TOWN OVER PUTNAM VALLEY 10-9
PUTNAM VALLEY — Teammates standing on both sidelines leaned in and out watching Ty Schuldt and Dan O'Gorman battle for each faceoff in the final moments, knowing a single possession was likely to make all the difference.
Every play inspired an exaggerated reaction.
Yorktown went back and forth with Putnam Valley on Tuesday before claiming a 10-9 victory. The upset-minded Tigers were clinging to a slim lead going into the fourth quarter, and were looking to seal the first win over the 'Huskers in program history.
"That's what we always talk about, making history," Putnam Valley senior Ryan Fitzgerald said. "We had them right there. Everyone was ready to go. We just came up a little short."
Neither team had any luck corralling momentum.
Yorktown lost Kevin Interlicchio early in the second quarter when the Johns Hopkins signee tweaked a knee on the artificial turf while unleashing a shot. He immediately limped off and was kept on the sideline the rest of the way.
"I kind of relayed the situation over the phone to our trainer back at school, and he gave me the OK to put Kevin back in, but I decided to play it safe," 'Huskers coach Dave Marr said.
Schuldt quickly shouldered the offensive load, finishing with four goals.
The Tigers (3-1) got timely scoring from Shane Kelly and Kevin Christopher, and were leading 7-6 when Johnny van de Veerdonk scored with 24 seconds to go in the third to cap a 3-0 run. Yorktown was feeling some pressure.
"I actually did expect that because they won the Class C final last year and went to a state semifinal, the same place we went to," Schuldt said.
The 'Huskers (3-3) reeled off three straight goals to start the fourth and were up 9-7 when Conor Gately slid inside the defense and finished with 3:20 remaining. Putnam Valley wasn't done. Fitzgerald picked up a loose ball, dodged in and scored with 1:24 to go.
Then came a critical faceoff.
Schuldt leaned in on O'Gorman and took control of the ball. He pushed up the field and quickly hit Remy Lieberman, who set up a goal by Nicholas Mariano a mere 10 seconds after the Tigers celebrated the Fitzgerald goal.
"Ty really took our momentum away," Fitzgerald said. "We couldn't keep it going on offense."
Mariano is only a freshman, and he was on the field because Interlicchio couldn't go.
"We got to the backside and they slid early, and I was open," he said. "I cut to the ball and scored. There wasn't any reason to be nervous. I like big situations."
"Nicky is a good player who's been playing a long time and carries himself differently than most freshmen," Marr said. "I know he was disappointed earlier in the game, missing one when he went one-on-one with the goalie, so I was feeling pretty confident he was going to finish that last one."
Kelly gave Putnam Valley some hope when he skipped in a low shot with 48 seconds to go, and O'Gorman was just about to control the ball on the ensuing faceoff when he got bumped off. A wild scramble broke out and the ball went into the corner and out with 16 seconds left.
It was Tigers ball.
The excitement didn't last because a long outlet pass bounced harmlessly over the sideline before anyone got remotely close.
"I was running down the sideline," Putnam Valley coach Brian Kuczma said. "I had one timeout left and I was just waiting for us to get the ball. We did, eventually, but the big fireball in the sky got in the way. I can't fault the kids. They played their hearts out."