When the Mount Sinai Mustangs boys lacrosse team traveled to Mattituck last Thursday to play the Mattituck/Greenport/Southold Tuckers, it was a battle between two winless, young teams looking to improve.
The Mustangs are clearly further ahead in their development. That much was clear as they built up a 10-2 lead on the way to a 14-7 win. Peter Natale paced Mount Sinai with five goals while Chad Marino had two goals and five assists.
“We needed a win,” Mount Sinai Coach Joe Cuozzo said. “We’re a young, inexperienced team with a long way to go. Hopefully this game will serve us well.”
The Mustangs (1-4, 1-2 in Suffolk County Division II) led early by 4-0 and were on top, 6-1, at the half. The lead grew to 10-2 going into the final period. Joey Bongiomo added two goals for Mount Sinai, while Joe Wittpenn had a goal and two assists.
Cuozzo said he recently shifted Natale from midfield to attack.
“Peter has done a nice job,” Cuozzo said. “He is finishing the plays and putting the ball in the net.”
But the sensational play of the Tuckers’ goalkeeper, Eric Izzo, kept the score reasonably close, making 25 saves. Izzo had also played well on April 6, recording 18 saves in an 8-5 loss to Southampton.
“Eric has played really well,” Tuckers Coach Tim Corcoran said. “He is doing a good job looking to clear the ball. He is keeping us in these games.”
Corcoran was proud of how his team never gave up and battled back to outscore the Mustangs, 5-4, in the final period.
Matt Miller (four goals) and Nick Cosgrove (three goals) did all the scoring for the Tuckers (0-3, 0-2).
“Matt and Nick were aggressive,” Corcoran said. “They got off some good shots.”
Matt Poillon (six) and Ryan Haring (three) combined for nine saves in goal for the Mustangs.
Both coaches know their teams still have a long way to go.
“Mount Sinai is a good team,” Corcoran said. “They’ve been playing for a while, but our kids kept playing. We were riding the ball well and clearing it better. We were running our offense. We just need more game experience.”
Cuozzo also feels his team needs to mature and gain more experience.
“Game to game, we need to get better,” he said. “We need to eliminate our mistakes and keep improving.”