Memorable Mondays: Top 5 exciting endings
Welcome to MSGVarsity.com's Memorable Mondays, a summer-long series that looks back on the top players, games and moments from the past season and gazes ahead to 2012-13. As the summer goes on, we'll compile all the lists and post them here:www.msgvarsity.com/mondays. New lists will be posted every Monday.
In Week 4 of Memorable Mondays, we look at five of the best exciting endings in the Hudson Valley.
* Yorktown holds off John Jay-CR in OT thriller: The 2011 Section 1 Class B boys lacrosse championship game was rather boring. Top-seeded Yorktown cruised to a lopsided 14-5 win over John Jay-CR. The 2012 rematch, however, delivered on every level imaginable.
Top-seeded Yorktown — which gave up a pair of goals inside the final 40 seconds of regulation — survived to score a 9-8 overtime victory. Sophomore attackman Connor Vercruysse set off a raucous celebration, burying the game-winning goal with 1:36 left in overtime off a feed from Marquette-bound senior attackman Conor Gately. It sealed the Huskers' 35th Section 1 title.
“We came out with passion in the overtime and got the win,” Vercruysse said. “(Gately) came behind and he pushed it. I cut down backside, caught it and let it go.”
Despite coming up a goal short, the Indians had nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it was a minor miracle they even forced the game into overtime. Frazier Bostwick and Dan LoBosco made it happen, scoring a goal apiece inside the final 40 seconds of the fourth quarter. LoBosco tallied the equalizer with 11.2 seconds left, sending the purple and black faithful into hysterics.
John Jay-CR lost the opening faceoff of overtime but immediately won it back and called a timeout. In an unorthodox move, coach Tim Schurr put the ball in the stick of All-American long-stick middie Jack Lambert. The UNC-bound star attacked the cage from up top, however, the ball was jarred loose before he was able to get a shot off. Yorktown scooped up the ground ball, called a timeout and setup the eventual game-winning play.
* Hackley girls hoops wins state title on buzzer-beater: Every kid who's dribbled a basketball has simulated a buzzer-beating fantasy in the driveway. Alexandra Mueller's just happened to become a reality.
Mueller — a sophomore role player for Hackley's girls basketball squad — drained a buzzer-beating baseline jumper to lift the Hornets to a 35-33 win over rival Poly Prep in the NYSAIS C Division finals.
Now, get this: Mueller wasn't even the first option. The play was drawn up for scoring sensation Allie Coppola, however, her shot was blocked by a Poly Prep defender. Senior captain Nia Yancopoulos managed to track down the loose ball before it went out of bounds and tapped it to a waiting Mueller.
“I didn’t think it was going to go in and then it just went in,” Mueller said. “I was running back to play defense and I didn’t realize the whole game was over and then before I knew it everyone was just on top of me.”
Even more impressive, it t was Mueller's lone basket of the game.
Arlington dethrones defending champ North Rockland in OT: With 30 seconds left in the first overtime of the Section 1 Class AA girls soccer quarterfinals, Arlington's Ally Pushkarsh finally broke through. The junior striker opportunistically pounced on a rebound and deflected it into the goal. Pushkarsh's clutch play sealed a 1-0 Admirals victory and sent defending sectional champ North Rockland packing.
Teammate Miranda Tarpey took the initial shot and recounted the wild play.
“I took the shot and (North Rockland goalie Shannon Robinson) came out and made a nice play,” Tarpey said. “It was all a blur because I didn’t know what happened next. Thank God Ally was there.”
Like all heart-stopping games, there was even some controversy thrown into the mix. Immediately prior to Tarpey's shot, it appeared a North Rockland player was taken down. Alas, a whistle never came.
“It was a penalty called that got missed,” North Rockland coach Vinny Apicella said. “It’s tough. The guy missed it at a bad time. But we couldn’t be more proud of our girls.”
Instead, Arlington survived and advanced, which became a theme in the 2011 playoffs. The Admirals, who took home sectional and regional championships, fell a game short of winning it all. They eventually succumbed to Long Island's General MacArthur in the state finals.
Suffern gets the best of archnemesis West Genesee in NYS semis: A penalty shot in hockey has been called one of the most exciting plays in all of sports. For Suffern, it was that and a whole lot more.
The Mounties turned out to be masters of the penalty shot, scoring a 2-0 shootout win over powerhouse West Genesee in the NYS D1 semis. It went to a shootout after the two teams played to a 2-2 draw through regulation and an astonishing four overtime periods.
Suffern senior forward Ian Adler, who shot third, sealed the deal with a calm, cool and collective approach.
“It's the third shot and there's a lot of pressure,” Adler said. “The crowds were going crazy and I knew my move before I was going to go. I was going to fake the forehand shot and go backhand.”
In addition to Adler, teammate Willie Sanchez also converted his shot. Goalie Tyler Stark, meanwhile, stuffed both of West Genesee's attempts. The history between the two teams made it that much sweeter. Suffern suffered a devastating overtime loss to the Wildcats back in the 2009 state semis, letting a two-goal lead slip away in the waning moment of regulation.
“It feels great — but especially because it's West Genny,” Stark said. “That puts it on a whole other level. They did the same thing to us two years ago, tying it up with under a minute left. But we got it this time. We won it.”
North Rockland wins OT classic over John Jay-EF: North Rockland's football squad kicked off 2011 with an overtime loss to Clarkstown North. The Red Raiders persevered from the season-opening setback to make a run to the Section 1 Class AA finals. Once there, they were faced with another overtime scenario.
Unlike in Week 1, North Rockland took care of its business this time around. The Red Raiders edged John Jay-EF, 14-7 (OT), to take home its first Section 1 Class AA championship since 2005.
“After that loss to Clarkstown North, people didn’t even think we were in the top 10 in the section,” junior tailback Nick Connell said. “But every day Monday comes, it’s a new week. Hard work pays off and now we’re champions.”
And Connell, who didn't take a single first-half carry, was a big reason the Red Raiders hoisted the sectional championship plaque. The junior tailback rushed 12 times for 55 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the second half and overtime. He scored the game-winning touchdown from four yards out.
“We started spelling (starting running back Tom Ginty) about 6-7 weeks ago with Nick and (Rashon Johnson) in the second half of games to keep our guys fresh,” North Rockland coach Tom Lynch said. “Today, it looked like Nick had an extra bounce in his step, so we went with him a lot to finish the game.”
Join us throughout the summer as "Memorable Mondays" brings you more top 5 lists:
July 16: Top five exciting endings from 2011-12
July 23: Top five heartwarming moments from 2011-12
July 30: Top five favorite venues from 2011-12
Aug. 6: Top five coaches from 2011-12
Aug. 13: Top five most memorable games from 2011-12
Aug. 20: Top five teams from 2011-12
Aug. 27: Top five teams to watch in 2012-13
Find them all at www.msgvarsity.com/mondays.