BALLSTON SPA — Down five goals in the second quarter, Ballston Spa varsity lacrosse stepped up their game, taking the lead for the first time late and holding on for a 16-15 victory over Shenendehowa on Thursday.
The Plainsmen owned a 9-4 lead in the later stages of the first half, but two quick Scotties goals from Peyton Walsh and Lucas Bennice cut it to 9-6 at the break.
Early in the third, Shenendehowa extended their lead to 12-8. Ballston Spa still did not back down as they fired off five goals in five minutes to tie the game at 13 late in the third. Two of those goals came from Sam Swingruber just over 90 seconds apart.
Heading into the fourth quarter with the score at an offensive-friendly 14-14 knot, Swingruber scored again just over 30 seconds into the final frame giving Ballston Spa their first lead of the game and a lead that they would never relinquish. He later scored again with five minutes left to finish off a five-goal performance. It was his third game since his mother, Melissa, passed away last Thursday. He has scored nine goals in the three games since then, and the Scotties have won each of them.
“He put on a show for his family today, it was awesome to see. It’s been a rough week,” Ballston Spa coach Luke Snow said.
Shen cut the deficit to 16-15 late on a score from Patrick Nagy for his second goal of the game. In the final minutes, the Plainsmen had multiple opportunities to get the ball past Ballston Spa’s freshman goalkeeper Gregg Dort but he stopped all of them and the Scotties chewed the clock in the final minutes to seal the victory.
“Their goalie came up with some huge saves down the stretch, and that’s how it goes sometimes with this game,” Shen head coach Jason Gifford said. “We did a great job of putting the ball on the ground and getting the ball down on our offensive end, and the bounce didn’t go our way this time.”
Joe McDonald, Zac Schuette, Alex Yerou and Bennice had multi-goal performances for Ballston Spa on top of Swingruber’s five. Jack Hyde and Billy Beach had three goals each for the Plainsmen.
This win serves as a huge confidence-booster for the Scotties heading into sectional play, and they improve to 11-2 on the season, ranked #10 in New York State at the Class B level. They have come close to beating Shenendehowa in the past but had not gotten over the hump until Thursday.
“We probably lost our head a little bit and did some things that cost us the game in the past. Shen’s a well-coached team, Coach Gifford does an awesome job. Anytime we come out on the winning end of a Shen game is a positive for our program and our team,” Snow said.
Ballston Spa finishes up regular season play next Thursday, with a tilt against CBA at home, their senior night. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
Shen falls to 10-3 on the year. They will play again on Tuesday, on the road against Niskayuna. That game will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Sam Swingruber: 5 goals, 1 assist
Zac Schuette: 2 goals, 2 assists
Lucas Bennice: 2 goals, 2 assists
Alex Yerou: 2 goals, 1 assist
Joe McDonald: 2 goals
Peyton Walsh: 1 goal
Alex Klein: 1 goal
Ethan Thomas: 1 goal
Billy Beach: 3 goals, 2 assists
Jack Hyde: 3 goals
Eric Makhatadze: 2 goals, 4 assists
Dean Cannon: 2 goals, 2 assists
Justin Leblanc: 2 goals
Patrick Nagy: 2 goals, 2 assists
Drew Liguori: 1 goal
James Nash (Ballston Spa): 5 saves
Gregg Dort (Ballston Spa): 7 saves
Brady Olsen (Shenendehowa): 13 saves