CROSS RIVER – John Jay came out like a team with someplace else to be.
A championship rematch was clearly the priority as the Indians quickly dispatched Rye in a Section 1 Class B semifinal on Saturday, posting a 13-3 win. Next on the agenda is figuring out how to get past Yorktown, which has won each of the last five years.
“We’ve been waiting for this game since we lost the last one against them,” John Jay long pole Jack Marschke said.
The rivalry is heating up again.
“When the brackets came out, they were on one side and we were on the other,” Indians midfielder Hunter Keech said. “We were supposed to meet in the middle. That’s how it’s turned out and we’re excited to be there.”
The Huskers won last year’s title game 11-9, then celebrated a 9-7 victory over John Jay five weeks ago, eventually locking up the No. 1 seed.
“I don’t know if confident is a word I would use,” Indians coach Tim Schurr said. “They’ve won 38 sectional championships and have more pride in this game than any program in the history of Section 1. What I am confident in is the fact that we’ll give it our best shot.”
The championship game is Wednesday at 3 p.m. at White Plains High School.
Players of the game: It’s hard to single out one defensive standout. John Jay never allowed the Garnets to get any traction, so the spotlight is on a trio of poles – Marschke, Jake Murphy and Braden Burke. Each of them also happened to score a first-half goal.
Turning point: Rye was in a hole right away. The Indians came out firing and got four goals in the first seven minutes of play. Keech, Jackson Rieger, Jack Gorman and Marschke did the honors. The outburst quickly killed whatever optimism the Garnets had. “Normally, I sail the ball high, so this time I aimed for the ground and I guess it went it,” Marschke said of his goal. “I never saw it.” Mark Machado closed out the run, scoring with 1:05 to go in the first to make it a 5-0 start. “They were the better team,” Rye coach Brian Dooley said. “They work hard. They play hard and they get results because of it.”
Stat line: Rieger had three goals to lead John Jay. Keech, Tommy Beeby and Bryce Ford had two apiece. … Matt Lupinacci had two assists for the Indians and Shahe Katchadurian made six saves. … Brendan Dugan had two goals for the Garnets and Will Hynson had one.
Quotable: “I think from the beginning of the season to now, we’re night and day,” Keech said. “Our defense is playing solid. Our offense is working the ball around, playing unselfish lacrosse. We’re presented with challenges every week so we come to practice and get better.”