Red Storm lacrosse fights to the finish

POTSDAM – When it came to winning Monday’s Section X playoff game, the third time wasn’t the charm for the Saranac Lake boys lacrosse team. But when it came to putting up a fight after getting routed by Potsdam twice during the regular season, the Red Storm gave the Sandstoners all they could handle.

In a Section X quarterfinal matchup, host Potsdam held on to claim a 10-7 victory over Saranac Lake. The Red Storm ended their season with a 4-11 mark, which doubled the amount of wins the team finished with in 2012.

Saranac Lake and Potsdam were deadlocked at 4-4 after the first quarter, and the ‘Stoners came up big by scoring the only four goals in the second quarter to take an 8-4 lead at halftime. The Red Storm closed the gap to 8-6 in the third, but only came up with one more tally down the stretch.

Playing his final high school match, Seth Pickreign scored five goals to pace Saranac Lake’s offense. At the other end of the field, fellow Red Storm senior Michael Burpoe made 13 saves in nets. Both players have been on the team since they were freshmen, and they were named Section X second-team all-stars this season. It was the second year in a row Burpoe received the honor.

Jeff Stevens also had a strong finale to his junior season, scoring twice and adding an assist.

“Potsdam beat us twice during the regular season, and they combined for about 35 goals in those two games,” Saranac Lake head coach Dermott Morgan said. “We didn’t give them a good game the first two times around, but we still thought we could stick with them.

“The kids knew they were underdogs, and we went out and scored the first goal in the first minute of the game,” Morgan continued. “Even after they went up 8-4, we didn’t quit. We fought our way back in there. By the end of the game, our guys were smiling. They knew they left everything out there on the field.”

Morgan also credited senior Quinn Urquhart with a solid performance up front in his last high school game, junior James Murnane with a strong defensive effort and sophomore Gabe Woodward with a standout effort on faceoffs.

With the season coming to a close, Morgan said he was already looking ahead to the next Red Storm boys lacrosse campaign.

“There is no way we can replace Seth Pickreign and Mike Burpoe. That’s a given,” Morgan said. “The good thing is we are only losing five seniors, and we have a lot of guys coming back with another year of varsity experience, and we have a real good goalie in Jacob Merrill coming back. It’s his turn now. I think our future looks bright.”