As the girls stepped off the bus back at Mattituck High School Saturday night, “We are the Champions” began to blare over a portable speaker. The girls on the Mattituck/Southold girls lacrosse team began singing along as friends and family that had gathered to welcome home the state champions snapped photos. READ
South Jefferson did a remarkable job of defense, face guarding Mattituck/Southold’s Riley and Mackenzie Hoeg in Friday’s New York State Class D girls lacrosse semifinal. The Hoeg sisters, who have combined for 155 points this year, were held to no points.
That’s right. Zero. Nada. Zilch.
But there was one Hoeg South Jefferson didn’t account for. READ
The Mattituck/Southold Tuckers are back where they want to be.
Since Mattituck’s six-goal loss to Bronxville in last year’s New York State Class D girls lacrosse semifinals, the Tuckers have been itching to return to that stage. “Ever since that loss I think it’s been our motivation,” said senior midfielder Jane DiGregorio.
Patience is not only a virtue, but to play winning lacrosse, it just may be a necessity.
Both coaches clearly understood that, spending a good deal of their time on the sideline Saturday morning, reminding their players to remain patient when they had the ball. Mount Sinai’s Al Bertolone repeatedly yelled out the “p” word. “Patience! Patience!” he implored. “Stay patient!” READ
Nowadays, the Mattituck/Southold girls lacrosse players can chuckle at the memory. Once upon a time, though — not all that long ago, really — the Tuckers lost a lot. Wins were hard to come by for the developing team as it struggled to find its way. So when one of the players spoke about how nice it would be to win a state championship one day, laughter would follow, as if to say, it’s never going to happen.
It could have been mistaken for a playoff game, if not for the biting wind and cold or the fact that these two high school girls lacrosse teams will not meet in the playoffs, being in two separate classes.
The level of play, however, was playoff caliber, and that had to warm the hearts of both coaches, Mattituck/Southold’s Matt Maloney and Eastport-South Manor’s Becky Thorn, on this raw Tuesday morning. READ