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Niskayuna handles Somers in regional final

The Niskayuna boys lacrosse team responded well to its first challenge in several weeks.

The Silver Warriors used a 6-1 second-quarter run to pull away from Section I champion Somers on their way to a 14-5 victory in Tuesday's Class B regional final at the University at Albany.

Somers took a 2-1 lead in the first quarter before Niskayuna (23-0) got its offense on track. The Silver Warriors tied the game before the end of the first quarter and then took the lead for good on Jared Franze's goal three minutes into the second quarter.

Franze finished with a hat trick, but it was Dan McKinney who stole the show for Niskayuna. The senior midfielder scored seven goals and assisted on another.

Colin Tullgren scored three goals for Somers, but he was the only player who bothered Niskayuna goaltender Stefan Sloma, who stopped 10 of the 15 shots he faced. Sloma started in place of James Manchester, who was ill.

Niskayuna, the top-ranked Class B team in the state, advances to Thursday's state semifinal against the winner of Tuesday's Long Island championship between Garden City and Sayville. Thursday's state semifinal takes place at Middletown High School in Ulster County.

Niskayuna opened its state tournament run last Saturday with a 20-0 victory over Section IX champion Saugerties at the University at Albany.

The Silver Warriors showed no signs of rust after a four-day layoff between the Section II, Class B final and the regional semifinal. They jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, and they never looked back as they out-shot the Sawyers 42-4 in the game.

Colin Foster led a balanced Niskayuna attack with four goals and two assists. Dan and Justin McKinney each contributed three goals, while Franze, Nolan Connors and Bobby Horan all tallied twice.

It was Niskayuna's second shutout of the playoffs. The Silver Warriors opened Sectionals with a 22-0 whitewashing of Troy May 26. Niskayuna has outscored its five playoff opponents 91-7."

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