LAKELAND, N.Y.— Led by Michael Minard (3G, 2A), John Jay’s boys lacrosse squad defeated Section 2 champion Ballston Spa 15-4 on June 2 at Lakeland High School in a Class B regional championship game to earn a trip to the state final four.
The Indians were slated to play in the state semifinal at Adelphi University on June 6 against Long Island champion Garden City with the winner playing at St. John Fisher College in the state championship game at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 9.
The win that moved the meter however was top-seeded John Jay’s 10-8 victory against No. 2 Yorktown in the Section 1 Class B sectional championship game, also at Lakeland, on May 29, which gave the Indians their first sectional title since 2010 and ended the Huskers’ streak of seven straight sectional crowns.
“We’ve been working hard all year,” said John Jay’s Sean Nolan (3G), who was named the game’s offensive MVP. “Last year we lost in the sectional championship and the year before that. It’s all about this moment and our team rose to the occasion and we won it. It means the world to us.”
For John Jay, it was the second time it defeated Yorktown this season, as it also won the first matchup between the two teams 7-6 on April 6 at John Jay.
“Looking back on it, I think it’s actually huge,” said John Jay coach Tim Schurr, referring to the regular-season win against Yorktown. “We know that probably didn’t mean a whole lot as far as who we were going to play in the playoffs. We figured in all likelihood we’d get back to these guys. But it did show my guys that we could win.”
John Jay took a 3-0 first-quarter lead, with Nolan, scoring twice, courtesy of assists from Dean Ford (1G, 2A) and Minard (1G, 1A), with 2:49 and 2:23 remaining in the quarter on May 29 at Lakeland.
“I just knew our defense was going to stand up,” Nolan said. “I knew that if our offense put in a few goals to give them a buffer room, that everyone would feel more comfortable. The defense put out. Those goals meant a lot to me. It was a great feeling.”
John Jay led 7-3 going into the final quarter before Hunter Embury cut that lead in half when he scored twice, with both assists coming from his twin brother Jamison Embury (1G, 3A), early in the fourth quarter.
Hunter Embury later scored to slice John Jay’s lead to 8-7, with 4:15 remaining in the game.
John Jay (15-4) tallied an unassisted goal by Dean Ford with 3:22 remaining, followed by Bryce Ford (2G) scoring, assisted by Jack Gorman (2A) 54 seconds later, to send its student body into a frenzy and seal the sweetest of John Jay wins.
“We just wanted it more,” John Jay senior defensive standout Thor Adamec said. “For years, this is what it has always come down to: us and Yorktown. We have 17 seniors on the team that really wanted it. We have been really motivated by this. We just really took it to heart and won it.”
Matt Kesicki (2G), Tommy Beeby (1G, 1A), Pat Horan (1A), Mikey Tedesco (11 face-offs won), Shahe Katchadurian (12 saves) and Chase Goldman (1 save) also contributed to the John Jay win.