ALBANY With one big push, the Shenendehowa boys lacrosse team took control of Saturday's Section II Class A final.
The Plainsmen went on a 9-0 run in the second half to pull away for an 18-10 victory over Shaker at the University at Albany's John Fallon Field.
Brian Rogers scored seven goals, and four other Shen players had multi-goal games against Shaker (16-3).
"Let's give all the credit to Shen. They did a great job of coaching and preparing for this game," said Shaker coach Shawn Hennessey.
Shen (16-3) built an 8-3 lead in the first half on the strength of five goals from Rogers. Tim Leahey and Nick Dodd scored late in the second quarter to pull Shaker within three goals, and Dodd added his second marker early in the third quarter to cut the Plainsmen's lead to 8-6.
Rogers snatched the momentum back for Shen when he scored his sixth goal a short time later. From there, the Plainsmen kept piling on goals until Shaker's Liam King ended the Plainsmen's 9-0 run with a goal midway through the fourth quarter. By that point, Shen was in control.
"They were very good with the ball today," Hennessey said of Shen. "They were patient, and they moved the ball very well."
Nick Arnold, D.J. Edick and Joe Romano all contributed hat tricks, and Kyle Marr added a pair of goals for the Plainsmen, who advance to Wednesday's Class A regionals.
Leahey struck for three late goals to raise his game total to four in his final game for Shaker.
"We're going to miss Tim a lot," said Hennessey. "He was a three-year starter, and he did a lot for us. All three of our senior captains were very instrumental in our success."
Though his team fell short of winning the title, Hennessey said he was proud of the way his players competed against a Shen team that had beaten the Blue Bison 16-3 nine days earlier in the final game of the Suburban Council season.
"Our kids had nothing but fight in them," said Hennessey. "They left their hearts and their souls on the field."