ALBANY — Through all the distractions, the Farmingdale boys lacrosse team never forgot how badly they wanted it.
The Dalers wanted their shot at a state championship. And now they have it.
Farmingdale earned that opportunity with a 9-5 win over Scarsdale of Section I in the state Class A semifinals at UAlbany on Friday night.
Brendan O’Keefe scored three goals with an assist, James Goodrich scored twice and Michael Ippoliti made 14 saves in Farmingdale’s 15th straight win.
“I like my chances with these guys, as Coach [Mike] Hungerford always says,” Ippoliti said. “We’re all super excited and can’t wait to get out there and compete for a state championship.”
Farmingdale returns to the state Class A final for the first time since 2011, when the Dalers won their first state title. Farmingdale will face defending state champion Baldwinsville in the final at 10 a.m. Sunday at Hofstra.
After polluted air postponed their semifinal game from Wednesday, the Dalers (18-3) waited another three hours and 20 minutes to play because of a lightning delay.
Scarsdale scored first with 8:42 to play in the first quarter before Farmingdale scored five straight goals.
“It was definitely a little discouraging,” O’Keefe said about the lightning delay. “We just stayed focused and we knew how bad we wanted it, so we were all locked in.”
“We really tried to stay focused on this game and stay positive, and we did,” Goodrich added.
Scarsdale answered with three straight goals to cut Farmingdale's lead to 5-4. The Dalers did not score in the third quarter, and Scarsdale forced Ippoliti to make four saves in third.
But Farmingdale’s offense scored four goals in the fourth, and Ippoliti stopped six shots in the final frame.
Matt Cangelosi, Jake Norton, Chris Bergersen and Jake Mangio each finished with a goal.
“We trusted in our coaches like all of the other games, and we broke through again,” O’Keefe said with a smile.
Farmingdale has held its opponents to five or fewer goals in seven of its last nine games.
“We told them at halftime, if we do what we did in the first half again, we’ll win and we get to go to practice again tomorrow,” Hungerford said. “It was just grinding it out, finding a way to make a play, there was no magic to it. But defensively, when they got to four [goals] we had good stops. They never got to even, which was critical.”