Big first quarter propels Niskayuna past Saratoga

The Niskayuna boys lacrosse team was fortunate to have a strong start against Saratoga Springs Thursday because it didn't fare well after that.

The Silver Warriors (2-0 league, 3-0 overall) jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first quarter and then survived a Blue Streak rally in the second half to pull out a 7-4 Suburban Council victory at East Side Recreation Field in Saratoga Springs.

\The difference between the first quarter and the second, third and fourth quarters was that we finished our (scoring) opportunities in the first quarter, said Niskayuna coach Mike Vorgang.

"We were pleased with the second half effort. The first quarter hurt us, though," said Saratoga coach Jon Coons.

Seth Berggren and Steve D'Amario provided much of Niskayuna's offense in the first quarter. Berggren scored an unassisted goal at the 8:54 mark and then assisted on Mark Panneton's tally 32 seconds later to put the Silver Warriors up 2-0. D'Amario chipped in a pair of unassisted markers, and Berggren ended the spurt with a goal late in the quarter.

"We were having trouble sliding fast enough (to cut off Niskayuna's shots)," said Coons. "You have to play as a defensive unit against Niskayuna ... and we struggled to do that in the beginning of the game."

Saratoga (1-1, 3-1) tried to cut into Niskayuna's lead, but it was difficult for the Blue Streaks to get close in the first half as they suffered through a series of dropped passes and failed clearing attempts. They did get one goal back when Ryan Quinn scored with three seconds left in the first quarter, but they failed to get any closer as Jared Franze tallied midway through the second quarter to give Niskayuna a 6-1 halftime lead.

Saratoga looked like it had resolved its problems at the beginning of the third quarter. Christopher Adams scored eight seconds into the period, and Quinn tallied by picking up a rebound off a missed shot and flipped the ball behind his back past Niskayuna goaltender James Manchester to make the score 6-3 with 10:28 left.

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