GUILDERLAND At Guilderland, winning the Suburban Council South Division boys lacrosse title is the first priority.
“Goal No. 1 every year is to win the division,” said Guilderland coach Sean McConaghy. “Goal No. 2 is to get to the Sectional finals.”
65 total votes.
The road to the Section II Class A final is different this year with Niskayuna – the team that has beaten Guilderland in the semifinals each of the past two seasons – moving to Class B. But, senior Stephen Polsinelli said it’s still tough.
“It’s going to be a dogfight,” said Polsinelli. “(Niskayuna) dropping down is huge, but there are still several talented teams in Class A. It’s going to come down to who wants it more.”
Winning the South Division is a challenge in itself for Guilderland, said McConaghy, especially with Shaker in the mix.
“Shaker has got some studs returning on offense, and they’ve always got good defensive players,” said McConaghy.
Guilderland has experience going for it. The Dutchmen return most of last year’s lineup, including their top four scorers – Polsinelli, Jake Smith, Cody Dyer and Brad Johnston.
“We’ve got a lot of seniors -- 13 of them,” said McConaghy. “It’s always nice to have seniors at the end of their year because they’re hungry and determined.”
“If you’re going to one of our games, watch the seniors because we’ll be the ones to pull it out at the end,” said Polsinelli.
The goaltending position is also set with the return of senior Jesse Futia, who sat out his junior season.
“He committed himself to wrestling in his junior season,” said McConaghy. “But we have six senior defensemen, and they told him, ‘Dude, you’re coming with us.’ So, he’s coming back.”
Guilderland gets its first Suburban Council test April 2 when it visits South Division rival Columbia. The Dutchmen travel to Bethlehem April 4 before playing their home opener against CBA April 9.