Two big scoring bursts and some timely saves were all that the Niskayuna boys lacrosse team needed to win its third consecutive Section II, Class A title.
Steve D'Amario and Nick DiSarro each recorded hat tricks, and James Manchester made several key saves in the fourth quarter to help the Silver Warriors beat Guilderland 11-9 in Friday's championship game at RPI's Ned Harkness Field.
I think it was really important (to win this title), said Niskayuna coach Mike Vorgang. "We only had a few guys coming back who played a lot last year, so we needed some of the newer players to step up."
Manchester stepped up when he needed to in the Sectional finals. The junior stopped two Guilderland shots in the final 1:15 to preserve Niskayuna's two-goal lead.
It was the first championship game for Manchester, who replaced five-year starter Noah Fossner this season. Fossner guided Niskayuna to four consecutive Sectional finals appearances and two titles before graduating last year.
"It's a tough situation to be in " No. 1 to be a goalie, and No. 2 to replace the best goalie in the program's history," said Vorgang. "He did a great job of listening to what the coaches said, not what everyone else said."
"They're big shoes to fill, but I don't try to think about it too much," said Manchester, who finished with 12 saves against Guilderland.
Manchester and the Silver Warriors (17-4) got off to a shaky start. Uriah Myrie scored two quick goals early in the first quarter, and Rory Nunamacher added a goal to give Guilderland (16-5) a 3-0 lead and cause Vorgang to call a timeout.
"I just told them that everything's OK. We just weathered the storm," said Vorgang.
Niskayuna's offense roared to life after that. D'Amario got things going with a goal, and then Ben Romer converted a pass from Jack Leary off a restart into a quick tally to pull the Silver Warriors within a goal. D'Amario added a goal just before the end of the first quarter to tie the game at 3.