Tigers Tamed by Putnam Valley

Shane Behler changes direction. Credits: Deena Bell

NORTH SALEM, N.Y.— It was just not the North Salem boys lacrosse team’s day as it fell 15-7 to visiting Putnam Valley on Thursday, May 4.

The home team barraged Putnam Valley’s defense to grab an early lead after playing a man-up several times, but lost momentum in the latter part of the first half and trailed 7-5 at the break.

“We were executing plays and doing exactly what we wanted to do,” North Salem coach Matt Garrity said. “We wanted to get the ball behind and get cuts down to the crease to shoot close to the cage. But when you start to have miscommunication on defense, that’s what happens.” 

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North Salem could not turn back the tide, giving up seven more goals during a third period full of miscommunication on both ends of the ball.

“It’s all about mentality,” midfielder Shane Behler said. “When we played Albertus Magnus, we had the mentality that we were going to win and we kept firing the entire game and never gave up. We lacked that mentality today and folded when they got a couple of goals on us. We can’t let that happen.”  

Making matters worse, senior captain Kenny Martin went down in the fourth quarter and was taken off the field in an ambulance.

Jake Lanyi, Zach Prisciandaro and Will O’Leary tallied two goals apiece while Alex Diamond added one as well. Martin dished for two assists. Lanyi, Behler and O’Leary penciled an assist apiece.

On the bright side, the Tigers earned a dramatic 14-13 overtime victory on the road against Albertus Magnus on May 2.

“We had a lot of intensity that game,” Behler said. “Our offense was really fluid and we had a lot of movement of the ball, which helped us get scoring opportunities. Our goaltender Alex Ely also had a really good game to help us stick in it to reach overtime.”

After North Salem led 8-4 at halftime, it found itself down by one goal with 20 seconds left in the game as Lanyi hit a goal to knot the score and force overtime.

Although the Tigers went a man-down to start overtime, a key save by Alex Ely allowed Lanyi to draw a penalty on the fast-break toward the opposite end.

Now up one man for 30 seconds, North Salem pounced on the chance when Behler shook off his defender and scored the game winner.

“I drew one man and tried to dump it off to Jake on the wing,” Behler said. “But Jake had already hit that shot a couple of  times, so the [defender] stayed on him. I was able to just go right down the middle. It was really great.”

The aggressive forward Lanyi exploded for four goals and four assists while Behler racked up three goals and three assists. O’Leary scored three times as Prisciandaro and Diamond each scored two goals. Both Martin and Prisciandaro registered an assist. 

The Tigers (4-8) visited Brewster on Tuesday and traveled for a league-match against Pawling today at 4:30 p.m. They will host Blind Brook on Saturday at 4 p.m. before concluding the regular season at home versus Rye Neck on Monday at 4:30 p.m.

“Especially with Kenny (Martin) going down, we need guys that can run both ways,” Garrity said. “As long as we can figure out who we can rely on, we’ll be fine. I don’t have any doubts that we are not going to finish out the season well.”

Before Saturday’s game with Blind Brook, the team is pairing up with the girls lacrosse team to conduct a fundraising event for the Headstrong Foundation. The organization promotes hospitals’ efforts to acquire the proper equipment in cancer treatment. Both squads will be wearing neon green laces in support.

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