(Aug. 18, 2017) --
It took until the final day of the season, but boys lacrosse gave us the moment that will stand as the most memorable of the 2016-17 high school sports year. Without further delay as we warm up for the new fall sports season, here are 11 pages of highs, lows and everything in between from last year:
An epic comeback for a title
Down four goals with barely a minute to play, Ward Melville rallied to tie on a Matt Grillo goal with eight seconds remaining in regulation and won when Grillo struck again with :01 left in overtime to complete the Patriots' 10-9 win
over Pittsford for the NYSPHSAA boys Class A lacrosse championship.
Grillo's heroics on his 17th birthday capped a trying day and a half for Ward Melville, which traveled nearly 400 miles by bus to St. John Fisher College the previous day ahead of a 10 a.m. start.
When Pittsford extended its lead to 9-4 midway through the fourth, it looked bleak for Ward Melville. And then ...
"It went from the worst birthday ever to the best birthday ever in about a minute and a half," Grillo, a junior attackman, told News12Varsity.
The comeback began with Eddie Munoz's first of three straight goals with 1:01 left in the fourth. By the time he completed his hat trick, the margin was down to 9-8 with :26.6 left. Junior Mike Giaquinto, a Penn State recruit who was 19-of-22 on faceoffs, won the ensuing draw and Andrew Lockhart fed Grillo for the regulation tie.
The teams traded possessions in OT, and then it came down to a restart from behind the Pittsford goal line extended with :06 to play. Ward Melville coach Jay Negus wanted Grillo to find Dom Pryor and have the Hofstra-bound middie seek out the best available cutter.
"I didn't think there was enough time for that," Grillo said. "I just kind of did it myself."
He cut inside of a defender and scored while falling to the ground, setting off a wild celebration of the program's ninth state tournament title.
More clutch comebacks
Until the Ward Melville rally, Liverpool's 14-13 win in overtime
vs. the combined Syracuse City School District squad in the Section 3 Class A quarterfinals looked as though it would be the most memorable comeback.
Dylan Wallace's fourth goal of the day gave the Warriors the win after they had trailed 12-3 with just four minutes remaining in the third quarter. Liverpool erupted for five goals in the final four minutes of regulation, with Wallace connecting three times in that stretch. Devin Dewane had the other two, including the tying goal with 1:04 left.
• Being down two scores and defending a first-and-goal situation with 2:20 to play didn't deter Sidney from pulling out a 42-36 win over Onondaga in OT in the NYSPHSAA Class D football quarterfinals.
Dawson Backus' 1-yard run in overtime gave Sidney its first lead since 8-6 and completed a comeback from a 36-22 deficit.
Nine plays after recovering a fumble deep in their own territory, the Warriors' scored on a 22-yard pass play from Darren Smith (28-for-46, 329 yards, five TDs) to Alex Hoskins on 4th-and-10. Backus ran in the conversion with :47.3 to go.