If Matt Maloney has a home away from home, it just might be the lacrosse field at East Hampton High School. He had, after all, spent six years coaching girls lacrosse on that field turf until taking over as the Mattituck/Greenport/Southold coach three years ago.
For the first time since he last coached East Hampton/Bridgehampton/Pierson, Maloney returned to that East Hampton field for a game Friday, this time as an opposing coach, and it conjured up plenty of memories.
“We had some good memories on this field, some bad memories, too,” he said.
Add Friday’s game to the good memories for Maloney.
Twelve Tuckers scored as Mattituck rolled to an easy 19-1 rout for its fifth straight win. Jane DiGregorio collected two goals, four assists and collected five loose balls while Riley Hoeg added two goals and three assists and her sister, Mackenzie Hoeg, bagged three goals and an assist.
“When the schedule came out I was kind of looking forward to coming back,” said Maloney, who has a 2-0 record against his former team. At the same time, he said: “It felt a little eerie at the start. It was like dead silent.”
Mattituck (6-1, 4-1 Suffolk County Division III) silenced East Hampton’s offense while taking charge from the start. Chelsea Marlborough (12-for-14 on draw controls) won the first five draws as the Tuckers charged out to a 9-0 lead in the opening 7 minutes, 3 seconds.
Riley Hoeg was involved in four of the game’s first five goals, assisting on the opening three goals (two by Mackenzie Hoeg and one by Marlborough) and scoring the fifth.
East Hampton’s goal, fired in by Juliana Jurkewicz on a feed from Hollie Schleicher at 12:37 of the first half, made it 9-1.
But goals by Francesca Vasile-Cozzo, Ashley Burns, Rachel Janis, Maddie Schmidt and Riley Hoeg made it 14-1 by halftime.
“I think he definitely wanted to beat them,” Riley Hoeg said of Maloney. “I think he wanted us to bring our game and show them what he brought to Mattituck.”
Mattituck substituted liberally and all 20 of its available players played.
“I think the main important thing was for us to play our level and the crispness and just keep our game up,” said attack Julie Seifert, who scored twice as did Charlotte Keil.
Mattituck outshot East Hampton (2-4, 2-2) by a 23-4 count.
The game was a tuneup for Mattituck’s home game against Shoreham-Wading River — a team it had never beaten — on Monday.
“We wanted to make today more about us,” Maloney said. “We wanted to make sure that we were doing the right things heading into one of the biggest games of our season on Monday.”
Mattituck and East Hampton shared other connections. Vasile-Cozzo, a sophomore attack for Mattituck, registered two goals and one assist with both of her parents watching. Her father, Joe, is the East Hampton athletic director.
And then there were the coaches. East Hampton coach Jessica Sanna coaches a travel team based out of Westhampton Beach along with Maloney.
“He’s a great coach,” she said. “He’s very motivated. He has a very good game sense. He’s able to pass that onto his players.”
Sanna said Maloney is creative in his drills. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen him do the same drill twice,” she said.
Since coming to Mattituck, Maloney has enjoyed a good deal of success. The team has gone 29-12 and advanced to the county semifinals the past two years with him at the helm.
Only two East Hampton players he coached remain with the Bonackers: Jacqui Thorsen and Schleicher. No current Tuckers were varsity players when he last coached East Hampton.
Before joining his team on the bus for the ride back to Mattituck, Maloney indicated he enjoyed his return to East Hampton.
“It was fun,” he said. “It was definitely fun to come back.”
Photo caption: Mattituck/Greenport/Southold coach Matt Maloney talking to his players before Friday’s game in his return to East Hampton, where he coached for six years. (Credit: Bob Liepa)