By Mike Dougherty
WHITE PLAINS - It only took a couple of minutes for Yorktown to confirm what friends and rivals have been talking about on the sidelines all season.
Nobody else is even a close second.
The Huskers simply ran by John Jay on Friday, capturing a third consecutive Section 1 Class B title with a mundane 17-3 win in a cold rain at White Plains High School. It was the 36th championship in program history.
“We came out a little heated today,” said Yorktown midfielder Brian Prestreau, who had four goals. “We really wanted to show everyone in the section that first win against John Jay wasn’t a fluke and that we are the best team in the section.”
While the Huskers were anxious to get a hold of the championship hardware, there wasn’t much of a celebration.
“They’re a good team, we just played well today,” said Yorktown attackman Nicky Bonitatibus, who had four assists. “It’s definitely a big deal to win section. You gotta win the section to move on. And while it might not have looked like a big deal to us, it was.”
Next up for the Huskers is a state regional semifinal on Wednesday against the Section 2 winner at the University at Albany. Ballston Spa and Niskayuna are playing on Saturday.
“We finished three or four goals we had coming into the season, and we have a couple more of them coming up,” said Yorktown attackman Nick Mariano, who had six goals for the second game in a row. “It would be nice to finish those out.”
There are four teams currently ranked in the Under Armor-Inside Lacrosse national power rankings still alive in Class B – Niskayuna, Garden City, Jamesville-DeWitt and the Huskers – so that elusive state title will not come easy.
Top-seeded Yorktown (17-2) has come out with good intensity all season long, but there have been instances when the execution was lacking.
Everything was clicking against the No. 3 Indians (12-7).
“It wasn’t our day – defensively, offensively we just weren’t getting it done,” John Jay long-stick midfielder Jack Lambert said. “The energy level they have is unbelievable.”
That was evident.
Mariano got the Huskers on the board first with a man-up goal with 10:37 to go in the first, and Nick Del Bene doubled the lead. Shawn Smith picked up a loose ball and got John Jay momentarily closer, but the answer came in the form of a deflating 9-0 run by Yorktown.
The goals were coming from every angle.
Prestreau went inside and low. Del Bene converted with a high rip. Prestreau ran down the right alley. Luke Palmadesso and Danny Manning took turns feeding Connor Vercruysse and the Huskers were up 7-1 at the end of the opening quarter.
And there were plenty more where those came from in the second.
“We play, I think, one of the best defenses in the country every day in practice and that’s why our offense has been so successful this year,” Prestreau said.