Niskayuna lacrosse seeks a win Thursday, not revenge

PETER R. BARBER/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER Lucas Quinn of Niskayuna dodges a stick check by Denzel Jenknins of Saratoga on Tuesday.PETER R. BARBER/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER Lucas Quinn of Niskayuna dodges a stick check by Denzel Jenknins of Saratoga on Tuesday.

BY MICHAEL KELLY
Gazette Sportswriter

NISKAYUNA — The Niskayuna boys’ lacrosse team, Lucas Quinn said, has plenty of video from this season it’ll review before playing Shenendehowa Thursday.

Plus a certain game from 2016.

“Last year’s game is definitely a good game to watch,” said Quinn, Niskayuna’s star senior midfielder. “Not even so much for lacrosse stuff, but more for the mental part.

“To watch ourselves lose,” he finished.

Shenendehowa stunned Niskayuna 15-14 in last spring’s area championship game, a loss for the Silver Warriors that snapped their 81-game winning streak inside of Section II play and ended their bid to win a second consecutive state title.

This year, Thursday’s meeting between the teams will be their only one. In the state’s new four-classification system, Shenendehowa remained in Class A for the postseason and Niskayuna moved to Class B.

Niskayuna, though, recognizes it cannot make up for last year’s surprise defeat with a resounding win Thursday. That’s not the Silver Warriors’ focus.

“This is a new season. [Winning Thursday] isn’t gonna change last year,” Quinn said. “We have to do what we can control, be in the present, and just keep working.”

“It’s another opportunity for us,” Niskayuna head coach Mike Vorgang said. “This year is winding down and our seniors only have two regular-season games left.

“Obviously, Shen is a good team — and then Shaker after that is another good team. It’s just great for us to get two good tests.”

Niskayuna (11-0, 11-2) made quick work of its test Tuesday, dominating Saratoga Springs (8-4, 8-5) from the start in an 18-3 Suburban Council win. Niskayuna senior Connor Wolff scored the first of his five goals just 16 seconds into the game, converting a shot from up close off a deft pass from driving senior Mike Doxie.

“I more or less just bat the ball in on those,” Wolff said.

Niskayuna led 6-0 after a period and 14-2 at halftime. Most of the second half was played using a running clock after the Silver Warriors’ early dominance.

“The pregame speeches, the warm-ups, from everything — we get as amped up as we can so we’re ready to go from the first whistle so we can come out firing,” Wolff said.

Besides Wolff’s five goals, Niskayuna also received five goals from Jon Pfohl. Doxie had three goals and two assists, while Quinn had two goals and three assists. A pair of Quinn’s assists came on no-look passes, while the Syracuse commit ended the first half’s scoring with an underhanded one-armed shot.

Niskayuna is ranked fifth in the Class B state poll. Within Section II, the Silver Warriors have played one lopsided game after another so far. Not playing in some closer games is a concern for the Silver Warriors as the postseason nears, but Quinn said he’s encouraged with the way the Silver Warriors have focused for each game this season.

“Our energy level is the biggest thing for us,” Quinn said. “That’s a thing we can control.”

And they can control what they watch before Thursday’s showdown at Shenendehowa.

The Silver Warriors’ seniors, Wolff said, all have the same preference.

“We’ve all seen [last year’s championship game] a couple times already,” Wolff said, “and each time we get pretty mad all over again about it.”

Saratoga    0 2 0 1 — 3

Niskayuna    6 8 3 1 — 18

Saratoga Springs scoring: Dylan Honis 1-0, Griffin Taylor 1-0, Matt Shamberger 1-0.

Niskayuna scoring: Connor Wolff 5-0, Tyler Gregory 1-2, Jon Pfohl 5-1, Lucas Quinn 2-3, Mike Doxie 3-2, Griffin King 1-2, Ryan Stewart 0-1, Gabe Nish 1-0, Eoghan Sweeney 0-1.

Goalies: Saratoga Springs, Griffin Ketcham, 3 saves; Ryan Flemming, 5 saves. Niskayuna, Max Ronesi, 5 saves; Matt Frankel, 5 saves.

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Michael Kelly at 395-3109, mkelly@dailygazette.net or @ByMichaelKelly on Twitter.