ALBANY - Yorktown scored seven goals in the first quarter, converted its first three extra-man opportunities and held its opponent scoreless for almost 35 minutes.
On offense, defense and special teams, Yorktown was back to looking like Section 1's most dominant team. The Cornhuskers beat Section 2 champion Guilderland 16-4 at the University at Albany to advance to the state semifinals for the third straight year, where they will face West Islip tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. at Middletown High School.
"We came out hot and we stayed hot the entire game," all-America defenseman John Fennessy said. "We didn't let up at all for 48 minutes."
The Cornhuskers (18-2) needed a fourth-quarter comeback and overtime to beat Lakeland/Panas for the sectional championship. No such theatrics were needed yesterday against the Dutchmen (20-3), who beat Lakeland/Panas and shut out Mahopac during the season.
Johns Hopkins-bound midfielder John Ranagan collected the opening faceoff and fed Remy Lieberman, who made a backdoor cut and was wide-open in front of the cage. Just 12 seconds in, Lieberman had the first of his team-high four goals.
"I did a pretty bad job of distributing the ball in the section final, and first play I got to redeem myself," Ranagan said. "I knew it was going to be a good day after that."
Extra-man goals by Ranagan, future Johns Hopkins teammate Kevin Interlicchio (three goals, one assist) and Ty Schuldt (three goals) gave Yorktown a 5-1 lead with 7:22 remaining in the first quarter.
"Our extra-man offense has been working great this year," Lieberman said. "We just work the ball around so well it caught the defense off guard."
Guilderland scored twice in the next two minutes to make it 5-3, but goalie Michael Bonitatibus (four saves) and starting defenders Fennessy, Ethan Fox and Brett Cabriele helped keep the Dutchmen scoreless for the next 34:10. It wasn't until 7:33 remained in the game - and the starters were giving each other high-fives on the bench - that Guilderland found the net again