BY MICHAEL KELLY
ROTTERDAM — Lucas Quinn joked Tuesday that the Niskayuna boys’ lacrosse program views the turf field at Mohonasen High School to be a “little bit cursed” after its upset loss in last year’s sectional championship game.
But could another sectional final end in anguish on that field for the Silver Warriors?
“Absolutely not,” Quinn said.
The senior midfielder made sure he was right. In a dominant 18-6 win against Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake in the Section II Class B championship game, Quinn registered seven goals and an assist to lead the Silver Warriors. A pair of his goals sandwiched halftime, as Quinn ended the first half’s scoring with a one-handed scoop shot for a goal with 12.6 seconds to intermission and his next goal made it 12-4 early in the third quarter.
“He’s a great player,” Niskayuna head coach Mike Vorgang said of his star, who committed to Syracuse University before he ever played a varsity game. “He’s one of the best we’ve ever had ,and he’s one of the best players in the country.”
Competing in Class A last season, Niskayuna saw its 81-game winning streak against Section II opponents snapped against Shenendehowa in a 15-14 defeat in which Quinn paired two goals with two assists.
Niskayuna senior Mike Doxie said last year’s end was a rallying cry during this past summer, but that this spring season belonged to a new team.
“It really motivated us during the offseason,” said Doxie, who had two goals and an assist Tuesday. “We wanted to make it back to the state tournament.”
Niskayuna (No. 1, 16-2) secured that at the expense of Burnt Hills (No. 3, 13-6), last year’s area champion in Class B. After a back-and-forth start Tuesday, Niskayuna seized control in the final five minutes of the first quarter. Already with a 3-2 lead, the Silver Warriors scored five times in the final 4:55 of the period to take an 8-3 advantage into the second.
“They were just on a roll and we couldn’t do anything to stop them,” Burnt Hills sophomore Darien LaPietro said of that span.
LaPietro finished with a goal and an assist for the Spartans, while junior Jake Stanko had two goals and two assists.
“It was awesome to do it for our 11 seniors, to be back in a situation to win a sectional championship again,”
LaPietro said of the Spartans’ season.
Besides Doxie’s and Quinn’s points, Niskayuna received four goals from senior Connor Wolff, plus three goals and an assist from sophomore Griffin King.
Niskayuna led by at least eight goals throughout the fourth quarter.
The championship was the 15th overall for the Niskayuna program, which won Section II’s only state title in the sport in 2015.
Niskayuna next plays at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in a regional championship game at Mohonasen.
Quinn said the Silver Warriors are excited for the chance to start another run in the state tournament.
“I love playing with all these guys and I think we’re definitely gonna enjoy it and get back to work tomorrow,” Quinn said.
Burnt Hills 3 1 1 1 — 6
Niskayuna 8 3 2 5 — 18
Burnt Hills scoring: Jake Stanko 2-2, Ty McHerron 2-0, Darien LaPietro 1-1, Hunter Wolfe 1-0, Alec Lind 0-1. Niskayuna scoring: Griffin King 3-1, Lucas Quinn 7-1, Mike Doxie 2-1, Tyler Gregory 1-1, Connor Wolff 4-0, Jon Pfohl 0-1, Eoghan Sweeney 1-0.
Goalies: Burnt Hills, Dan Biesty, 8 saves. Niskayuna, Max Ronesi, 11 saves.