CORNING - Vestal edged Horseheads 15-13 in the Section IV Class B title game Thursday in Corning.
"I think it's a huge disapointment for us, our goal was to win the game, win sectionals and go on to states," Horseheads head coach Jason Neubauer said. "Everytime you start down 6-0, you get in a hole. that's kind of been our story this year."
The Golden Bears came out shooting with six goals in eight minutes to put the Blue Raiders in an early hole.
Horseheads scored the next three goals to cut the Vestal lead to 6-3 on two scores from Gavin Elston and a score from Patrick Carpenter.
Vestal outscored the Blue Raiders 4-3 in the next nine minutes of the half to take a 10-6 lead into halftime.
The Golden Bears upped their lead to as much as 13-7 with 5;47 left in the third quarter.
Horseheads then started to mount a comeback, with a goal from Dawson Felenchak that pulled the Blue Raiders to within 13-8 followed by a Carpenter score to close the third quarter on a two goal run.
Vestal and Horseheads traded goals to start the fourth quarter, but Parker Winkky-Wade cut the deficit to 15-12 with 3:45 to go.
Carpenter netted another goal 30 seconds later to give Horseheads a chance only down two goals with 3:14 to go.
"We fought hard, we were in it," Neubauer said. "We fought hard in every game we competed in this year. I haven't seen a Horseheads team compete like we did in a long time. I'm happy for the seniors and wish them well."
The Golden Bears defense held the Blue Raiders offense scoreless, despite multiple chances in the final minutes.
Carpenter and Elston led Horseheads with four goals while Dawson Felenchak added two goals and Casey Klossner and Tom O’Mara contributed single goals.
For the Golden Bears, Aaron Tebo, JT Stirpe, Jared Butler and Connor Zostant all had three goals.
Vestal will move on to play in the New York State Regional game Saturday June 1 at Corning High School.
Horseheads finishes its season 12-5.
"I'm proud of the kids," said Neubauer. "it still stings in the moment, but we were in it. The future is bright for the Horseheads lacrosse program."