ROTTERDAM — Austin Wagner turned to a teammate in disbelief. “Every time I got the ball, they mobbed me,” the Glens Falls defenseman said with ‘what am I supposed to do’ in his tone.
Lacrosse is a simple game, coach Tim Northrop explained, it’s all about possession.
Pleasantville just didn’t give Glens Falls many chances with the ball in Saturday’s Class C state quarterfinal.
“That’s all they did,” midfielder Andrew Stamatel said after the 15-5 loss. “It showed on the scoreboard. They had more attempts and they had three times as many goals.”
The Indians (12-5) made some adjustments to their man defense as the game went on and eventually switched to a zone, which they don’t usually like to do. But they could not solve the Panthers’ potent offense.
They largely shut down Brian Reda, who has 73 goals on the season and only scored twice Saturday, but couldn’t cover him and Declan McDermott at the same time. McDermott had six goals in the game.
“That’s why you try to repeat as sectional champion, to get this experience,” Northrop said. “So your younger players know what’s coming. If you haven’t seen it before, it’s impressive.”
Pleasantville, out of Section I, plays some impressive teams, including some from Long Island, known for strong lacrosse. Glens Falls does what it can to play high-level teams, but has a hard time scheduling the bigger classes in the area.
Northrop figures Pleasantville (17-4) is a step ahead of Glens Falls in terms of development. The Panthers have gotten to the quarterfinals four years in a row and are trying to figure out how to get over the next step (getting past the Long Island teams) to the state championship.
Glens Falls won its first sectional title since 2013. The Indians have been here before, but not with these players, and they haven’t gotten further.
“So everyone is at a different stage of development,” Northrop said. “It’s hard when you have high school kids, some for only two years, to know what’s coming. We have five or six freshman on our roster today. The hope is they see what it’s going to take to take the next step as a program.”
Stamatel is a senior, so he won’t be back here next year, but the biggest thing he’d like the underclassmen to take away is the speed.
The Indians aren’t hanging their heads, though. Their goals were to win the Foothills Council and Section II. They did the latter.
“Section champs?” Julian Winston asked the huddle after the game. “We’ll take it.”