Guilderland boys' lacrosse tops Shaker in Class A final – Times Union

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AMSTERDAM — Guilderland used a 4-1 second quarter to top Shaker 11-6 in the Class A boys’ lacrosse championship, the Dutchmen’s first time in the title game since facing Shaker in 2009.
Kevin Gutknecht and Dan Macchiarella each had a hat trick in the win. Tommy Tyksinski had two goals.
“I think our team just stepped it up today,” said Tyksinski. “We knew where to shoot, so we kept on shooting and eventually it went in the back of the net.”
He finished the season with 30 goals and 11 assists.
“We were looking forward to great things with these guys last year,” said Guilderland coach Sean McConaghy, but the season was canceled due to COVID-19.
This year, “we planned on being in this game from the beginning of the season, that’s all we talked about all year long, and they put it together today, for sure,” he said.
Matt Calicchia did all the scoring for the Blue Bison in the first half, including a shot three minutes into the second quarter that went in off the stick of Guilderland goalie James Meier to put Shaker ahead 3-2. 
A 2-2 deadlock after the first quarter made it look like the championship could become a replay of Guilderland’s win over Shaker earlier in the season, an 8-7 win in double overtime. But after Calicchia’s goal, the Dutchmen took control.
Gutknecht and Tyksinski each scored, giving the Dutchmen a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
A shot from Macchiarella extended Guilderland’s lead to two, and Mitchell MacKissock scored with two minutes left, sending the Dutchmen into halftime up 6-3.
Guilderland had possession for much of the third quarter, although both teams scored. Gutknecht got the ball past Shaker goalie Ryan Mazzariello one-on-one, and Eric Hennessy penetrated the Dutchmen’s defense and scored for the Blue Bison with just more than a minute left in the quarter.
The Blue Bison got within two early in the fourth when Hennessy got the ball past Guilderland goalie Riley McGover and a defender, but Caleb Jacobson responded less than a minute later off a pass from Macchiarella to stifle the comeback and put Guilderland up 8-5.
Macchiarella scored two minutes later, adding to his first-quarter goal, and again with just less than five minutes to go. Jacobson had his second and final goal a few seconds later.
Michael Lacouture scored Shaker’s last goal.
The Blue Bison upset Niskayuna in the semifinals, but were unable to repeat the feat.
“We competed for 48 minutes; I think our effort was exceptional,” said Shaker coach Shawn Hennessey. “Ultimately, Guilderland just had a really good day today.” 
“We were a little rushed, which is subject to what Guilderland did to us, and I think we gave them a lot of extra opportunities to score in our defensive end by giving them the ball back,” he added.
Dillon Blanchard’s success with faceoffs helped Guilderland, particularly in the second half, said McConaghy.
“We wanted to play loose and have fun and push the ball all day long. We didn’t get a chance to do it early because they had the ball, but in the second half we got a chance to do that when we started winning faceoffs,” he said.
The offense’s willingness to be patient and wait for the right opening also proved key.
“We were just running out the clock,” Jacobson said. “We knew it was going to be a close game, we knew we’d have to hold it at the end, so we were prepared.”
Meier made a critical save at the end of the third to preserve Guilderland’s lead, deflecting a shot from Owen Wilson.
The Guilderland fans weren’t on the field, but made their presence known anyway, glad to be back after a year without lacrosse.
Having fans back “was just like reality again,” McConaghy said.
Abigail Rubel covers UAlbany men’s and women’s basketball and other high school, college and professional sports. She also writes the Getting There column answering reader questions and covering local transportation issues. Abigail previously reported for the Voice of America and New York Family magazine. She graduated from Columbia University in 2019. You can reach her at [email protected]


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