Better days for Adirondack boys 146 lax

NEW ROCHELLE — Guilderland’s Aaron Cahill, was hoping that his experience at this year’s Empire State Games would be better than last.

It appeared to be heading that way as Adirondack won more lacrosse games — one — than last year. But Cahill did not get to enjoy that victory.

Cahill got knocked out in the game and missed the ending of his first Empire State Games victory.

Cahill sat out the next game, later that day against Long Island, but played in the rest of the tournament.

Cahill said that he was fine during the Long Island game, and was ready to get back onto the field. He said that he was knocked out cold but did not suffer a concussion.

Cahill was happy to get a win under his belt. Last year, he and former Guilderland teammate Scott Raffensperger did not win a game as members of the Adirondack team.
"We definitely improved from last year," Cahill said. "It’s a little bit different."

Mixed results

The Adirondack team opened the tournament with an 11-6 loss to Western, but came back for a big 10-5 win over Hudson Valley on Friday morning.

Cahill picked up an assist in the Western game.

Adirondack lost, 16-6, to eventual gold-medalist Long Island on Friday night, in the game Cahill sat out.

Rory Nunamacher, a Guilderland junior-to-be, picked up an assist in Friday night’s contest.

Adirondack bounced back to beat New York City on Saturday for its second win of the tournament and set up a chance for a bronze medal on Sunday against Central.
"We really want a medal," Cahill said after the game against Long Island. "It would be the second medal in three years."

Adirondack has only won two bronze medals in the 30-year history of the games.
"We’re still in the hunt," said Kip Stillman, another Guilderland player. "We have two losses, but we have to play well in our next two games. We can’t look back; we just have to go for wins."

Adirondack played well against a tough Central team, which won the silver medal, before losing, 8-7.

Adirondack led, 2-0, at the end of the first quarter and the teams were tied 3-3 at halftime. Central led, 6-5, at the end of the third quarter and Adirondack could not catch up in the final period.


Cahill, Stillman, and Nunamacher were happy to be competing in the games even after the big loss to Long Island. Cahill and Nunamacher are midfielders and Stillman is a defenseman.
"It’s exciting," Nunamacher said.
"The first game we watched, I started getting butterflies," Stillman said.

For the veteran, Cahill, it is still a fun experience, though this was different.
"Last year, we were all in one area in the dorms," he said. "We’re a lot spread out. If we want to go watch girls’ volleyball, we’re 30 minutes away."
"The dorms are fun," Nunamacher added.

The Adirondack team is also different in that it has a new coaching staff.

Former Guilderland varsity coach Tom Schwan took over the team this year and was aided by his long-time assistant at Guilderland, P.J. Williams. Schwan is now the coach at Christian Brothers Academy and Williams is an assistant coach at Niskayuna High School.
"He coached a lot of us, back in the day," Nunamacher said.
"He got us playing lacrosse pretty much," Stillman added. "Especially me and Rory."
"A higher level"

A big part of playing in the Empire State Games is to be noticed by college coaches, as all three Guilderland players want to pursue lacrosse in college.

While Cahill is the only rising senior, and the only player seriously looking at schools, Nunamacher and Stillman are getting their first exposure to college coaches.

Cahill is interested in the University of Delaware and LeMoyne College in Syracuse.
"I’m 50-50 between Delaware and LeMoyne," he said.
"It’s fun," Stillman said of competing in the games. "We want to take a lot from it and see what we can do against other kids. And, hopefully that will take us to a higher level."

The Guilderland trio also hopes that playing in the games will help prepare them for next spring’s high school season.
"Everything I’m learning this summer is only going to help my play for next year," Stillman said.
"I can’t wait for next year," Nunamacher added. "This is helping us for next season."

The trio hopes that the work from this summer will pay off next year so that they can win the championship that they have been denied for the past three seasons.
"We want to win Section II," Nunamacher said.
"Enough of this runner-up stuff," Cahill added.
"We’ve been working all summer for this," Stillman added. "We’re hoping that it pays off big."

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