SARATOGA SPRINGS Sean McConaghy wasn’t certain what he’d see out of his Guilderland boys lacrosse team in Saturday’s season opener against Queensbury.
What McConaghy saw, he liked.
Kevin Dyer’s goal midway through the third quarter turned out to be the game winner as the Dutchmen pulled away for a 9-5 victory over the Spartans at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs.
“That’s exactly what we hoped for to start the season,” said McConaghy.
There were several questions the Dutchmen had to answer – at least partially – in the opener. For one thing, how would Guilderland’s young defense respond against a high-powered Queensbury attack that scored early and often in a 16-1 victory over Troy March 27 and pushed Big 10 title contender LaSalle before losing 9-8 March 25.
For the most part, Guilderland ably handled Queensbury’s offense. Goaltender Sam DiPace turned aside 12 shots in his first varsity start, and the defensive unit in front of him forced Queensbury to be deliberate with its approach.
“Since he’s started playing, he’s gone to all the camps and asked all the right questions of his coaches,” McConaghy said of DiPace.
Queensbury rallied from a 5-3 halftime deficit by scoring the first two goals of the third quarter, but Dyer’s tally got Guilderland back on track. The Dutchmen finished off the Spartans with three goals in the fourth quarter, with seniors Brad Johnston and Jake Smith leading the way.
“I think it was all seniors involved in three of our last four goals,” said McConaghy. “But it was the freshmen and sophomores who helped out on defense for us the whole game.”
Dyer led Guilderland with a hat trick, while Johnston and Smith each added a pair of goals. Tyler Ramons had two goals and two assists for Queensbury.
The Dutchmen began their Suburban Council season Tuesday with a home game against South Division rival Bethlehem.
The Eagles entered their first league game off a 10-3 victory over Schenectady March 27 that included hat tricks from Brad Bettinger and John Fredette.