WNY Athletics

West Seneca East Rallies for OT Win to Reclaim Yelich Trophy

Jim Maisano wasn’t pleased when his West Seneca East boys lacrosse team gave up a shorthanded goal in the final minutes and trailed arch-rival West Seneca West by a goal – but also knew there was more to come.

“I didn’t think it was over by any means,” he said. “You have to remember that they’re kids; they’re going to make mistakes and they’re going to make plays …”

His Trojans sure did. Shaun Dolac tied the game with 25.3 seconds left and Tyler Arndt scored in sudden-death overtime giving East a 10-9 win over West in the annual Yelich Trophy game.

Arndt didn’t watch his winner hit the net – that’s by design. But he did see his teammates race him in celebration.

“I didn’t even look, I never look when I shoot and sometimes I get lucky with it,” he said. “It was just a nice pass and I just shot it. It’s just awesome, it’s a really good feeling.”

It appeared senior captain Steve Lucas was going to lead the Indians to a second straight win in the rivalry game. He tied with 5:37 left and then gave West a 9-8 lead with 2:40 left with a shorthanded goal. It looked like he cemented the game with his third straight goal with 40 seconds left giving the Trojans one last chance.

Dolac cashed in.

“When you have a Shaun Dolac on your team anything can happen,” Maisano said of the WNY Athletics football Player of the Year. “He proves that every year in lacrosse, in football. He’s a special kid.”

And for the rest of the Trojans it was a roller-coaster of emotions, going from the verge of a tough loss to the middle of a celebratory pile.

“It was pretty crazy,” Arndt said. “We got lucky there and then Shaun tied the game with his unreel powerhouse move.”

The trophy – named for current Depew coach Mike Yelich, the founder of West Seneca lacrosse – had a long stay on the east side of town. But that changed last season as West Seneca West won the rivalry game in May by a 10-8 count.

“I think it’s awesome,” Arndt said, “just because last year we didn’t win it, we had it for the last ten years before that. I think it’s really good for our school to bring it back against our rival.”

Arndt led the Trojans with three goals while Dolac, Jack O’Brien, and Colin Schmatz added a pair apiece for East.

George Newcomb scored three goals for West. Jake Cooper and Evan Sherk each added two for the Indians.


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