CLIFTON PARK: Plainsmen get back on track

After a rough start that included a four-game stretch where it only suited up 13 players, the Shenendehowa boys lacrosse team is back at full strength and looking for a strong finish.

The Plainsmen (3-5 league, 4-7 overall) ran their winning streak to three games with Saturday's 12-11 non-league victory over South Hadley. John Olsen and Greg Hitchko each scored four goals, and Adam Hitchko added three goals and three assists.

The winning streak came on the heels of a six-game losing streak a stretch compounded by the suspension of more than half the team for their part in an off-campus party that left a house damaged.

There's no room to look back," said Shen coach Mark McQuade. "We need to play our best ball possible."

McQuade said the key to continuing the turnaround is how quickly the players that were suspended can get back in shape.

"The problem, as I see it, is we're a month behind the other teams," he said. "So, we need to jump our learning curve quickly if we're going to compete."

The Plainsmen will get a good gauge on where they are in relation to the top teams in the Suburban Council this week. After playing defending Section II, Class A champion Niskayuna Tuesday, they host red-hot Guilderland Friday.

"This week will make or break us," said McQuade. "If we want to be one of the elite teams, we have to beat one of those teams."

Blue Streaks earn non-league win

Saratoga is another boys lacrosse team gaining momentum as the season hits the home stretch.

The Blue Streaks (3-4, 6-4) have won four of their last five games including an 11-6 victory over Kingston Saturday. Chris Adams scored four goals, and Ryan Ivory chipped in two goals and four assists to lead Saratoga to the non-league win.

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