KINGSMEN 18, TUCKERS 5
With a new head coach in place, the winless Mattituck/Greenport/Southold boys lacrosse team started the second half of the season on Monday with an all-too-familiar result from the first half: a loss.
Tim Corcoran resigned as the Tuckers coach over the weekend, said the Mattituck High School principal, Shawn Petretti. Corcoran’s assistant coach, Frank Falco, has been named the head coach.
Corcoran, who could not be reached for comment, had been in charge of the fledgling program since its inception three years ago. His record over one and a half varsity seasons is 1-20.
The Mattituck athletic director, Gregg Wormuth, declined to comment.
Falco’s debut as a varsity head coach Monday was an 18-5 home loss to Kings Park. A former West Islip High School player, Falco is hardly a stranger to the program, having coached at the junior high school, junior varsity and varsity levels in Mattituck over the past three years.
“I’m here for the kids,” Falco said. “I’m here for the program.”
Falco did not have much to say about Corcoran’s surprising departure. “Right now we got these kids to tend to, and we want to just try to help them get better and move forward, and that’s about all I’m going to say on that,” Falco said. “He left a big set of shoes to fill. The kids really loved him and looked up to him, as did I, and now we have to move forward.”
Tuckers interviewed after the game gave Falco a vote of confidence, verbalizing their support for him.
“I’m glad that he’s the one who stepped up because I wouldn’t rather have it any other way in this kind of situation,” defenseman Chris Baglivi said. “He’s always pushing us, telling us where to go, keeping us motivated. He’s great.”
The first game of the Falco era was a lopsided defeat, albeit one that was sprinkled with some bright spots in it for the Tuckers (0-8, 0-8 Suffolk County Division II). The Tuckers didn’t have a bad first quarter. They shut the Kingsmen (4-7, 4-5) out in the third quarter and limited them to four goals in the fourth quarter.
“It shows signs of life, and then we go flat again,” said Falco.
A source of encouragement for the Tuckers was their starting goalie, Nick Tesiny. The junior made a career-high 13 saves in the three quarters he played. “He proved something today,” said Falco.
Tesiny was spelled by Andre Vega, who made two saves in the second quarter.
“I had a better game than I expected to today,” Tesiny said. “We played as hard as we could. It didn’t go the way we wanted it to, but we’ll get there.”
Tesiny was kept busy stopping shots, and undoubtedly has marks on his body to prove it. Lacrosse balls are hard.
“I wear pads, but it still hurts,” he said. “You got to fight through it, man.”
The goalie position was a question mark for the Tuckers at the beginning of the season. Perhaps Tesiny is the answer.
“He had a great game,” Baglivi said. “He’s progressed over the season a lot, and it’s nice because in the beginning of the season, we didn’t have a definite goalie, and that really hurt us, so it’s nice to finally have a goalie who is stepping up.”
But even an inspired goalie can do only so much when his team is outshot by 46-18, as the Tuckers were by Kings Park.
Six goals from junior attackman Quintin Bower led Kings Park. Dominic Montemurro totaled five goals, one assist and 14 ground balls. Joe O’Connor added three goals and three assists, and Brian Headrick had six assists to go with a goal.
Kings Park goalies Tom Fallon (six) and Harrison Bower combined for nine saves.
After a goal by Mattituck/Greenport/Southold’s Connor Stumpf tied the score at 1-1 with 4 minutes 17 seconds left in the first quarter, Kings Park ran off eight straight goals.
In addition to Stumpf, the Tuckers also received goals from Rich Smith, Casey Grathwohl and Tom Filipkowski.
“We’re going to keep pushing forward,” Falco said. “We’re going to make a success out of this.”
Falco acknowledged that his new job is a challenge. He said he is excited for his players.
“They should get all the accolades, and I will gladly then take all the blame, and just leave it 50-50 like that,” he said. “They take the good, I’ll take the bad. That’s how I’ll split it with them.”
Talking about the learning process the Tuckers are going through, Falco said: “Patience is a big deal. Perseverance is an even bigger deal. I think we’re still learning that. Today was the first game of the second half of the season. The first half was not successful by any stretch, and I would just like to have a winning record for the second half and just say that we finished strong. I tell them to play hard every day, no matter what the score, and they do. When pride is all you have left, it has to show.”