Beginnings can be misleading.
That surely was the case with Wednesday’s high school boys lacrosse game at Mattituck High School. Center Moriches scored on its first two shots and held a 2-0 lead 2 minutes, 30 seconds into the Suffolk County Division II game.
It turned out to be a tease for Center Moriches, though, and a wake-up call for Mattituck/Greenport/Southold.
Mattituck then ran off eight straight goals — five by senior Ben Schmidt — on the way to an 11-7 win.
Schmidt (five goals, two assists, two ground balls) and Thomas Hoeg (three goals, three assists, five ground balls) combined for five goals in which one set the other up.
After Tyler Seifert capped that 8-0 burst with his goal at 1:29 of the third quarter, Center Moriches replied with three goals in succession — two by Frank Distefano (three goals, three assists) — to trim Mattituck’s lead to 9-6 with 5:21 left in the game.
But an illegal body check by Derek Pedone and a cross-check by Van Passolo set Mattituck (2-1, 1-1) up with a two-man advantage late in the fourth quarter. Matt Mauceri capitalized off a feed from Max Kruszeski. Then Hoeg’s third goal with 2:01 to go essentially iced it before Keegan Maxwell (four goals, one assist) pulled a late goal back for Center Moriches (1-2, 0-1).
Justin Tobin produced his first varsity goal for Mattituck, which held commanding advantages in shots, 40-14, and ground balls, 43-20.
Mattituck’s Dane Reda won 11 of 16 faceoffs and collected six ground balls before leaving the game wth 11:31 remaining. He said he was blindsided by a hit during a scramble for the ball.
Center Moriches goalie Bailey Hohwald turned in a brave effort, making 17 saves.
At the other end, Mattituck’s Rob Kruszeski didn’t make a save in the first half and his halftime replacement, Shawn Howell, made three, the first of his varsity career.
Photo caption: Mattituck/Greenport/Southold assembled for a team photo prior to the team’s 11-7 defeat of Center Moriches. (Credit: Bob Liepa)