By Mike Dougherty
MIDDLETOWN – Yorktown was not ready to yield the crown.
The defending state champions scored twice in the final minutes to knot the score, but Matt Gavin picked up a loose ball on the edge of the crease and scored as time expired, giving Manhasset a 10-9 win over the Huskers in a NYSPHSAA Class B semifinal on Thursday at Middletown High School.
A television replay showed the ball going in with 0.5 on the clock.
The goal ruined a valiant comeback story that unfolded when Justin Cavallo reduced the deficit with 1:35 remaining. Ryan Baker rattled in a goal off the pipe with 26.3 seconds to go after Yorktown goalie Liam Donnelly came up with a timely interception.
An emotional Huskers team headed straight for the locker room afterward. Most of them were unable to speak about the heartbreaking end of the game. Yorktown head coach Dave Marr would not speak.
“No comment,” is all he offered while hurrying to the bus.
Manhasset will play Victor on Saturday for the state title.
The Huskers were somehow in the game despite a heavy dose of Tyler Dunn, who finished with five goals and two assists. The University of Pennsylvania commit also won 19 face offs, a problem Yorktown had no answer for.
Billy Strassman found a seam in the opening minute and got the Huskers on the board first, but that goal was answered quickly.
Yorktown was making plays all over the place on defense, and Cavallo gave the Huskers a 2-1 edge with 3:29 to go in the first. Dunn got his first goal in an unsettled situation with a minute to go in the quarter. James Thomas made it a 3-2 Indians advantage when he scored with two seconds to go. Dunn struck again in the opening minute of the second, but Michael Dedvukaj netted a jump shot from a difficult angle to make it 4-3.
Without any face off wins, it was impossible to sustain a run. Dunn scored two more before Yorktown responded.
A little open space was all Baker needed to score, but Dunn threw in another. Nick Del Bene, scored just before the break to make it a 7-5 game. He also ran down the right alley for a goal 45 seconds into the third and Dedvukaj posted up a defender to make it 7-7.
Both sides worked hard to get open looks.
A rare miscommunication on the defense end gave James Thomas an open run at Yorktown goalie Liam Donnelly. He scored and it was 8-7 after three. Dunn upped the lead when he dodged in, faked a pass and scored his fifth goal.