Yorktown, Pleasantville Fall Short in NYSPHSAA Title Bids

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Huskers, Panthers Ousted in Semis by State Champs

By Ray Gallagher, Examiner Sports Editor @Directrays
It was a crushing end for Brady McEnroe and his Yorktown teammates last Wednesday as their five-goal lead in the second half disappeared and they fell to Long Island champion South Side 10-8 in the Class B state semifinals.

Heartbreak comes in many forms; relationships, careers and many other manners, but a one- or two-goal loss in a NYSPHSAA semifinal boys’ lacrosse game is something that will likely stick for life, considering how close you were to challenging for a state title. Two of Section 1’s finest lax champions – state-ranked (No.6) Class B YORKTOWN and No.2 Class D PLEASANTVILLE – will find it tough to deal with the harrowing memories of what went down last Wednesday on the campus of SUNY Albany and Fallon Field where the Cornhuskers and Panthers, respectively, were dealt two of the toughest setbacks in program history.

Seven-time NYS champion Yorktown need not be reminded that it squandered a 7-2 lead with 4:04 remaining in the third quarter of a mind-blowing 10-8 loss to top-ranked Section 8 champion South Side (21-1), who rallied to tally eight on the last nine goals over the game’s final 16 minutes. Among the finest lacrosse programs in the nation, the 42-time Section 1 champion Cornhuskers (15-6) will deal accordingly and return in 2025 loaded for bear, though 15th- and 16th-ranked Horace Greeley and Somers will have something to say about that.

The Cyclones went on to win the state title in a thrilling, 12-11, overtime triumph of Section 5 champion Victor Saturday afternoon at Hofstra University.

Emmet McDermott of Pleasantville uses a screen from teammate Aidan Cotter to set up a shot at the cage early in the second half of the Panthers’ 6-5 Class D state semifinal loss to Cold Spring Harbor last week at SUNY Albany’s Fallon Field.

Pleasantville – which trailed 3-0 and never led in the game – thought, momentarily, it had forced overtime against No.1 Cold Spring Harbor after a disallowed goal by All-Section Panther junior Nick Reich with 6.6 seconds left, leaving the Panthers to deal with equal off-season heartbreak after the Seahawks fought off a four-period comeback attempt and held on for a 6-5 semifinal win.

CSH, one of the finest program’s in the nation, went on to produce a third-straight NYS title (7th overall) in Saturday morning’s 12-7 over Section 3’s champion Marcellus at Hofstra University.

In the end, Yorktown and Pleasantville were two of the four Section 1 teams to lose to the mighty Long Islanders by a combined five goals in four incredibly entertaining semifinal games. Class C No.5 Rye suffered a 9-8 loss to top-ranked, state champ Bayport-Blue Point (Section 11), and Class A No.11 Mamaroneck was dealt a 9-8 loss to No.3 Farmingdale, the state runner-up to Section 5’s McQuaid. In sum, Long Island won three of the state’s four classifications.


Yorktown sophomore Gianluca Marchini tries to get past South Side’s Jack Lozito during the first quarter of last Wednesday’s Class B state semifinal playoff game at SUNY Albany.

Yorktown had the Cyclones right where they wanted them, drenched in a 7-2 downpour, swimming for survival. Husker senior M Ryan Vogel scored an unassisted goal at 6:53 of the first for a 1-0 lead. Yorktown G Hunter Mezzatesta (20 saves) made two big saves at 4:48 and 3:15 before South Side rallied for two goals and a 2-1 lead heading into the second while they sought their second state title in 20 years. Yorktown’s Ryan Kane found a high-flying Dylan DelVecchio at 8:46 of the second to tie at 2-2. The Huskers (15-6) got on a roll from there. All-Section M Drew Weissman (4G) and sophomore Gianluca Marcini scored two unanswered goals in blink-quick fashion to give the Huskers a 4-2 halftime lead.

Weissman went low to score the first goal of the third period at 7:18 for a 5-2 Husker lead. DelVecchio found the back of the net off a pole-to-pole exchange from All-American LSM Chris Constantine at 5:02 for a 6-2 lead. Weissman completed his hat trick at 4:04 of the fourth for a 7-2 Husker lead, but the well ran dry when CSH dialed up four goals in a 3:30 span to end the third quarter trailing 7-6, Cyclones Owen West (3G) and Michael Aiello (2G, 4A), among the best players in the nation, leading the charge.

Yorktown senior Ryan Vogel gets set to launch a shot toward the cage during the Huskers’ season-ending 10-8 loss to the South Side Cyclones in last Wednesday’s state semifinal playoff game at SUNY Albany’s John Fallon Field.

The Huskers were on the ropes, no doubt about it. Constantine went to the X to counter Cyclone FOGO Michael Melkonian’s edge at the draw box. That didn’t work as he picked up one of 11 GBs and won 19 of 22 faceoffs on the day. Cyclone Patrick Costello came off the bench to make an impact, knotting the score at 7-all at 8:34 of the fourth, scoring a point-blank goal that Mezzatesta stood no chance on. It was make-it-take-it from them there as the Cyclones won nearly every key faceoff and took advantage of several untimely Yorktown penalties/turnovers, leading to a 9-7 South Side advantage. Weissman’s fourth goal of the game with 2:12 left provided hope for the Huskers, who trailed 9-8, but another Husker turnover led to the cushion the Cyclones would need when Cole DPietro (2G) worked several swim moves and tickled twine for the final margin.

“Tough loss but that happens in sports,” said Vogel, who turned in an All-Section campaign. “It was a very tough game and we came out hot going up 7-2 near the middle of the third. We got some tough penalties, which they capitalized on and we lost the momentum. We just couldn’t get it back, and they were able to play good lacrosse when it mattered the most and come up on top.”

Ryan Cane of Yorktown moves past Owen West of South Side as he starts a Husker transition from defense to offense in the second quarter of last week’s 10-8 loss to the Cyclones in the Class B state semifinals.

Husker pole Brady McEnroe grabbed six GB’s while D Conor Duncan grabbed three.


If there was ever a loss that was a complete and total kick in the can: A potential, game-tying goal in the waning seconds disallowed by an official’s judgment call.

“This is the worst feeling in the world,” Reich admitted. “Working hard all season to get that one goal with the squad and for it to come up short, especially how it did with that last play, just sucks so much.”

The three-goal deficit didn’t help the Panthers (18-3), and it took a total team effort to dig out of the hole, which the Panthers did when Reich scored off a choice feed from Hank McCourtney to tie the game at 5-all before CSH’s prototypical middie Ryan McCloin dropped the game-winning goal at 2:17 of the fourth.

Pleasantville’s Erik Coleman turns on the speed to move past Cold Spring Harbor’s Bennett Vitagliano in the third quarter of last Wednesday afternoon’s Class D state semifinal at SUNY Albany.

“I didn’t think that was our best game we’ve played all year,” Reich said, “but our defense played absolutely outstanding, and just a couple more plays on offense could’ve put us on the other side of this outcome. I’m just so proud of all the guys on this team, everyone worked so hard and we all glued together when we needed each other. We didn’t get the result we wanted, but I learned a lot along the path from these amazing leaders and seniors, and I can’t wait to use what I’ve learned and seen in the next year.”

After McGloin put CSH up 4-1 at 3:43 of the second quarter, Reich followed up an Emmott McDermott goal and Pleasantville senior Erik Coleman did all one could do, scoring twice at :06 left in the half and then again at 8:27 of the third to make it 5-4, CSH, while the Seahawks threw the kitchen sink at Panther All-American Daniel Picart (1A). Tough-as-nails P’Ville sophomore M David Hundzynski did all he could do at the X to provide possession.

Like he was all season, Pleasantville G Andrew Nessel was a machine, churning out huge save after huge save, but he was up against a tall order given the number of turnovers the Panthers committed (10 unofficially), the last of which led to McGloin’s game-winning goal.

Pleasantville senior Hank McCourtney works his way toward the cage before sending a shot at Cold Spring Harbor goalie Matt Kammer during last Wednesday’s 6-5 Panther loss to the Seahawks in the state Semifinals up at SUNY Albany.

Reich was all so close to forcing OT.

“Probably the right call,” Panther Coach Chris Kear said of the no-goal call. “Losses rarely come down to one play. We had numerous opportunities throughout the game to put the game away and we didn’t.  Hats off to Cold Spring Harbor for a great game plan and execution of the game plan.  Our kids battled hard, unfortunately slow starts were a theme in 2024.  We were outscored in the first quarter in almost every big game this season, we were able to dig our way out most of the time.  Eventually it will come back to haunt you at the worst time, which is what I feared would happen.

“Our goalie, Andrew Nessel played outstanding, bailing us out of situations all game long with timely saves some of which were right on the doorstep,” Kear added.  “We just couldn’t generate enough offense against their zone D to get them to call it off and go man to man.  It was a game of inches.”



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