BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - To the Victor goes . . . the spoiling of Manhasset's unlikely journey and an undefeated state championship season.
"Just coming out of the gate, they were great," Manhasset senior midfielder Tyler Dunn said of Victor, from Rochester, which scored the first eight goals en route to a 17-8 win Saturday in the state Class B boys lacrosse final at Vestal High School before a crowd estimated at 2,500. "Especially their faceoff guy and their offense. I give them a lot of respect."
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T.D. Ierlan won seven of the first eight faceoffs from Dunn, one of the best at his craft on Long Island, leading to seven goals for the Blue Devils (22-0). Dunn lost 13 of 18 draws and was replaced at times by Ben Cirella, who managed to win only three of 10 from Ierlan.
Dunn and Matt Gavin, who scored last-minute winning goals for Manhasset (16-6) in the Long Island championship game and state semifinal, netted two goals each. Victor, which demonstrated exceptional passing ability with 14 assists, was led by Dan Barrow (six goals), Jamie Trimboli (three goals, four assists) and Drew Collins (three goals, three assists).
Trimboli scored three and Barrow two during the 8-0 run. "The fast start hurt us," Manhasset coach Bill Cherry said. "It's tough when you're always fighting an uphill battle. They were better than us today."
But Manhasset, which started the season 0-2 and was a second seed in the county playoffs, showed plenty of grit, cutting the deficit to four goals four times -- the last at 12-8 with 1:01 left in the third. "They've been like that all year. They never quit and they trust each other," Cherry said. "Credit Victor. They beat us to the ground balls, they won the faceoffs and their ball movement was excellent."
Ryan Maloney scored two goals in the final minute of the third period as Victor put the game away with a game-closing 5-0 run.
Manhasset got a lift from senior backup goalie Demetri Papadopolous, who entered and made six saves during the Indians' second-period rally, several from point-blank range. "I told all three goalies before the game to be ready because you never know what will happen," Cherry said. "Demetri was ready. He was very positive all year and he was outstanding today."
Of Manhasset's outstanding season, Cherry said, "We took our lumps early and we played a tough schedule. But the ride - beating Garden City in overtime, beating Lynbrook, beating Mount Sinai, beating Yorktown - that's what will stick with me. We ended up here."
Dunn, who led Manhasset with 42 goals, agreed that his senior-season journey that included county and Long Island championships was memorable, in spite of the ending. "The beginning of the game was tough to watch. But we didn't give up," Dunn said. "That shows a lot about our character. Personally, I didn't want to let it go. No one thought we'd make it this far. We shocked the world. I will definitely remember the high notes more than the low ones."