Dave Wojeski / For The Recorder 5/1/2014 Amsterdam Assignment Amsterdam's Gabe Mendez checks the stick of Scotia-Glenville's Ian Flaherty during their lacrosse match on Thursday night at Lynch Literacy Academy.
Dave Wojeski / For The Recorder 5/1/2014 Amsterdam Assignment Amsterdam's Matt Fedullo gets checked by Scotia-Glenville's Sam Carmola as he advances the ball up the field during their lacrosse match on Thursday night at Lynch Literacy Academy
Dave Wojeski / For The Recorder 5/1/2014 Amsterdam Assignment Amsterdam's Corey Dybas gets checked by Scotia-Glenville's Austin Meisner as he tries to advance the ball toward the goal during their lacrosse match on Thursday night at Lynch Literacy Academy
Dave Wojeski / For The Recorder 5/1/2014 Amsterdam Assignment Amsterdam's Tyler Noorby and Scotia-Glenville's Nate Correll battle for a loose ball during their lacrosse match on Thursday night at Lynch Literacy Academy
By ADAM SHINDER
Amsterdam High School senior Dillon Smith had turned his goal into a nearly impregnable fortress for 51 minutes and 16 seconds. It's one of the very few shots that got by him that left the star goalie for the AHS lacrosse team frustrated at the end of a rain-soaked Thursday night at Lynch Literacy Academy.
Smith made 21 saves for the Rams, several of them spectacular and in quick succession, to send Amsterdam into overtime against Scotia-Glenville, but with 43.7 seconds left in the first sudden victory period, Tartans midfielder Cullen Swider wound up and fired a lefthanded shot past Smith for his fourth goal of the game and a 6-5 Scotia-Glenville victory.
"It's all kind of still racing to me right now," Smith said.
What made the loss especially frustrating for the Rams (4-6) was that it came almost exactly a year after their last meeting with Scotia-Glenville, which ended in the exact same fashion -- a 6-5 overtime win for the Tartans.
"It stings, but I think something that they really need to take away is that (Scotia-Glenville) is a team that competes for a sectional title every year, and we're no longer a doorstep program," Amsterdam coach Paul Furman said. "We're a program that's competing hard with other programs."
Anthony Yevoli scored three goals for Amsterdam, including a shot that just snuck past Tartans goalie Christian Olsen to give the Rams a 5-4 lead with 9:20 to play in the fourth quarter. But, Swider tied the game up with 1:52 left in regulation when he beat his defender from behind the goal and tucked a close-range shot past Smith.
Corey Dybas and Kevin Ottati also scored for the Rams, who were often starved for possession thanks to the face-off dominance of Scotia-Glenville's Sam Carmola.
"They gave us a chance," Furman said of his attackers. "They scored when they needed to score, but ultimately, (Scotia-Glenville's) offense came up at the end of the day."
Despite dominating offensive possession for long stretches, the Tartans were unable to manufacture much on the scoreboard thanks to Smith and an Amsterdam defense that switched between man-to-man and zone looks to keep the Tartans off-balance and negate their isolation-heavy offense.
"We're used to going one-on-one, and when they went to that zone and (Smith) was making those saves, I think our guys were getting frustrated," Tartans coach Bob Gula said.
Down the stretch, Smith was simply phenomenal, including a stretch just moments after Yevoli's go-ahead goal that saw the senior turn away three point-blank Tartans' attempts from close range in a matter of seconds -- two from Zach Musto sandwiched around a rebound attempt from Swider.
"Dillon had a lot of composure tonight," Furman said. "He sat strong in that goal for us and he didn't waver."
Smith did say that he got a bit lucky in the closing moments of regulation to even keep the game deadlocked, as he barely deflected Musto's shot from the right wing off the crossbar just before the buzzer.
"If I didn't get a piece of that, we were dead," Smith said.
The Rams had a chance for the win in overtime when Dybas got the ball behind the cage and turned the corner, but before he could get off his shot, Scotia-Glenville's Lyle Maddock checked the ball out of his stick and scooped up the groundball for the turnover.
"When they make a check, they make it count," Furman said.
Smith and the Rams dodged one more bullet when Carmola hit the post with a minute to play, but the rebound went right to Musto and the ball eventually found its way to Swider, who buried the game-winner.
It was a frustrating conclusion, but it left Smith and the Rams confident that they were on the same level as the Tartans, and there wasn't any hesitation when the senior goalie was asked if he'd like to see Scotia-Glenville for a rematch in the Section II Class B playoffs.
"Absolutely," he said.
Follow ADAM SHINDER on Twitter at twitter.com/RecorderShinder