SLP battles back then loses to Plattsburgh

Saranac Lake Placid senior Hayden Plank fends off two Plattsburgh defenders to score a goal in the fourth quarter of Thursday’s match at Schroeter’s Field. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

SARANAC LAKE — After struggling through the season without tasting victory, the Saranac Lake Placid boys lacrosse team may have had its best opportunity to date to finally pick up a win when it hosted Plattsburgh on Thursday at Schroeter’s Field.

Falling into a 6-0 hole early ultimately dashed those hopes, also the hosts made things mighty close at the end. In its next-to-last regular season match of the season, SLP dropped a tough 8-7 contest to the Hornets.

Plattsburgh scored five times in the first quarter and added another goal in the second quarter before SLP began to close the gap. The Hornets, whose lone win of the year was a 9-3 victory over SLP at home earlier in the season, led 6-2 at halftime.

The second half proved to be a different story as SLP chipped away at its deficit and made it a 6-5 contest when senior Hayden Plank scored his third goal of the game with 6:56 remaining in the second half. Plattsburgh, which is in it second season of varsity lacrosse, answered back quickly to take a 7-5 edge. The teams then traded goals, with SLP making it a one-goal game again and the Hornets grabbing an 8-6 advantage on a goal by Tyler Reid with 1:30 remaining.

Plank netted the game’s final goal and his fourth of the contest with just under five seconds left on the clock. SLP got one more chance to score but came up empty on a shot by senior Matt White from midfield as the clock expired.

Dylan Murnane, a junior, scored twice in the loss.

Michael Graves paced Plattsburgh with a hat trick and Ethan Vaughn added two goals in the win.

“We were up 6-0 at one point, we kind of lied down and they didn’t give up,” said Plattsburgh head coach Eric Baxter. “They played really well. This was a very fun game for both sides. It was a much-needed game for both sides. It was a good, competitive fun game for both sides.

“We just got a quick start, the kids were playing position well and playing as a team,” Baxter continued. “We were moving the ball and getting opportunities, and then we kind of went to more of a single style play. One person, hero-type stuff. We kind of let our guard down on that. Their team, they never gave up. They were answering us. It was good both ways.”

“It just shows our guys never stop battling and that’s how it’s been all year,” SLP coach Mike Bringley said. “It’s just unfortunate that our guys came up shot because it was a good chance for us to get our first win. I’ve never been upset with the effort, it’s just execution.

“We gotten a lot better,” Bringley added. “They beat us 9-3 the first time, and they pulled away in the second half, and today it was the opposite.”

Saranac Lake Placid has one Section X game remaining Friday at Canton, and will play one more match on Monday, on the road against Plattsburgh again to wrap up the season.