Wahl's heroics give Dalers dramatic win
FARMINGDALE, NY -- For the final 6.1 seconds, Farmingdale’s Travis Wahl looked like the great John Krumenacker out on the lacrosse field.
Wahl, who wears the late Krumenacker’s number 40 - a prestigious honor given to those who represent the work ethic that Farmingdale's second-leading all-time scorer exhibited – never stopped working with his team down 4-3 late in the fourth quarter to Lynbrook.
With the defending NYS Class ‘A’ champs desperate for a goal in what was already a tight-checking defensive battle, Farmingdale went to a play that had worked well at the end of the second quarter.
Sophomore Tom Kennedy darted down the middle and dished it off to the point to Wahl with the clock ticking down. The senior captain then fired a shot top corner past Owls goalie Jake Siciliano to even things up at 4-4 with 6.1 ticks left on the clock and seemingly send the game to overtime.
“The referee came up to us (at the faceoff) and put the ball down and said ‘let’s get this to overtime,’” Wahl said. “I thought to myself, ‘there’s going to be no overtime.’”
Wahl made good on his premonition.
Immediately following the whistle, the captain won the faceoff took the ball himself down the center of the field and fired a rocket top corner past Siciliano with just 0.3 seconds remaining to give Farmingdale a dramatic 5-4 win over Lynbrook.
Wahl takes the honor of wearing Krumenacker’s number very seriously and it’s the culmination of a high school career goal.
“I’ve been working towards it since I first learned of the “40” legend and just wanted to be part of the same fraternity of guys that have come before me that have worn this number,” Wahl said after the game. “It’s really a great honor.”
The win was Farmingdale’s first victory of the season in three games.
“We really needed this win. We had a lot of guys step up,” Wahl said about his team. “We have a lot of injuries and Musky (Sophomore Andrew Muscarella) stepped up big in his first varsity start. Everyone did what they did.”
Just as Wahl stated after the game, Farmingdale has come upon a bit of hard luck as of late. The Dalers had to play with six of their starters out due to injury, and just prior to faceoff the team learned that normal starting goaltender Frank DeLuca was seeing a doctor about a cyst that would likely require surgery.
In stepped in the sophomore Muscarella who saw his first varsity minutes in an all-important game.
It took a while for the first short to get to the untested underclassman. Actually, it took 6:38 for the ball to get to the cage as Luke Spitzer lit up the scoreboard with his eighth goal of the season to give the Owls an early 1-0 lead in what was a tight-checking, low scoring first quarter.
Fast-forward to the second frame in which Farmingdale came alive.
With the Dalers already facing a stall warning, Vinny Calandra made a leaping stop to receive a pass from going outside the shooting box, and from 15 yards out let a shot fly past Siciliano to even things up at 1-1 just 2:26 into the second quarter.
Lynbrook answered right back to retake the lead as Nick LoCicero scored on a shot from 10 yards out that Muscarella looked like he got his stick on. However the sophomore couldn’t hold on as the ball trickled in behind the goal line to give the Owls a 2-1 lead.
Farmingdale would get it right back with what would seem like a bit of foreshadowing to come.
Kennedy, who set up the game-tying goal, deked and spun his way around a pair of Lynbrook defenders before dishing it off to Chris Brown who tied things at 2-2 with 54.1 seconds remaining in the half. Then 49 seconds later and coming out of a timeout, Calandra got his second of the game to give the Dalers a 3-2 lead heading into halftime.
“The coaches drew up the perfect play and we executed it well,” Wahl said. “Vinny Calandra got a great look and was able to put it on cage.”
Lynbrook came back out of halftime and quickly tied things up just 2:37 into the third quarter as Anthony Rainone picked up the loose change by the Farmingdale cage and evened things up at 3-3. The Owls took the lead with just 7.3 seconds remaining in the third quarter as Teddy Mutterperl off an unsettled situation.
Farmingdale would continue to fight back all the way until the very end of the fourth quarter where Wahl would prove to be the hero in the dramatic finish.
It would be a fitting ending to a hard-fought win.
Just the way Krumenacker would’ve liked it.