Lacrosse Warriors’ rally in semifinals falls just short

Liverpool falls, 10-9, to F-M despite furious comeback

— Refusing to let go of the Class A sectional crown it earned a year ago, Liverpool began its resurrection when Jamie Kuppel scored with 1:44 left. Then the Warriors won the ensuing face-off, and Peter Flood converted 24 seconds later, and suddenly it was 10-7.

Again, Liverpool gained the face-off. Again, it converted, and not only did Justin Renk's goal make it 10-8 with 39.7 seconds to play, a Hornet penalty after the goal gave the Warriors a man-up situation and possession of the ball without a draw.

Peter Sterio took full advantage and, with 23.8 seconds left, fired it past Brian Bedell, cutting F-M's once-healthy lead to one. Incredibly, the Warriors claimed the ensuing face-off and, in the waning seconds, had a chance to force overtime.

One more time, Liverpool worked the ball around, but Pulver forced a turnover, and the ball bounded toward midfield as the horn sounded and F-M could breathe again.

After a 24-hour weather postponement, the Warriors entered the post-season fray against no. 5 seed Corcoran in the opening round last Wednesday night at LHS Stadium, dominating the game’s middle stages to prevail 10-5 over the Cougars.

When the two teams first met April 30, Liverpool, caught in a mid-season slump, needed a late-game comeback and last-second goal from Peter Flood to pull it out 9-8.

The rematch saw Corcoran blank the Warriors in the first quarter, but not get away it only led 2-0. And once Liverpool’s attack got going in the second period, things turned around, the hosts moving in front 4-3 by the break.

During a decisive third quarter, the Warriors outscored Corcoran 5-1, and since it tried to slow things down, the Cougars found that it could not speed up and be effective against Liverpool’s stingy zone defense, anchored by Dominick Madonna, who stopped 13 of the 18 shots he faced.

Renk led the Warriors’ attack, with four goals and one assist. Kuppel managed a three-goal hat trick, while Flood scored twice and added an assist. Harry Sardella dished out three assists and Kendall Keahey added two assists as Sterio added a goal.

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