MAHOPAC, N.Y.— All of a sudden, the lead was down to one goal with the title on the line as the Lakeland/Panas boys’ lacrosse team battled against Wappingers in the Section 1 Class A championship game May 25 at Mahopac High.
It was time for a senior to step up and make a play.
The Rebels saw their 4-1 halftime lead disappear as Wappingers scored two quick goals to start the second half.
The momentum shifted to the Warriors, but Rebel senior Tim Fallo was up to the challenge. Fallo scooped up a ground ball in front of the Wappingers goal and fired it into the net to make it 5-3, and a minute later he scored again to make it 6-3.
Fallo finished with four goals to lead the way and earn offensive MVP honors as the Rebels wrapped up a 6-4 victory to claim their second-straight Class A title.
“Just grab it and throw it at the net and hope it goes in,” Fallo said about the ground ball. “We knew they would come out firing in the second half, so it was big to get those two goals and this feels great.”
After Fallo’s heroics, the rest was up to the defense and senior goalie Kevin Dyckman. Wappingers managed to score once more with just 24 seconds left in the game, but that’s all the Warriors could muster as Dyckman and the defense shut them down.
Dyckman was a big reason the Rebels were able to open up the first half lead as he came up with six saves in the first period. He earned defensive MVP honors for his effort between the pipes as the senior captain was mobbed by teammates after the final whistle sounded and they celebrated as champions.
“That last buzzer sounds and all the equipment comes flying off—one of the best feelings in the world—it’s amazing,” Dyckman said. “I just tried to do my job and make as many saves as I could. Our sophomore year we struggled and I’m just glad we were able to turn it around, win two titles and keep our legacy growing here.”
After Dyckman’s early saves kept it locked in a scoreless tie, the offense was able to get going as Joe Janavey scored to give the Rebels a 1-0 lead. Fallo scored his first of the game to make it 2-0.
Matt Hodges scored to make it 3-0 in the second period, and Fallo scored again to make it 4-0 with seven minutes left in the half.
Wappingers finally broke through with a goal to make it 4-1, and that momentum carried over into the second half before Fallo stepped up again for two more goals as the Rebels took charge and closed it out for back-to-back Class A titles.
With the victory, the top-seeded Rebels improved to 16-3 on the season as they advanced to the state tournament.
“This senior group has come a long way. From winning five games as sophomores, they’ve only lost six games since then and I’m just so proud of them,” Lakeland/Panas coach Jim Lindsay said. “Probably the hardest working group of kids I’ve ever had and they just found a way. They didn’t have it on the offensive end to start, but Kevin (Dyckman) was great, a three-year starter, senior captain. He gave us an opportunity to settle into the game. Timmy (Fallo) is another senior who’s been out there three years. Those were just hustle plays. He made a great check, got the ground ball, the right place at the right time when we needed it most. After that, the guys in front of Kevin did a nice job limiting their quality shots and we did a nice job on the defensive end all game. I’m proud of them, they found a way to win today.”
Lakeland/Panas jumped out to a 10-2 halftime lead and cruised to a 13-4 victory in the Section 1 Class A semifinals on May 22 against No. 4 Mamaroneck.
“We came out with a lot of intensity and came ready to play in the first half,” Lakeland/Panas junior midfielder Matt Hodges said.
Hodges led the Rebels to the win against the Tigers with a huge eight-point day (3G, 5A).
“My teammates did a great job of providing opportunities for me and I was able to finish some of them,” Hodges said.
Sean Makar (3G), Janavey (2G, 1A), Drew Thompson (2G), Griffin Shiland (1G, 1A), Fallo (1G), Steve Magarelli (1G), Sean Laukaitis (1A), T.J. Bryan (1A, 14 of 20 face-offs won) and Dyckman (7 saves) also took part in the win.