Niskayuna’s best lacrosse player drove toward the Yorktown cage and drew a swarm of defenders as the ball popped out of her stick.
“We had a chance at the end of the first overtime,” Niskayuna coach Jason Bach said of Marisa DiVietro’s fruitless scoring bid. “We didn’t do it. That was our chance.”
Niskayuna never saw the ball in the second overtime, and Katie Comerford cashed in on the Cornhuskers’ lone possession with 53.6 seconds left to propel the Section I champions to a stunning 10-9 state Class B quarterfinal win at Mohonasen High School.
Yorktown (16-5) led only once in regulation, for 21 seconds in the second half, before Annabelle Conover created one of the tense contest’s five ties that DiVietro later broke with her lone goal.
A second goal by the North Carolina-bound midfielder would have sent Niskayuna to the state semifinals for a second time in program history.
“I had my mind set to get a free position,” DiVietro said of her overtime bid. “I thought I drew a foul. The refs didn’t think so. I thought there were a few sticks that shouldn’t have been there.”
Niskayuna (16-3) was humbled in the regionals 18-4 a year ago by another Section I heavyweight — Somers.
“That’s the experience,” Bach said. “Use these games as steppingstones. From that game last year to now, we’ve matured and grown.”
Erin Doyle capped a 3-0 game-starting run for Niskayuna, and the junior’s third goal with 4:31 left had the Silver Warriors on top 9-8.
“Niskayuna is a great team,” said Comerford, a Villanova-bound attacker and one of Yorktown’s eight Division I recruits. “As a program, we never give up.”
Casey Duff tied the game at nine with 1:20 left in the second half and set up Comerford’s game-winning goal with a left-to-right pass across the crease. Comerford caught the ball, took two strides and fired high past Maya Manchester.
“We knew we had to be hungry for the ball,” Comerford said. “Duff got it for us, and gave me a great feed.”
Comerford scored five goals, including the icebreaker after Niskayuna’s early run, and the Cornhuskers’ go-ahead goal that briefly made it 7-6 with 18:50 left in the second frame.
The senior also notched the game-winner with 14 seconds left when Yorktown edged Somers 10-9 for the Section I title. Somers came into that game unbeaten at 18-0.
“She’s their scorer, and we knew that,” Bach said. “She had two goals in the first half, Two in the second half, one in overtime. We defended her well. We didn’t give it to her.”
Yorktown ate most of the clock in the first overtime before turning the ball without unleashing a shot. DiVietro was the player that scooped up the loose ball and raced the length of the field to set up her scoring opportunity from close range.
“It’s frustrating,” DiVietro said. “We came out and scored three goals on them. They came back. It’s fun to play in these games, but frustrating to come out on the other side.”
Niskayuna earned its seventh state tournament berth by surging in the second half to beat Queensbury in the Section II final 14-6. Yorktown slugged Minisink Valley 19-2 in a sub-regional to set up Saturday’s game.
“I couldn’t be any more proud,” Bach said. “Yorktown is a heck of a team. Our girls battled. I told them to be proud. Be proud. They overcame some obstacles and had a great year.”
Niskayuna entered the game with a No. 6 state rank, one spot behind Yorktown.
There was no last-second drama in Scotia-Glenville's game.
The lacrosse team (13-6) celebrated another successful season with cupcakes rather than dwell on its 18-1 Class C regional loss to Bronxville (Section I, 19-3).
“We definitely still have the mentality that we’re champions,” Tartans senior Alyssa Williams said after Saturday’s season-ending setback. “It’s great that we won it two years back-to-back.”
Scotia-Glenville beat Schuylerville 8-3 to defend its Section II title before losing to Bronxville for the second year in a row in state tournament play. Bronxville posted a 17-2 victory last year.
“The objective today was to give it our all,” Tartans sophomore goalkeeper Abbie McHerron said. “I’m so proud of us. At the end of the day, we still accomplished our goal.”
McHerron was Scotia-Glenville’s standout with 13 saves, after making 16 stops in the win against Schuylerville. Williams scored the lone goal with 17:20 left in the second half to make it 14-1. First-year coach Katelyn Nardini thought her team could have had a few more.
“We had a few mistakes,” she said. “We couldn’t keep control of the ball. We just made some silly mistakes.”
Nardini said her team did what she asked in terms of effort.
“My main thing was to play 100 percent and give it your all,” she said. “I thought they did that.”
Nardini said she got a little emotional during her last meeting with the team.
“I told the seniors, ‘We’ll miss you,’ and reminded them of what a great season we had,” Nardini said.
Bronxville scored 24 seconds into the game, had four goals on the board before the contest was five minutes old, and reached 10 goals with just under 10 minutes left in the opening half.
The state’s No. 3-ranked team roughed up Millbrook in a sub-regional game before eliminating Scotia-Glenville.
North Rockland (Section I, 19-2) scored five unanswered goals in the first half to wrestle the lead from Shaker (14-3) and never gave it back in a 13-10 regional win.
Caeli Porrette began the Red Raider’s key run with back-to-back goals eight seconds apart, and Kerri Gutenberger had two of the next three. The Blue Bison led 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 before the Red Raiders’ comeback.
Maeve Lennon scored five goals and Kailey Dodd notched three for Shaker, a state tournament participant for the third time in five years. Lennon made it 7-6 and Dodd made it 8-7 before North Rockland scored four consecutive goals spanning the halves.
YORKTOWN 10, NISKAYUNA 9 (2OT)
Yorktown 5 4 0 1 — 10
Niskayuna 5 4 0 0 — 9
Yorktown scoring: Michelle Seger 1-0, Casey Duff 3-1, Julia Cook 1-0, Rilea Fusco 0-3, Katie Comerford 5-0. Niskayuna scoring: Becca Curro 1-0, Erin Doyle 3-1, Annabelle Conover 1-0, Marisa DiVietro 1-1, Abbey O’Brien 2-1, Cassidy O’Rourke 0-1, Tori Pantalone 1-1.
Goalkeepers: Yorktown, Catherine Calidonna, 5 saves. Niskayuna, Maya Manchester, 8 saves.
BRONXVILLE 18, SCOTIA-GLENVILLE 1
Bronxville 13 5 — 18
Scotia-Glenville 0 1 — 1
Bronxville scoring: Mason Warble 3-0, Sarah Wagner 1-0, Lucy Hanrahan 1-0, Ellie Walsh 2-1, Gabbie Ambross 0-1, Lilly Grass 3-3, Sophia Anagnostakis 2-0, Grace Randall 1-0, Olivia Jensen 4-1, Sasha Ircha 1-0. Scotia-Glenville scoring: Alyssa Williams 1-0, Abby O’Connor 0-1.
Goalkeepers: Bronxville, Gianna DiMinno, 5 saves; Claire Kreamer, 5 saves. Scotia-Glenville, Abbie McHerron, 13 saves.
NORTH ROCKLAND 13, SHAKER 10
North Rockland 10 3 — 13
Shaker 7 3 — 10
North Rockland scoring: Elizabeth Fox 1-1, Jenna Fox 1-1, Caeli Porrette 3-0, Kerri Gutenberger 2-0, Aleya Corretjer 4-2, Kaitlyn Gutenberger 2-0. Shaker scoring: Katie Julien 1-0, Kailey Dodd 3-0, Maeve Lennon 5-0, Cait Wood 1-0