BY CHUCK SLATER
SPECIAL TO TOWNLINK NEWS + VIEWS
In sports, one doesn't often get second chances, much less get them just seconds later. But it happened for John Jay lacrosse star Shawn Smith on May 21, and because of it, the No.3-ranked Indians scored a 6-5 overtime road victory over No. 2 Rye to advance to the Class B finals against top-seeded Yorktown on May 23 at White Plains High.
With 40 seconds left in overtime, the high-scoring Smith blasted a shot at the Yorktown goal, but it hit a pipe and bounced back into play.
Teammate Jake Chinitz got the rebound and when Smith called for the ball., gave it to the charging junior midfielder. This time his shot found the net.
"They made it tough for our offense," said Smith, whose team trailed Rye by 3-l and 5-3. But goalie Rob Looney was impenetrable after that.
"Shawn Smith is a standout player," said John Jay coach Tim Schurr, "but the victory was on the shoulders of our defense and Rob Looney. Our defense was phenomenal."
"I was just in the moment," Looney said.
Yorktown defeated Somers, 12-7. Nick Mariano had five goals for the 15-2 winners, who received a scare when Somers pulled within 6-5 in the third period. "We were persistent." said winning coach Dave Marr.
A No. 1 Yorktown vs. No. 3 John Jay match also was forged for the girls' B final at Mamaroneck on May 23.
Yorktown erupted from a 4-4 halftime tie against No. 4 Somers with five consecutive scores, then held on, 13-11. Katie Comerford had four goals for the winners and Nicole DeMase notched a like number for the losers. "We just dug ourselves too deep a hole," said Somers junior Emma Schurr, who had four assists. "I can't wait for next season."
"We looked at the scoreboard (at halftime)," said Huskers senior Amanda Makar. "We decided we're here to play."
John Jay stunned No. 2 Ursuline, 22-12, as Molly O'Reilly had six goals and five assists and Amanda Flayhan had five goals and three assists.
""They beat us twice during the season," Indians coach Christine Smith said. "by one goal in the final seconds and by two goals. We're due."
In the other girls game involving a local team, Putnam Valley, No. 2 in Class C, whipped No.3 Irvington, 16 13, and moved into the final on May 23 at Mamaroneck against Albertus Magnus, which upset No. 1 Pleasantville.
Eva Robson, Erin McCracken and Sabrina Cummings each had four goals for coach Kurt Worell's Valley 15-3 squad and Malissa Wagner scored thrice. Kayleigh Hartnett had 17 saves. "We've got a deep, well balanced team," Worell said.
Three locals lost in other semifinal showdowns:
No. 7 Lakeland/Panas saw its upset streak end when it squandered an early 6-l lead and fell to No. 3 and defending champion Mamaroneck, 7-6, in overtime in Class A. In Class C, No. 3 Hen Hud got three goals from Jake Koch but fell to No. 2 Pleasantville on a goal with six seconds left, 9-8, and No. 4 Croton Harmon lost to No. 1 Bronxville, 12-4.