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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Shenendehowa Triumphs Over Niskayuna in Section 2 Boys’ Lacrosse, Thanks to Strong First Quarter Performance


CLIFTON PARK — The Shenendehowa boys’ lacrosse team, under the guidance of coach Jason Gifford, had concerns about their stamina going into their recent game.

However, their fears were unfounded. Following a 12-7 victory over Niskayuna in the Suburban Council match on Tuesday, the team’s morale is soaring.

In a clash of undefeated league teams, Shenendehowa (4-0 league, 7-1 overall) dominated the first quarter, scoring seven goals. Despite Niskayuna’s attempts to rally, the Plainsmen maintained their lead, restricting Niskayuna to a season-low goal count.

Shenendehowa was bouncing back from its first defeat, a 15-14 loss to Rye on Saturday.

“Our main concern was our stamina,” Gifford admitted. “We had a tough game against Rye, but we knew if we could replicate that performance and minimize errors, we would be successful. I’m incredibly proud of our team for their resilience and determination,” he added.

Shenendehowa’s first-quarter triumph was largely due to faceoff specialist Jake Moran, who won six of the first eight faceoffs. This control of the ball helped keep Niskayuna at bay.

Despite George Angelopoulos’ goal for Niskayuna making it a 2-1 Shenendehowa lead with 7:12 left in the first, the Plainsmen scored the next five goals, with Freddy Hicks, who is bound for UAlbany, scoring three of them.

“It’s exhilarating to score consecutively like that, especially against a strong team. Our faceoff specialist Jake Moran, and our defense were exceptional, which gave us the upper hand,” Hicks said.

Hicks was the top scorer for Shenendehowa with four goals and one assist.

“Freddy decided to play soccer last fall,” Gifford explained. “Since then, he has become one of the most well-conditioned athletes I’ve ever coached. He simply doesn’t tire.”

Even when Shenendehowa was penalized for a two-minute, non-releasable illegal stick penalty between the first and second quarters, they managed to increase their lead to 8-2 with Mason Carroll’s second of three goals.

Niskayuna (3-1, 5-3) attempted a comeback in the fourth quarter, scoring the final four goals, but it was too late to overcome the early deficit.

“Shenendehowa is a formidable team,” Niskayuna coach Mike Vorgang said. “They’ve been playing together for a long time and are well-coached. Despite the circumstances, we fought back and had some chances to close the gap.

“Jackson Massaroni’s faceoff performance was the reason we had the ball repeatedly. We felt like we didn’t have the ball for most of the first and second quarters, but in the second half, we had more possession,” Vorgang added.

Dillon Licht and Massaroni each scored two goals for Niskayuna, but Shenendehowa’s defense limited Tanner Williams to one goal.

“Our main focus was on Tanner Williams and Dillon Licht, they’re a tough pair to handle,” Gifford said. “JT Wilders was assigned to Tanner Williams… and then Grayson Sisely was bumped up to Dillon Licht.”

“Playing against a strong team like Shenendehowa, we just need to learn and improve,” Vorgang said.

The victory was a sweet revenge for Niskayuna’s 16-7 victory in the 2023 regular season.

“We always look forward to playing Nisky,” Hicks said. “With so many seniors on this team, we really wanted to beat these guys one last time.”

Niskayuna 2 1 1 3 — 7

Shenendehowa 7 1 3 1 — 12

Niskayuna scoring: Licht 2-0, Massaroni 2-0, Chowdhrey 1-2, Angelopoulos 1-0, Williams 1-0, Jones 0-1. Shenendehowa scoring: Hicks 4-1, Carroll 3-0, Wolfe 3-0, Metler 1-1, Stockwell 1-0, Barbagelata 1-0, Stockwell 1-0, LoPresti 0-1. Goalies: Niskayuna, Petrangelo, 2 saves; Katz, 4 saves. Shenendehowa, Standaert, 8 saves.

Jack Sullivan
Jack Sullivan
Jack Sullivan, an informed and passionate sports reporter, is a former college athlete with a degree in Sports Communication from Ithaca College. Go Bombers!
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  1. Agree, good punctuation and grammar: Great job by Shenendehowa, they really came out strong in the first quarter and set the tone for the game. #section2lacrosse #dominance


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