WEST NYACK, N.Y. – There wasn’t much of a celebration after Yorktown’s convincing 18-7 win over Section 2’s Queensbury in a Class B regional final on Saturday at Clarkstown South High School.
The focus quickly shifted to Garden City.
Yorktown fell to Section 8’s Garden City, 10-8, in the Class B state semifinals last season. The Huskers will get their rematch with the Trojans in the state semifinals on Wednesday at Hofstra University at 8 p.m.
“We’ve been looking towards this game since last year,” Yorktown’s Nick Mariano said. “Trying to go against them again is just great. We’ve always wanted to play against them again. We’ve got our opportunity.”
From the moment last year’s game with Garden City ended it has been on the Huskers’ minds.
“We can’t lose our temper and we just have to keep our heads up,” Yorktown’s Brian Prestreau said. “It’s been on all of our minds for like the whole year.”
The Huskers (16-4) jumped out to a 15-2 halftime lead against Queensbury. Prestreau scored four goals and had an assist in the first half. Nick Mariano added three goals and three assists.
“We were just moving the ball and we when we move the ball our offense clicks,” said Prestreau, a junior midfielder. “We just don’t want our season to end right now. This is a very special group and we’re all a family. We just want to keep it rolling.”
Connor Vercuysse (3G), Conor Gately (2G, 3A) and Frank Fusco (2A) also did all of their damage in the first half. Vercruysse scored two goals within 19 seconds to get the Huskers out to a 2-0 lead. Prestreau netted a goal with six seconds left in the first quarter to extend the lead to 7-0.
“We were just getting the ball off the ground,” Yorktown coach Dave Marr said. “Obviously the key to the game is having possession. We did a very good job of getting the ball and moving the ball, too. We weren’t being selfish.”
Yorktown was up 11-0 before Queensbury got on the board on a goal from John Countryman with 4:39 left in the first half. Mariano closed out the first half with two goals in the final 50 seconds, including one with just 5.7 ticks left on the clock.
“We were just moving the ball a lot,” Mariano said. “If we didn’t move the ball a lot we wouldn’t have gotten a lot of opportunities. That’s what helped us out a lot.”
Danny Manning and Luke Palmadesso were superb on the faceoff X. The Huskers didn’t lose a single faceoff in the first half.
“Danny Manning and Luke Palmadesso are both really good faceoff kids,” Mariano said. “They came out and were on their ‘A’ game and hopefully they keep doing that from here on out.”
“He’s huge,” Prestreau said of Manning. “Without him we wouldn’t get as many possessions and our offense wouldn’t be able to click without him.”
Austin Graham and Zach Reilly combined for five saves.
Yorktown is very much looking forward to playing Garden City again on Wednesday.
“It’s going to be a battle and hopefully we come out hard from the beginning,” Marr said. “Those groundballs, keeping possession of the ball, keeping it away from them and finishing our shots (are important). Their goaltender is very good. He had something like 15 saves against us last year.”