Austin Blumbergs overtime goal gives Mustangs Far West win

Mustang senior Austin Blumbergs came from behind the net and scored the game-winning goal with just 50 seconds left in the first overtime period to give the Mustang boys a heart-stopping 12-11 win over the Akron Tigers of Section VI. The win propels the Yates County laxers to Wednesday’s New York State semi-final game against Chenango Forks of Section IV. They also advanced with a 9-8 overtime win over Christian Brothers Academy of Section III. This semi-final match will be played at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford at 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 6.

Saturday’s huge win over Akron was a tightly-fought battle between two gifted high school lacrosse teams. The Section VI Tigers defeated Penn Yan in overtime 10-9 nearly one year to the day in last year’s Far West Regional. So there was a huge dose of déjà vu as this game progressed before a big crowd at Buffalo’s All High Stadium. The spunky, young Mustangs quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first quarter, but Akron’s lightning strike offense quickly answered to tie the score. The Tigers outscored the Mustangs 4-1 in the second quarter to take a 6-3 lead at the half and gave the feeling they were going to take over the game. But the battling Mustangs had some other ideas. Penn Yan outscored Akron 3-2 in the third quarter and trailed 8-6 with one quarter to play. The final stanza proved to be a frenzied affair for sure.

Akron scored at the outset of the period to take a 9-6 advantage. But the Mustang dynamic duo of Conner Fingar and Ayden Mowry took over. Fingar and Mowry would score 5 times in the final 11 minutes to turn the game totally around. Mowry scored with 4 minutes remaining to tie the score at 10. Less than 2 minutes later, Conner Fingar found the back of the net to give the Mustangs an 11-10 lead. It was the Orange and Blue laxers first lead since they led 2-1 in the first quarter. But the excitement was not quite done for this hectic quarter. After a scramble down low, Akron scored the tying goal with just 17 ticks left on the clock.

And fittingly so, this game was headed to overtime.

Both teams had chances to score in the extra period. But with time running out, Penn Yan’s Austin Blumbergs proceeded to center stage. And with a flick of the stick and in a wink of an eye, Penn Yan punched their ticket to the State Semi-final game.

The Penn Yan defense played a well-structured game against the talented Akron offense. The Tigers were averaging 18 goals per game. Junior Jack Peterson stepped up his game and was a strong force on defense, along with senior Dakota Miller. Jeff Kinyoun recorded 8 saves in the net for the Mustangs. Penn Yan also capitalized on Akron penalties. The Orange and Blue scored 5 man-up goals, making the Tigers pay.

The Penn Yan scoring ledger was led by Austin Blumbergs with 3 goals including the game-winner. He also dished out 4 assists. Junior Conner Fingar also tallied 3 times and added an assist. The ever-hustling Ayden Mowry also netted 3 goals and had 2 assists. Devon Gerhardt added 2 goals while Dylan Stape and Chase Blumbergs contributed assists to the Mustang winning numbers.