John Magalletti scored five goals and Ryan Mihalek came up with a key play on defense in the fourth period leading the Amsterdam Rams Varsity Lacrosse team to a 10-8 victory over Troy on Thursday afternoon at Lynch Literacy Academy field.
“That was the moment of the game,” AHS head coach Paul Furman said of Mihalek’s play. “That was the set of the game on defense.”
Amsterdam had a three goal lead for much of the game and entering the third period. Troy’s Matt Woods scored with 8:18 remaining in the contest cutting the lead to 10-8. The Rams had scored in every period and looked to maintain their advantage, but with five minutes left they found themselves dealing with two penalties and giving Troy the equivalent of a power play.
Troy attackers David Woellmer and Steven Russman had each scored twice and were moving the ball around the Amsterdam net looking to put one past AHS goalkeeper Dillon Smith. Amsterdam needed to get a ground ball, stop Troy’s momentum and move down field. Mihalek came out of a crowd of players and pounced on the ball then hustled down field. The two penalties, one minute each, were over and Amsterdam was back at full strength.
“The ball was loose and I had to hustle to get it,” said Mihalek. “I just wanted to get the ball for my team.”
Despite playing short handed, Mihalek said that it didn’t make the play any more difficult.
“Ryan Mihalek came up with that ground ball and it was a huge play for us,” said coach Furman. “He hustled for that ball and it was big for us to get it.”
Amsterdam opened the scoring with Kevin Ottati’s first goal only 48 seconds into the game. Jashier Graham would answer less than a minute later for the Flying Horses. Ottati scored again at the 8:18 mark and Troy answered with Steven Russman two minutes later. Magalletti then scored his first pair of goals a little more than a minute apart starting at the 5:12 mark. Amsterdam then had a lead it would not give up.
Ottati registered his third goal in the second period followed by Magalletti’s third. Russman and Woellmer each scored for Troy cutting into the Rams lead, but AHS got another last minute goal this time from Corey Dybas who also had a pair of assists. Russman had two assists for Troy. AHS led at the half 8-5. The teams traded goals in the third period with Maglletti’s final two within minutes of each other starting at the 10:44 mark. Woellmer and Marquan Phillips scored in the final three minutes of the period cutting the AHS advantage to 10-7 and setting up a tense fourth period.
“We made a call with a man up to just bring them together,” coach Furman said of a time out he called early in the final period. “We saw individuals doing what they wanted and not the way they were coached.”
The Rams got the message and played a swarming defense around Smith who finished with four saves and benefited from several blocked shots by the Rams defense leading to Mihalek’s key play. Amsterdam would not score in the fourth but would put more shots on Troy keeper Treyvan Johnson who had eight saves.
Despite the team’s struggles, Furman said, “At the end of the day we came out with the win. You can’t take any team lightly.”
Amsterdam will return to action this Saturday against Johnstown. Game time is set for 2pm at Lynch field.
(Photos by Scott Mulford)