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03/09/17 6:00am
03/09/2017 6:00 AM

Haven’t we been here before?

Yes, we have. Well, not literally. Last year this game was at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue. On Monday it was at SUNY/Old Westbury. But it was the same stage of the playoffs (a Long Island Class B girls basketball final), with the same two teams (Mattituck and Carle Place) and, yes, the same result (a Mattituck victory).

Of course, what was different was how it was achieved.
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03/06/17 8:37pm
03/06/2017 8:37 PM

With a Long Island Class B girls basketball championship on the line, Carle Place eighth-grader Erin Leary received a pass from Leah Burden in the right corner and let loose a shot as time expired. It hit nothing but net.

Initially, some on the Mattituck side believed it to be a three-pointer.

Liz Dwyer’s heart sank. “I almost started crying,” said the junior forward.
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11/10/13 6:08pm
11/10/2013 6:08 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | One of Mattituck's captains, Laurel Bertolas, holding up the third Long Island championship plaque the Tuckers have won in four years.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | One of Mattituck’s captains, Laurel Bertolas, holding up the third Long Island championship plaque the Tuckers have won in four years.

LONG ISLAND REGION CLASS C FINAL | TUCKERS 25, 13, 17, 25, 25, FROGS 14, 25, 25, 21, 22

Given the circumstances and given how much was at stake, a strong case could be made that the Mattituck High School girls volleyball team never experienced the sort of pressure that it did on Sunday.

For the Tuckers, the difference between triumph and failure was so slight that they shuddered at the thought of how close they had come to what would have been the end of their season. Instead, they rejoiced at the exciting prospect of a trip to Glens Falls.

For the third time in four years, the Tuckers clinched a place in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships. Just how they did it, though, was particularly gripping.

After falling behind, two games to one, Mattituck recovered to pull out a thrilling, if not particularly well-played, Long Island Region Class C final against Carle Place.

What the match may have lacked at times in consistent play was more than made up for by drama. Mattituck, playing with its back to the wall after falling into a hole, emerged a 25-14, 13-25, 17-25, 25-21, 25-22 winner for its third Long Island championship.

Mishits and passing errors were prominent down the stretch by both sides before a kill by Shannon Dwyer made the score in the decisive fifth game 24-22. Then, when Carle Place was unable to handle a ball on match point, the happy Tuckers mobbed each other on the court at St. Joseph’s College’s John A. Danzi Athletic Center. On the other side of the net, the Frogs looked crushed.

Later, one of the beaming Mattituck captains, Laurel Bertolas, was presented with the championship plaque, which she raised high over her head and those of her teammates for all to see.

With the triumph, Mattituck (10-7) earned the right to compete in the state tournament that will be held Nov. 16 and 17 at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

Mattituck’s advancement was by no means assured. The Tuckers had also defeated Carle Place in a Long Island final in 2010 to reach their first state tournament. That match was completed in four games, and was not nearly as intense as the one on Sunday.

Things started off well for Mattituck. The Tuckers’ first server, Emilie Reimer, took 15 of the team’s 24 serves in that opening game. Although Carle Place (16-3) cut Mattituck’s lead to 13-12 at one point, the Tuckers never trailed and pulled away.

But the Tuckers seemed to lose something after that opening game. Reimer served only twice in the second game, and that wasn’t a good sign for Mattituck. And then Carle Place took the third game, putting Mattituck on the brink of elimination.

A service ace by Dwyer closed out the fourth game, setting up a dramatic showdown in Game 5.

How close was it?

On paper, Carle Place actually held advantages in just about all the major statistical categories: aces (14-10), assists (34-27), kills (36-24). The Frogs even outscored the Tuckers in total points, 107-105.

But the Tuckers had the on-court leadership of Dwyer to rally around. The senior middle hitter put down 15 kills and had 6 blocks. Many of her kills came off sets by Bertolas (20 assists). Meanwhile, Reimer was steady at the service line, going 29 for 30.

The Tuckers had to contend with the fierce swing of Carle Place outside hitter Courtney Mulcare. Mulcare, a senior, put away 17 kills. Carle Place also received 22 assists from Patricia Acipreste and another 11 from Brianna DeMeo. DeMeo was a 22-for-23 server.

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11/05/13 7:49pm
11/05/2013 7:49 PM
ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Mattituck's Mario Arreola fighting for control of the ball during the regional semifinal against Carle Place on Tuesday at Diamond in the Pines.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Mattituck’s Mario Arreola fighting for control of the ball during the regional semifinal against Carle Place on Tuesday at Diamond in the Pines.

SOUTHEAST REGION CLASS B SEMIFINAL | FROGS 1, TUCKERS 0 (2 OT)

The Mattituck High School boys soccer team’s hope for a dream season was cut short Tuesday in stunning finality.

Playing a Carle Place team that employs a ball-possession style similar to their own, the Tuckers and their fans were silenced by Billy Chiappone’s volley for the Southeast Region Class B semifinal’s only goal in sudden-victory overtime. The senior forward, assisted by John Aydogan, nailed a drive to the low left corner, giving goalkeeper Stephen Ostrowski no chance 11 minutes 22 seconds into the second overtime period to end it at Diamond in the Pines in Coram. It was Chiappone’s 11th goal of the season for the five-time Nassau County champions, who claimed their third Long Island championship.

Mattituck, the defending Long Island champion, finished the year with a 15-3 record, all three of its losses coming by 1-0 scores in overtime.

The teams proved to be a good match for each other. They both had chances to win it before overtime.

Mattituck’s skillful junior forward, Kaan Ilgin, blamed himself for the defeat while talking to reporters afterward, saying he should have converted opportunities he had. Ilgin was quite active, launching a game-high 11 shots and putting 4 of them on goal. He touched the ball 59 times and completed 20 of 25 passes.

Ilgin was nearly Mattituck’s hero in the sixth minute of overtime when he was sent through alone on goal, only to fire his shot a little too high, over the crossbar.

With a little over three minutes left in regulation time, Mario Arreola pushed forward a ball for Ilgin, who flicked a shot that goalkeeper John Guzzo smothered for one of his 10 saves.

Carle Place (15-0-1) twice came within inches of scoring late in the first half. John Aydogan struck the crossbar in the 39th minute and Dylan Klein slammed a shot off the right goal post with less than three minutes left in the half.

The Frogs came close again in the second half. An exchange of passes by Klein and Chiappone led to a header by the unmarked Klein in front of the Mattituck goal. Mattituck’s Oswaldo Aldaz cleared the ball away for a corner kick.

Both teams lost a player when Carle Place’s Matt Carr and Mattituck’s Joe Tardif collided with about 13 minutes left in the first half. Neither player returned to the game. Carr suffered a gash on his head and was taken to a hospital. Carle Place coach Allen Foraker said he hoped to have Carr available for the team’s next game.

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11/12/12 3:45pm
11/12/2012 3:45 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mattituck sophomore Kaan Ilgin leads the Tuckers into the Long Island finals today against Carle Place.

Class B Long Island Finals

Mattituck 1, Carle Place 0

Mitchel Athletic Complex

The Mattituck boys soccer team won the Long Island Championship Monday, 1-0, in the second overtime. Stephen Urwand scored the game’s only goal off a pass from Mario Arreola.

To follow a recap all the action from today’s game, click on the live blog below: