In this first year for Class D in New York State high school girls lacrosse, Mattituck/Southold is in a class of its own — at least on Long Island.
That was evident Sunday when the Tuckers picked up their first Long Island championship in dominating fashion.
The record book will show that Mattituck won the first Long Island Class D final ever played. It was to be expected, though. Mattituck, ranked third in the new Class D by the New York State Sportswriters Association, was heavily favored against Carle Place.
If coach Matt Maloney was a little uneasy about that sort of talk beforehand, it was for good reason. This year his Tuckers had won their first Suffolk County championship. This was all uncharted territory for them, and favorite or not, they still had to get the job done on the field.
Mattituck took control early, ran off nine straight goals and bounced Carle Place, 15-5, at Adelphi University’s Motamed Field. The Tuckers will play Friday against Bronxville in a state semifinal at SUNY/Cortland.
“We worked hard and we just came out here to win,” sophomore attack Francesca Vasile-Cozzo said. “This is amazing.”
Mackenzie Hoeg, a freshman, led Mattituck with three goals and four assists. Vasile-Cozzo (three goals, two assists), Riley Hoeg (three goals, one assist) and Jane DiGregorio (two goals, two assists) also powered the Tuckers (14-4). Also scoring for Mattituck were Chelsea Marlborough, Ashley Burns, Maddie Schmidt and Rachel Janis.
“Today I think we were in the right mind frame,” Maloney said. “We were ready to play.”
Favored Mattituck gave an indication of what was to come, scoring on its first two shots by Mackenzie Hoeg and Marlborough. Then strikes by Vasile-Cozzo and DiGregorio extended the lead to 4-0 by the time 8 minutes, 1 second had elapsed.
Carle Place (4-9) came back with goals by Nicole Pascarella and Abby Selhorn to pull within 4-2, but Mattituck proceeded to build a 9-0 run to put the result beyond doubt.
“You never know what’s going to happen and you always have to keep pushing it and push the limits,” Riley Hoeg said. “It wasn’t our best, but I think it just goes to show that even when we’re not playing our best on catching or throwing, even the simple things, we’re still getting those ground balls and still working just as hard and we can still come out with a win.”
Carle Place, which this year won its first Nassau County since 1989, received two goals from Selhorn.
Vasile-Cozzo’s emergence this season has been one of the bright storylines for the Tuckers.
“I think she stepped into a nice role where people pay a lot of attention to the Hoegs and to Chelsea and to Jane and she’s really finding her way,” Maloney said. “Things are opening up for her. It’s really nice to see.”
Riley Hoeg said: “From last year to this year she’s made so many improvements. She’s become more confident. She can take it to goal.”
And now the Tuckers will be taking their game to the next level.
“It’s a great feeling,” Maloney said. “Like we talked about before, we have eyes on a big prize and this was a big steppingstone to get there. They came out and performed pretty well.”
Photo caption: Mattituck/Southold celebrated its first Long Island championship following a 15-5 defeat of Carle Place on Sunday at Adelphi University. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)