A year to the day since losing to Bronxville in a state Class C girls lacrosse semifinal, Mattituck/Southold enjoyed the greatest day in its eight-year history to that point.
The Tuckers returned to SUNY/Cortland as a Class D team and blasted Bronxville in the final, 12-1, for their first state championship. It was the fewest goals ever allowed in a state final since the state tournament began in 1995.
“They played the best game I’ve seen them play,” coach Matt Maloney told reporters. “They played a near flawless game.”
Mattituck’s offense flowed with help from Francesca Vasile-Cozzo (one goal, four assists) and Jane DiGregorio (two goals, two assists). Tournament MVP Mackenzie Hoeg and her sister, Riley Hoeg, had two goals and one assist each, as did Kaitlin Tobin. Maddie Schmidt scored twice and Rachel Janis and Chelsea Marlborough also found the net for Mattituck (15-5).
Meanwhile, Mattituck’s stubborn starting defense of Alex Beebe, Ashley Burns, Brianna Fox and Lauren Zuhoski limited Bronxville (18-5) to only two first-half shots, none of which were on goal.
“I think we proved ourselves today,” said Vasile-Cozzo.
The bigger test for Mattituck came the day before, when goalkeeper Claudia Hoeg made a close-range save with two seconds left to secure a 7-6 semifinal victory over South Jefferson.
From that point on, they weren’t going to be denied their prize.
“It was one of those games where we all just wanted it just as much as the next person,” Vasile-Cozzo said. “We came out and just did it.”
Photo caption: The players celebrate their state championship. (Credit: Rich Barnes)