The Guilderland boys lacrosse team needed every bit of the four-goal cushion it built in the third quarter to beat Shenendehowa.
The Plainsmen outscored Guilderland 3-1 in the fourth quarter to cut into the Dutchmen's lead, but that was all Shen could do as Guilderland prevailed 7-5 in last Thursday's Suburban Council game.
The offense didn't help the defense at all (in the fourth quarter), said Guilderland coach Sean McConaghy. "We'd get a big stop on defense, but then our offense didn't convert at the other end."
Guilderland (6-1 league, 9-1 overall) looked sharp in the first quarter, but had a hard time finishing its shots. The lone goal came midway through the period when Rory Nunamacher scored off a feed from Quinn Connell " one of three goals for Nunamacher, and the first of four assists for Connell.
"The first quarter was our best quarter offensively," said McConaghy. "We only scored one goal, but we had a goal taken away from us because there was a guy in the crease. We possessed the ball well."
Guilderland tried to pull away from Shen (3-2, 5-6) in the second quarter, but the Plainsmen wouldn't let that happen as they matched the Dutchmen goal for goal. By halftime, Guilderland only had a 3-2 advantage.
Everything changed in the third quarter, though. Guilderland scored three goals and didn't let Shen get on the board, giving the Dutchmen a 6-2 lead entering the fourth quarter. The Plainsmen rallied behind goals from Jesse Elliot and John Olsen, but it wasn't enough for them to dig out of their hole.
"The third quarter won the game for us," said McConaghy. "You still have to play 48 minutes."
Connell, Travis Moore, Aaron Cahill and Paul Jones added goals for Guilderland, which kept pace with first-place Niskayuna in the battle for Suburban Council Blue Division supremacy. Elliot and Olsen each tallied twice to lead Shen's offense.