Section II Class A semifinal win. “The last time wasn’t our best effort. We knew there was something more in the tank.”
Marr scored two goals and tied a school record with eight assists, Pat Coll piled up six goals and Ben Robbins served as the defensive anchor in Shenendehowa’s rubber-match victory.
Ballston Spa rallied from an 8-2 halftime deficit to beat Shenendehowa, 10-9, earlier this month, after losing to the Plainsmen, 20-14, to start the season.
“That last game is the reason why we’re here,” said Shenendehowa coach Jason Gifford, referring to the Scotties’ No. 2 seed and the Plainsmen’s No. 3. “We knew we had to play different.”
Shenendehowa (13-5) didn’t let up in this one after racing to a 3-0 lead. Shenendehowa used a 4-1 run in the four minutes leading up to halftime, and then scoring four straight third-quarter goals to make it 12-5.
“Team win,” said Gifford, whose Plainsmen held a 39-17 shot advantage. “The offense was moving the ball. Our defense slid and did well in individual matchups. We also excelled in the faceoff ‘X’ and in goal.”
“I’ve seen Shenendehowa play five, six times,” said Ballston Spa coach Joe Pollicino. “That was their best overall game.”
Shenendehowa will play in its fifth straight Class A title game Tuesday night against Niskayuna at the University at Albany. Niskayuna (No. 1, 17-1), which topped Shenendehowa in Suburban Council play, 17-7 and 12-10, advanced with a 13-2 win over Shaker.
“You’ve got to feel confident in yourself. Stay positive,” said Marr, who helped Shenendehowa win sectional titles last year against Shaker and in 2011 against Niskayuna. “We’ve lost to them a few years in a row. We haven’t beaten them since my freshman year, and it would be great to end the slide. All we’re doing at this time is thinking about winning.”
Coltin Moseman scored the game-winning goal as time expired in the last game between Ballston Spa and Shenendehowa. The Limestone-bound attackman pulled the Scotties within 6-5 late in the second quarter before Marr and Owen Putman answered.
Marr’s unassisted goal came after Coll forced a turnover. Putman’s third goal off the second quarter, off a Marr assist, came with 3.4 seconds left.
“The last time we gave up two goals late in the first half,” said Marr. “The two we had today, they were good for us. Got us some momentum, and we ran away in the third quarter.”
Coll scored two goals and Brian Nelson and Mitch Turiel also had goals as Shenendehowa went up, 12-5, in third. Goals by Marr and Coll 26 seconds apart in the fourth made it 15-7.
“We were trading goals for a while,” said Marr. “Our defense started to hold them down, and our defensive middies were pushing in transition. That helped spark our offense.”
Robbins made several of his 13 saves on low drives by the Scotties (13-5).
“I think he was seeing the ball today,” Marr said of the senior netminder. “When he’s on like that, we have confidence in him to beat anyone.”
“If Ben Robbins isn’t on the back line, it’s a two-goal game,” said Pollicino. “I thought he was the difference in the game.”
Marr equalled the eight assists Ryan Weiss had twice for Shenendehowa during the 1991 season, in wins over Schenectady and Colonie.
Nisky moves on
Mike D’Amario scored four goals and set up one, and Niskayuna played shutout ball in the second and fourth quarters as part of its 13th consecutive win in a semifinal pitting SC division champs.
Sam Kaplan had three goals and two assists for the Silver Warriors, who will be making their 12th title game appearance (Class A and B) in as many years Tuesday. Niskayuna won the Class B title last year against Ballston Spa and beat Shenendehowa for Class A honors in 2012.
Stephen Rehfuss scored both goals for Shaker (No. 4, 11-7).
Greenwich (No. 2, 14-2) used a six-goal, third-quarter outburst to gain the upper hand in an 11-7 Class C semifinal win over Schuylerville (No. 6, 9-7).
Glenn Taylor of Greenwich and Zack Pierce of Schuylerville both had four goals and an assist.
Glens Falls (No. 1, 8-7) earned a shot at its fifth straight Class C championship by posting a 14-9 semifinal win over Cambridge (No. 4, 11-5).
SHENENDEHOWA 16, BALLSTON SPA 8
Shenendehowa 3 5 5 3 — 16
Ballston Spa 2 3 1 2 — 8
Shenendehowa scoring: Pat Coll 6-0, Peter Sacks 2-0, Brian Nelson 2-0, Mitch Turiel 1-1, Kyle Marr 2-8, Owen Putman 3-0. Ballston Spa scoring: Sam Groves 0-4, John McDonald 1-1, Coltin Moseman 3-0, Chris Stedry 2-1, Hans Zimmer 2-0.
Goalkeepers: Shenendehowa, Ben Robbins, 13 saves. Ballston Spa, Jon Blake, 16 saves.
NISKAYUNA 13, SHAKER 2
Shaker 1 0 1 0 — 2
Niskayuna 1 5 1 6 — 13
Shaker scoring: Stephen Rehfuss 2-0, Liam King 0-2. Niskayuna scoring: Sam Kaplan 3-2, Lucas Quinn 1-1, Mike D’Amario 4-1, Ryan Lawson 1-0, Aidan O’Brien 1-3, John Prendergast 3-1, Sam Assini 0-1.
Goalkeepers: Shaker, Christin Schupp, 7 saves; Andrew Leahy, 9 saves. Niskayuna, Nick Testa, 7 saves; Dalton Goldstock, 0 saves.
GREENWICH 11, SCHUYLERVILLE 7
Schuylerville 2 3 1 1 — 7
Greenwich 2 1 6 2 — 11
Schuylerville scoring: Zack Pierce 4-1, Conor Ackerman 2-0, Josh Thomas 1-0. Greenwich scoring: Glenn Taylor 4-1, Hayden Stalter 3-2, Denny Dauphin 2-2, Garrett Carrega 1-2, Adam Owens 1-0.
Goalkeepers: Schuylerville, Jacob Barton, 12 saves. Greenwich, Adam Thomas, 10 saves.