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Lucky 13 for Niskayuna

Wednesday, May 28, 2014
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Niskayuna Varsity Lacrosse team players, hoist the Sectional plaque into the air after defeating Shenendehowa 14-7 at John Fallon Field at UAlbany Tuesday.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber
Niskayuna Varsity Lacrosse team players, hoist the Sectional plaque into the air after defeating Shenendehowa 14-7 at John Fallon Field at UAlbany Tuesday.

— Niskayuna used a third-quarter run to gain separation, and beat Shenendehowa, 14-7, for the Section II Class A boys’ lacrosse championship Tuesday night at the University at Albany.

John Prendergast piled up a career-high seven goals for the Silver Warriors, with the junior midfielder starting and finishing a 4-0 spurt that gave the state sportswriters’ No. 1-ranked team a 10-4 lead late in the third frame.

“I just had that desire,” said Prendergast after helping Niskayuna win its eighth Class A crown and 13th overall championship. “I wanted to hold up that plaque. It’s something we’ve worked so hard for.”

Prendergast’s third-quarter goals were sandwiched around tallies by Ryan Lawson and Aidan O’Brien. Brian Nelson scored late in the third for Shenendehowa (No. 3, 13-6), and Niskayuna’s Sam Kaplan and Lu Quinn made it 12-5 early in the fourth.

“They had the ball, and they were able to identify what we were doing,” said Shenendehowa coach Jason Gifford. “Their faceoff guy [Dylan Pantalone] got hot, and that started it for them.”

Prendergast scored five first-half goals, three coming in succession to give the Silver Warriors a 5-3 advantage, and his last rip with 13.3 seconds to go gave Niskayuna a 6-4 lead at the break.

“He had a good night. He had a hot night,” Gifford said of the Duke recruit. “You pick your poison with those guys.”

Prendergast had scored as many as four goals in a game this season, those coming last month in an 18-5 triumph over Guilderland.

“We think he’s our best athlete on the field whenever we play, whoever we play,” said Niskayuna coach Mike Vorgang. “It was definitely a breakout game for John.”

Dakota Rainville gave Shenendehowa a 3-2 lead in the second quarter, and Prendergast popped three straight goals, two of them 17 seconds apart.

“It was close at the half, and coach kept us calm,” said Prendergast. “He kept us level-headed. He was the cooling factor, and we went out and had one of those real good quarters where everything was working.”

Owen Putman scored three goals for Shenendehowa, and Kyle Marr had six assists after getting eight of them in a semifinal win over Ballston Spa.

Niskayuna (No. 1, 18-1) gets the winner of today’s Lakeland/Panas (Sec. I, 14-5)-Warwick Valley (Sec. IX, 17-1) Saturday at 1 in a regional final at UAlbany.

“We’ve got to clean it up,” said Vorgang. “We had too many turnovers, especially in the midfield. It’s really important that we play a cleaner game.”

CLASS B

Josh Egan and Matt Balter both scored twice in a seven-goal run as Albany Academy bounced back to beat Queensbury, 9-7, and secure its first Section II Class B championship since 1997.

Ben Willows gave Queensbury (No. 2, 12-7) a 6-2 second-quarter lead before the Cadets (No. 1, 16-0) began to connect, starting with goals by Egan and Balter. Shawn Knowlton’s third-quarter goal off a Balter feed gave the Cadets to lead for good at 7-6.

“We executed the game plan, especially in the second half,” said Cadets coach Doug McIve. “We wanted to cause turnovers. Once we got the ball in transition, we pushed. That’s what we do.”

Albany Academy will take on either Yorktown (Sec. I, 14-5) or Cornwall (Sec. IX, 16-2) Saturday in regional play at 3:30 at UAlbany.

“There’s no better way to go out,” said Balter. “We haven’t won a section title since 1997. This is a big win. We’re happy.”

Albany Academy edged Queensbury in a mid-season non-league game, 8-7

CLASS C

Glen Taylor scored the clincher with 51.8 seconds left as Greenwich (No. 2, 15-2) beat Glens Falls, 16-14, and ended the Indians’ Class C title run at four in a row.

Hayden Slater had four goals and four assists for the Witches, who battled back from a 4-0 deficit to claim their first banner since 2006. The Witches face either Bronxville (Sec. I, 14-6) or Rondout Valley (Sec. IX, 16-2) Saturday at 6 in a regional final at John Fallon Field.

Conner McGuirk scored five goals for Glens Falls

(No. 1, 8-8). The Indians beat the Witches in the regular season, 13-6.

CLASS A

NISKAYUNA 14, SHENENDEHOWA 7

Shenendehowa 2 2 1 2 —  7

Niskayuna 2 4 4 4 — 14

Shenendehowa scoring: Owen Putman 3-0, Kyle Marr 0-6, Pat Coll 1-0, Dakota Rainville 1-0, Peter Sacks 1-0, Brien Nelson 1-0. Niskayuna scoring: John Prendergast 7-0, Mike D’Amario 1-0, Ryan Lawson 2-0, Sam Assini 0-1, Aidan O’Brien 1-1, Sam Kaplan 1-1, Lu Quinn 1-1, Reed Avveduti 1-0.

Goalkeepers: Shenendehowa, Ben Robbins, 6 saves. Niskayuna, Nick Testa, 9 saves.

CLASS B

ALBANY ACADEMY 9, QUEENSBURY 7

Queensbury 3 3 0 1 — 7

Albany Academy 2 2 3 2 — 9

Queensbury scoring: Ben Willows 3-1, Brendan DiThomas 1-0, Tim Voorhis 0-2, Zoran Morrell 1-0, Braden Kietzman, Sean Duffy 1-0. Albany Academy scoring: Sean Phillips 1-0, Shawn Knowlton 1-2, Nick Boyagian 1-0, Niko Szelest 1-1, Josh Egan 2-1, Matt Balter 2-1, Andrew Martin 1-0.

Goalkeepers: Queensbury, Ted Nolan, 13 saves. Albany Academy, Sasha McEldowney, 10 saves.

CLASS C

GREENWICH 16, GLENS FALLS 14

Greenwich 3 4 4 5 — 16

Glens Falls 4 3 1 6 — 14

Greenwich scoring: Dennis Dauphin 2-1, Garret Keraga 2-0, Hayden Stalter 4-4, Ryan Saunders 3-1, Glen Taylor 3-1, Jack Pemrick 1-1, Tyler Matson 1-2. Glens Falls scoring: Conner McGuirk 5-0, Chris Hass 3-3, Nate Plocharczyk 2-5, Conner Toich 4-0.

Goalkeepers: Greenwich, Adam Thomas, 10 saves. Glens Falls, Sam Gohn, 9 saves.

 
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