TUCKERS 9, ROYALS 3
Alec Durkin holds a lacrosse stick with a lot of netting to help him keep balls out of the net. But it was the Mattituck/Greenport/Southold goalie’s wrist that deflected a shot for his best save of the day on Saturday.
Afterward, Durkin was asked how his wrist felt, but he didn’t say much about it. The junior has been playing goalie long enough to know that bumps, bruises, aches and pains come with the position.
Any way you cut it, the odds were stacked against Port Jefferson, which is in its first varsity season. Suffolk County isn’t kind to lacrosse newcomers. They typically pay their dues by being on the short end of one-sided blowouts.
Even so, Port Jefferson turned in a respectable showing against the triumphant Tuckers. The 9-3 final score of the League IV game would have been closer if not for Durkin’s efforts. It wasn’t so much that Durkin saved the day as he made it easier for the Tuckers.
Durkin didn’t need to make his first save until there were a few minutes left in the first half. But the score was 3-0 at halftime, and he came up with several big stops to keep a degree of separation between the teams. By the time Durkin was substituted for by Adam Steele with 61 seconds left in the game, he had made 12 saves (including three each on Chandler Sciara and Marco Scarda). Ten of those saves came in the second half.
Tuckers coach John Amato, who arrived at Port Jefferson High School before the team bus, personally greeted each of his players as they came through a gate leading to the field. With the sun shining and the temperatures in the 50s, it was a relatively pleasant day to play.
After Dylan Marlborough won the opening face-off, the Tuckers (3-1, 3-0) patiently worked the ball around for two minutes before Tim Schmidt scored off a pass from Cal Seifert for the opening goal.
But Port Jefferson (2-3, 2-2) wasn’t a pushover. The Royals clamped down on defense and their goalie, Connor Fitterer, kept busy with 11 saves.
Jack DiGregorio and Tom Hoeg produced the only other goals of the first half. Hoeg’s goal came on the final second of the second quarter after he picked up a loose ball and quickly put his shot in to beat the clock.
A low shot by Pete Fouchet and the second of Schmidt’s three goals put the Tuckers up, 5-0, by the time the third quarter was 1:22 old.
Scarda fired in Port Jefferson’s first goal at 6:27 of the third quarter. Max Scandale and Thomas Mark were the only other Royals to score against Durkin.
DiGregorio finished with three goals and five ground balls, and Seifert had two assists. Zach Holmes also scored for the Tuckers.