LAKELAND, N.Y.— It was quite a run for the Lakeland/Panas boys lacrosse squad as it started out as the No. 7 seed but made it to the Section 1 Class A finals, where it hosted top-seeded Mamaroneck in the championship game on May 30.
For the Rebels, they were looking for their fourth title in the last five years and hung tough with the Tigers but in the end fell 16-9, which finished their season.
“I was proud of these kids, I was proud of the senior group,” Lakeland/Panas coach Jim Lindsay said. “We dealt with a lot, a lot of learning experiences, a lot of growing pains. It’s a credit to the kids to get here. Obviously, not the way we wanted to perform in the game but to get here in the finals is a major accomplishment for them.”
Mamaroneck got the jump on the Rebels, as it got off to a 5-1 first-quarter lead, with Lakeland/Panas senior captain Joe Janavey (4G) producing the Rebels’ only goal.
“When they came out on fire like that we put ourselves behind the eight ball and it’s hard to come back,” Janavey said. “We then started fighting for our lives but came up short in the end. You just have to give Mamaroneck credit.”
The Rebels started that fight in the second quarter, when they registered three of the first four goals of the quarter. Janavey scored, courtesy of an assist from Matt Hodges before Steve Magarelli tallied an unassisted score.
After a Mamaroneck goal, Hodges recorded his second assist when he fed Alex Davoli, cutting the Tigers’ lead to 6-4 with 2:47 remaining in the second quarter.
Mamaroneck then regained momentum going into halftime when it scored with just 8.3 seconds left in the opening half, to increase its lead to 7-4.
“We settled in a little bit,” Lindsay said of his team’s improved second-quarter play. “Switching up our defenses threw them off rhythm a little bit. Bottom line is we just made way too many mistakes. We had way too many turnovers, mental errors. We let two attackmen score 12 goals in total, which is just not acceptable and that starts with me. You can’t do what we did today and expect to win a sectional title against a good team.”
After Mamaroneck increased its lead to 12-7 early in the fourth quarter, the Rebels made one last mini-run when they cut the Tigers’ lead to three on an unassisted goal by Janavey and when Davoli was set up again by Hodges.
“We had one quarter left, we just had to make the most of it,” Janavey said.
Mamaroneck responded by scoring the last four goals of the game to seal the title.
While it may have been a disappointing finish for the Rebels, it could not take away from what they had accomplished this postseason in making an incredible run to the title game.
“It was amazing, I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” Janavey said. “We had a great group of guys who played together.”
Lakeland/Panas’ T.J. Bryan, who won 20 of 29 face-offs, was named the game’s defensive MVP.
Sean Laukaitis (1G), Mason Nocito (1G), Regan Fallo (1A) and J.P. Walsh (12 saves) also produced for the Rebels (8-11).