Guilderland beats Bethlehem to reach Class A boys' lacrosse final – Times Union

This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate
GUILDERLAND CENTER — Each time Dillon Blanchard won a draw for the Guilderland boys’ lacrosse team Friday, the junior became more energized and his teammates subsequently fed off that rush.
The Dutchmen, needing a victory against Bethlehem to earn a championship appearance, excelled in every aspect of the game. It started with Blanchard, flowed through the exploits from midfielders such as Caleb Jacobson, Danny Macchiarella and Mitchell MacKissock, extended to attack Tommy Tykinski, Logan Broomhall and Kevin Gutknecht and ended in the back with stellar work from goalie James Meier. It all added up to a 12-7 victory over the Eagles in the Section II Class A semifinals.
The second-seeded Dutchmen (11-3) collected their third win this season against Bethlehem and advanced to the Class A final Tuesday against No. 4 seed Shaker. The Blue Bison stunned top-seeded Niskayuna 9-7, denying the Silver Warriors an 18th consecutive trip to a sectional final.
“I am very happy with my team. We have been playing together for years and years,” Blanchard said. “It is great to watch it come together and beat a team like Bethlehem and move on to the finals is a great feeling. I want to bring it home for my school and I am sure the rest of the team does too.”
Guilderland will be playing in its first sectional final since 2009 when it faced Shaker that season for the title. The same two schools battled for the Section II Class AA football championship during Fall Season II competition with Guilderland edging Shaker by a point.
“It is so satisfying,” said Broomhall, who tallied two goals and three assists Friday and also served as the football team’s starting quarterback. “It is the same thing with football: these are guys that I have such a strong bond with. We have known each other since we were little kids, grew up together going to the ice cream shop after practice.”
Guilderland certainly treated itself to a quality performance Friday, grabbing a quick 2-0 advantage on goals by MacKissock and Broomhall. Blanchard continued to make his presence felt in the second quarter as he helped the Dutchmen establish a 7-3 halftime cushion.
“Once he gets his momentum going, he is one of the best in the section,” Broomhall said of Blanchard.
Tyksinski, who led the way with five goals, scored two goals in a 36-second span and added an assist in the second quarter. Blanchard’s wins in the circle helped Guilderland dominate time of possession and Meier (13 saves) made some huge saves.
“We went in knowing Dillon was really hungry to win the faceoffs, so we let him work. He got us the ball and we finished,” Tyksinski said. “We are really excited to get the win.”
“Dillon winning the faceoffs, James in the goal and we ran our middies into the ground so (Bethlehem) didn’t have the offensive game they wanted and our attack took over,” Guilderland coach Sean McConaghy said. “Everything came together.”
Bethlehem pulled within 7-4 on a goal from Ben Robinson and still trailed by that deficit entering the final minute of the third quarter until Tyksinski spun against three defenders and rifled home his shot attempt for his fourth goal.
“He loves to shoot. He had a couple where he dished and should have shot,” McConaghy said.
“I got stuck inside, but I knew if I could get my hands free I could shoot,” Tyksinski said.
“He has always been a competitor,” Broomhall said of Tyksinski.
Seven seconds after Tyksinski’s tally, Blanchard won another draw and passed the ball to Broomhall, who set up Gutknecht at point-blank range for his second goal and a 9-4 lead.
“Having Dillon there really helps out. His wing play has been great,” McConaghy said. “The ability to go down and chip away on the fast break really helps out.”
During the regular season, Guilderland edged Shaker 8-7 in double overtime May 22 on a goal by Macchiarella.
“I am expecting a very competitive game. We’ve got their respect and they have ours. I just can’t wait,” Broomhall said.
“I have been proud of them, win or lose, all year long,” McConaghy said of his team. “I feel like they grew up with me and (the other coaches). We’re looking forward to Tuesday.”
James Allen has covered Section II athletics since 1989. He also works as a broadcaster for local radio and television outlets. He joined the Times Union in 2006. He covers high school sports. Contact him at [email protected] or 518-454-5062.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *