Dutchmen overcome sloppiness beat Colonie

GUILDERLAND — It was the first game of the season, and it looked like it for the Guilderland boys’ lacrosse team.

Unlike last year’s opener, the Dutchmen played a sloppy first game on Tuesday but came away with a win over Suburban Council rival Colonie.

Aaron Cahill’s goal in the middle of a scrum with 4:46 left in the fourth and final quarter proved to be the difference in a 10-9 win for Guilderland.

“This was our first time seeing another team’s offense and another team’s defense,” said Guilderland Coach Sean McConaghy. “We rode well and cleared the ball well. We didn’t put the ball on the cage.”

The game was close throughout as Colonie played well and brought physical toughness against the better skilled Dutchmen.

The Dutch had to come back in the fourth quarter to get the win.

The third quarter ended in an 8-8 tie, but Colonie scored first in the final frame to take the lead.

John Charton scored just 30 seconds into the stanza off an assist from Dan Sofia to give the Garnet Raiders the lead.

Colonie maintained the lead until Guilderland senior midfielder Brian Linehan tied the contest with a tally. Linehan got a pass from classmate Quinn Connell to the left of the goal and fired a shot into the lower far corner to tie the game 9-9.

A few minutes later, Colonie was a man down after a penalty. During the Guilderland extra-man opportunity, the ball was loose in front of the goal with players from Colonie and Guilderland swiping at it. Cahill, who played hockey during the winter for the Dutchmen, got his stick on the ball and flicked it into the goal to give his team the lead.

The Dutchmen were able to hold on to the ball in the last three minutes and ran out the clock, holding on for the win.

Back and forth

Guilderland led, 2-1, at the end of the first quarter.

Cahill scored off an assist from Linehan with 10:42 left in the opening stanza.

D.J. O’Connell answered for Colonie on an unassisted tally with 8:34 left in the quarter.

Linehan scored at 7:29 left in the frame with an assist from Rory Nunamacher.

The Garnet Raiders tied the game early in the second quarter.

O’Connell picked up his second goal of the game after driving around the goal and firing a shot on goal.

Travis Moore tallied for Guilderland with 10:31 left in the second quarter. Cahill assisted on the goal that put the Dutchmen up 3-2.

Guilderland took a 4-2 lead on a man-up tally by Moore. Connell assisted on the goal that came with 9:41 left in the second stanza.

Brian Sleasman pulled Colonie closer with an unassisted goal at 9:04 left in the frame.

Nunamacher gave the Dutch the lead with 8:02 left in the second quarter. Nunamacher faked a pass and, with the defense out of position, fired a shot in the upper right corner of the goal for the score.

The Garnet Raiders got closer with 7:11 left on a man-up goal by O’Connell. Charton assisted on the tally to make the score 5-4.

Paul Jones scored for Guilderland with 6:11 left until halftime. He received a pass right in front of the goal and fired a shot past the Colonie goalie.

Colonie answered right back with a goal from Garret Dollard. Sleasman assisted on the goal that came with 2:15 left in the first half.

Moore scored another goal for Guilderland with 32 seconds left before halftime. He cut to the goal and got a pass from Cahill and put the ball into the back of the net to give the Dutch a 7-5 lead.

Making strides

Colonie scored two unanswered goals in the third quarter to tie the game.

Sleasman scored with an assist from Dollard with 6:50 left in the frame and Sofia scored an unassisted goal with 4:47 left in the third stanza to tie the game, 7-7.

Colonie took the lead on a goal by Dollard with 1:51 left. Sofia assisted on the tally.

Guilderland answered right back with a goal by Moore with 1:38 left in the period. Connell assisted on the goal.

“They did what they what they were supposed to,” McConahgy said of Colonie. “They drew the double team, passed the ball, then passed it again and got goals. That is what you’re supposed to do on offense. They did it; we didn’t.”

McConaghy wished his team held possession of the ball more in Tuesday’s contest.

“We weren’t taking care of the ball,” he said. “We work on it every day for a quarter of practice.”

And practice is all the Dutchmen have done so far this season.

“Five weeks of practice stinks,” McConaghy said. “It’s still a game and it’s a win. Last year, we played our first game and we lose. We rode well and our man-up was two-for-two and man-down was two-for-two. We also got a lot of ground balls.”

McConaghy also admitted that Colonie has some talent on its side as well.

“D.J. O’Connell and Dollard are good players,” he said. “They could start on a lot of teams around here and be the best players.”

The Dutch will take a lot from their opening game, and work toward their next contest Thursday against Shenendehowa.

“We will make strides towards our next opponent,” McConaghy said. “We have three games next week and three the following week. We’ll continue to make strides every single day and compete every single day like it’s a game.”

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