Round 1 goes to the Shenendehowa boys lacrosse team.
Max McAuliffe scored the go-ahead goal with 13 seconds left in the fourth quarter to lift the Plainsmen past Niskayuna 6-5 in Tuesday's showdown of Suburban Council North Division co-leaders.
It was a nice win, said Shen coach Chuck Holohan. "It was nice to come here and play a quality game against a quality opponent and sneak out of here with a win."
"They're a good team, they are the defending Section II Class A champions and it is what it is," said Niskayuna coach Mike Vorgang.
Niskayuna (5-1 league, 7-1 overall) had a chance to take the lead late in the fourth quarter, but Shen goaltender Bobby Wardwell stopped a long shot from Tanner MacIvor with 37 seconds left. Shen's defense cleared the ball to midfield, and Holohan called a timeout with 28 seconds left to set up the offense.
Vorgang said he felt the shot came too soon.
"I wanted to end the [fourth] quarter with the ball because we would have gone to overtime, if nothing else," said Vorgang. "The lesson there is follow the plan. We don't want a 17-foot shot on Bobby [Wardwell]."
On the restart, Shen (6-0, 7-1) worked the ball around to McAuliffe, who got free in front of the Niskayuna goal. The senior attacker took a quick shot that sped past Niskayuna goaltender Evan Quinn's head into the net to put the Plainsmen ahead for good.
"I thought we were passing the ball well all day," said Holohan. "When you're playing a great defensive team like Niskayuna, you're not going to get a lot of points. So, you have to be patient."
"They made a great play, but it all starts with us making a poor defensive play," said Vorgang. "But that's lacrosse. That's a great lacrosse play for them."