BOB LIEPA PHOTO
Matt Miller’s role with Mattituck/Greenport/Southold remains the same: score goals, make nice passes, win face-offs and hustle.
Matt Miller maintains that not much has changed for him since last year’s lacrosse season, aside from the drives to practices and games.
Now the Mattituck/Greenport/Southold high school boys lacrosse team that Miller plays for holds its practices at Cutchogue East Elementary School and home games at Strawberry Fields in Mattituck as opposed to Greenport High School, which was its home in 2009. Miller, a senior who can play attack or midfield, and defenseman Alex Angelson are the only two Greenporters on the team.
Other than that, though, Miller’s role on the team seems to be the same: score goals, make nice passes, win face-offs and hustle. He does it all for the Tuckers, as their first-year coach, Tim Corcoran, will be the first to point out.
“He’s a tremendous player,” Corcoran said. “He’s got tremendous heart. He plays hard all the time. He’s a pleasure to have on the team. He knows the game. He can pass, he can throw, he can shoot. He’s a complete player.”
That’s just the sort of veteran player the young Tuckers need. Miller has 11 lacrosse-playing years under his belt. He played three years of junior varsity lacrosse before joining the North Fork’s inaugural varsity team last year. In 2009, Miller scored over 30 goals, was named the team’s most valuable player and earned all-division honors along with the division’s rookie of the year award.
Miller, who hasn’t made a college choice yet, said he wants to play in college. His play is leading him in that direction.
“I feel I’m playing good,” he said.
Miller did his part on Friday when the Tuckers not only lost a game, but lost a player as well, at least temporarily.
Nick Sisino, a freshman midfielder, left the field in an ambulance after taking a hard hit in the Tuckers’ 15-9 loss to the Kings Park Kingsmen in a Suffolk County Division II game at Strawberry Fields. Rob Lanni of Kings Park was assessed a penalty for an illegal body check after his hit sent the exposed Sisino flying to the ground with 8 minutes 57 seconds left in the game.
Some scary moments followed. Sisino laid motionless with his back on the ground while a trainer attended to him. After about five minutes, Sisino sat up, and then several minutes later he rose to his feet to a round of applause. Sisino, who looked groggy, walked to the bench where he spent the remainder of the game being examined. His neck was stabilized before he was placed in an ambulance.
After the game, Corcoran said Sisino had the wind knocked out of him and there was concern about his neck.
Sisino, who was taken to a hospital for examination, is O.K., Corcoran said this week. In fact, Sisino was in uniform Tuesday for the Tuckers’ 17-2 loss to the East Hampton/Bridgehampton Bonackers, although he did not play.
“Absolutely, it is scary,” the coach said. “Any time you see a player go down, it’s scary.”
The incident appeared to fire up the Tuckers on Friday. “We got pretty mad,” Miller said. “It just made us want to play harder, do it for him.”
Kings Park (4-3, 4-2) had catapulted to a 15-3 lead by the time Sisino got hurt. Then Mattituck/Greenport/Southold (0-6, 0-6) struck for the game’s final six goals over the last 7:28 to close the gap.
Tim Lawrence scored three goals, assisted on five others and scooped up seven ground balls for Kings Park. Andrew Gannon added three goals and three assists. Dominic Montemurro also had a hat trick to go with eight ground balls, and Mark Boylan scored twice.
Nick Cosgrove produced four goals (all in the final 7:28) and one assist for Mattituck/Greenport/Southold, which also received three goals and two assists from Miller, and a goal apiece from Zach Nicholson and Jesse Grathwohl.
It was a contentious affair, with both teams trading hits, and both coaches, Marcelo Sandoval of Kings Park and Corcoran, receiving unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in the first half for words they had for the officials.
Miller, who was the recipient of a couple of hard hits himself, said hitting is his favorite part of the game. “It’s fine with me,” he said.
At one point in the first half, after Miller was knocked to the hard ground, he was escorted as he walked slowly off the field and to the bench. But he didn’t stay there for long.
“I tried to keep him out, but he refused,” said Corcoran.
Even before Sisino was knocked out of the game, the Tuckers were already short a player. Ryan Malone, a sophomore midfielder, missed his third game with a shoulder injury. He is expected to be able to play this week.
Miller, who takes face-offs along with Nicholson, did what he usually does in Friday’s game.
“He’s a leader of the team,” Corcoran said. “He played a great game, the typical game that he has.”
Corcoran knew from the start of preseason practice that he had a player in Miller. The coach said, “I’d be blind if I couldn’t figure that out.”