Mustangs first varsity lacrosse victory was an overtime thriller

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 7 June 2020 at 8:35 am

Contributed Photo – Medina’s Eric Barna moves the ball upfield during the Mustangs first ever varsity lacrosse victory, a 6-5 overtime win over Gow School in 1982 at the Towne School field.

Following several seasons of intramural and club level play, Medina began varsity lacrosse competition in 1982 and it took just two games for the Mustangs to claim their historic first victory.

Rebounding from a 6-4 opening game loss to Orchard Park, Coach Chuck Mancuso’s Mustangs squad claimed the milestone first victory by nipping visiting Gow School 6-5 in overtime on a goal by senior midfielder Brynton Thomas, who had the three goal hat-trick on the day.

It was a come-from-behind win for Medina which had to rally from three goal deficit.

Gow jumped out to a 3-0 first quarter lead and held a 4-1 advantage early in the third quarter as sophomore Tim Jennings had the Mustangs lone goal during that long stretch.

However, Medina battle back to tie the contest at 4-4 at the three-quarter mark after a quick three goal scoring burst on tallies by senior Randy Barnum, Thomas and senior Bill Maryjanowski.

The Mustangs then grabbed the lead for the first time at 5-4 on a goal by Thomas two minutes into the final period. Gow though answered back with a goal to retie the contest to force overtime.

Medina though was not to be denied as Thomas scored the game winner just 55 seconds into the overtime period off an assist from junior Eric Barna.

The Mustangs finished that inaugural season with a 4-10 record as Maryjanowski netted a total of 14 goals, Thomas 12, senior John Licinio 11 and junior Todd VanAuker 10.

That season Medina was just one of only 11 Section VI schools playing varsity lacrosse. The Mustangs played in the Tuscarora Division along with Grand Island, Niagara-Wheatfield, Nichols, Sweet Home and Park. The league’s other division, the Seneca, included Gow, Orchard Park, Gowanda, Hamburg and Salamanca.