Lacrosse Falls in Final Seconds of Sectional Finals

Photo courtesy of MSG Varsity Sports: “Mamaroneck rebounded after a slow start to the season, but it lost to Lakeland Panas in the sectional finals on a heartbreaking, goal with just six seconds left.”

The talented returning sectional champion Mamaroneck Boys Lacrosse team had a rough start to its 2016 season. The team started 0-3 after suffering fairly close losses to Sachem North, Bronxville and Pleasantville.

Regarding the rough start captain Eric Greenberg ’16 said, “Starting 0-3 was not the way we wanted to start.” He continued, “However, I think everyone had faith that we could be a really good team this year. Our toughest part of our schedule was the beginning, and we were very competitive in all three games, but because of the challenging schedule early we were able to gain experience which helped us throughout the year.” Soon enough, however, the team was 3-3 and eventually ended the season an impressive 13-6. The Tigers earned a third seed bid heading into the sectional playoffs.

In the playoffs, Mamaroneck got a first round bye before beating Wappingers in the quarterfinals, 10- 6, and a long-time rival Mahopac, 14-9, in the semi final round. The sectional final game took place on Wednesday, May 25 at White Plains High School. The Tigers were faced against top seeded Lakeland Panas whose record was 17-1. Earlier in the season, the tigers lost to Lakeland, 14-5. Mamaroneck began the game with a slow start; it was 6-3 at the half. The factors that hurt the Tigers were face-offs and penalties. Senior defensemen Jake Levine ’16 said about the penalties, “There were only two man downs in the game but being able to stop the offense from scoring on a man down is definitely a momentum swing for the team killing the penalty.” As far as face-offs go, the Tigers lost the first 13 of 16 in the game, which made it hard to even get the ball into the offense zone.

During halftime Mamaroneck knew that it needed to turn things around if it wanted a shot at backto-back championships. At the half Levine said, “The team spoke about how we didn’t want it to be the seniors’ last game, and since we have a lot of seniors on the team it really motivated us to go. And for the kids who weren’t seniors, they didn’t want to let us down.”

This statement certainly looked to be true heading into the second half, especially in the fourth quarter. The Tigers adjusted their face off strategy and won four of eight in the fourth quarter. Junior goalkeeper Jack Dente also helped with this effort, ending the game with 12 saves. Additionally, Alex Ewald ’16 added three goals. All of this resulted in a slow but steady comeback with the eventual tying goal coming in for Mamaroneck with 0:28 seconds left from a beautiful shot by Emmett Fay ’17, who had four goals in the game. Then, in a pivotal swing, sadly, the Tigers lost the ensuing face off and gave up the game winning Lakeland Panas goal with only :06 seconds left.

Regardless of the last second season clincher, the team had a great year. Greenberg ’16, who finished the season with 55 goals and 42 assists, will continue his lacrosse career at Lehigh University. Jason Bienstock ’16 and Chris Conley ’16 will continue playing at Union College and Hamilton College, respectively. Overall, the team graduated twelve talented seniors. Summing up the season Greenberg ’16 said, “It was very tough to loose the way we did but I am really proud of the team and how we fought back. We had a great group of guys this year who really cared so we had a fun season. I’m going to miss playing lacrosse at Mamaroneck.”

By Talia Land

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