YORKTOWN — In a rivalry this meaningful and intense, three years is a long time between wins.
There was plenty to celebrate after John Jay came back and beat Yorktown 8-7 on Saturday afternoon in a clash of lacrosse superpowers. A little more patience was required. The Indians scored the last three goals of the contest before walking off with the victory .
"It felt like an eternity," John Jay attackman Mike Daniello said. "Losing to them is just awful, so this year, we really wanted to turn the table."
Now the 'Huskers will be measuring time in dog years.
The mistakes piled up for both teams, a result of the earlier-than-normal meeting date. Yorktown had a hard time settling in, but goalie Derek Koelsch made a couple of early stops, and Justin Mabus relieved the building tension when he got loose in the middle of the John Jay zone and scored.
Jimmy Morris came up with the answer four minutes later.
A couple of untimely turnovers landed the Indians on the wrong side of a 4-0 run. Mabus, Ty Schuldt, Eric McLee and Kevin Interlicchio found seams in the defense and built a surprising 5-1 lead. John Jay came in ranked 17th in the country.
"We moved the ball and kept banging the goal," Interlicchio said.
Daniello stopped the momentum when he scored with 2:21 to go in the half, and the Indians were able to regroup during the intermission.
The next outburst came from John Jay.
"We started playing offense," head coach Tim Schurr said. "In the first half, we kept turning it over. We just played real good team offense and things began to open up for us. And it didn't hurt starting the second half a man up."
A quick goal from Will O'Donnell got the Indians rolling. Morris and Forrest Walter scored to knot the score. It didn't even take four minutes for John Jay to make it 5-5.
"I don't think we relaxed," Interlicchio said. "They did a good job of keeping the ball and not letting us get any momentum back. You definitely have to be patient against them. You don't want to turn the ball over and have them sit on it for three minutes."
McLee had Yorktown back in front before the end of the quarter. He tacked on another with a nice hesitation move in the opening minute of the fourth.
Daniello scored in transition with 8:04 left to play. He came around the back of the cage a minute later and set up Walter, making it a 7-7 game. And with 4:32 remaining, long-pole defensemanZack Waldman hustled the ball up the field and hit O'Donnell who finished in style.
"I think Zack would've wrung my neck if I hadn't put that one away," O'Donnell said. "It was a great pass, right on my stick. It was just about us going out there and playing to our potential. Yorktown's the biggest game of the season, and you're always going to come out with some nerves."
The energized Indians' ball kept moving in the final minutes, and the 'Huskers were unable to pry it away.
"It was an exciting game and we had some chances, but there are some things we need to fix," 'Huskers coach Dave Marr said. "We preach about the importance of taking care of the ball. Sometimes the kids need to see an example of what can happen if you don't, so this was a good learning experience."