Say this about the Bellport and Mattituck/Greenport/Southold high school boys lacrosse teams: They make a good match for each other.
When the two Suffolk County Division II teams with similar records played on Thursday, it was intense and spellbinding. One team would score, then the other would reply with a goal of its own in a captivating, back-and-forth contest. The lead changed hands six times and the score was tied nine times. The goalkeeping on both sides was exceptional. Through the first three quarters, the only two-goal lead was Bellport’s at 7-5.
As the pregame warmups of the Mattituck/Greenport/Southold high school boys lacrosse team were coming to a close Friday, a Westhampton Beach player shouted, “No mercy.”
It took awhile for his Hurricane teammates to get the message, but once they did there was no stopping them as they showed no mercy in Mattituck.
Rob Kruszeski is fearless when he steps onto the field to protect the goal.
So says Mattituck/Greenport/Southold boys lacrosse coach John Amato, whose admiration for Kruszeski’s courage under fire is just one of the traits he likes about his senior goalie.
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.
That may have summed up John Amato’s initial reaction when he heard that New York State’s high school boys lacrosse system was to be divided this year into four classes instead of three, as it had been. It means Class D has been added to Classes A, B and C. While Amato’s Mattituck/Greenport/Southold team remains a Class C team, the playing field in that class became notably tougher.
Reaching the Suffolk County Class C final for the first time last year was an exciting thing for the Mattituck/Greenport/Southold boys lacrosse team. However, the Tuckers were looking for more this time around when they returned to the title game on Wednesday. One gets the sense that losing to Babylon in the county final for the second straight year is already getting old for them.
It can also serve as motivation for next year. READ
In Suffolk County boys lacrosse, the road to a Class C championship runs squarely through Babylon. With previous champions like Shoreham-Wading River, Mount Sinai and John Glenn bumped up to Class B, it has been the Panthers feasting on the remaining competition. READ
Now that the Mattituck/Greenport/Southold high school boys lacrosse team is back on the big stage, coach John Amato doesn’t want the Tuckers to get stage fright.
The question of which was more annoying, the Mattituck/Greenport/Southold boys lacrosse uniforms with the digital camo numbers that were difficult to read from a distance or the tiny insects flying around in the still, humid air, was up for debate.
For a high school boys lacrosse team that is noticeably quieter than last year, Mattituck/Greenport/Southold sure has been making a lot of noise.
When Tim Schmidt was asked what the biggest difference is between last year’s team and the current version, the senior attack didn’t hesitate to bring up the change in volume.