Colby Suglia has an agreeable manner — off the lacrosse field. For players on the field wearing opposing uniforms, however, it might be a different story.
As Suglia sees it, lacrosse affords him the opportunity to be himself — on the field.
“I get to be so aggressive and mean, I guess,” the Mattituck/Southold junior defenseman said. “You got to have that mentality of you’re not going down without a fight.”
The Tuckers put up a fight, but they went down in their final regular-season game, 13-3, to a tough Comsewogue team at Mattituck High School Wednesday.
And now another game begins: the waiting game.
Mattituck coach John Amato expects the Tuckers to be placed in the Suffolk County Class D championship game against either Port Jefferson or Babylon May 28 at Farmingdale State College. He said the playoff brackets will be released Friday night.
A win in their regular-season finale would have brought the Tuckers (8-8, 6-8 Division II) some momentum into the postseason, but then again, that might have been asking for a lot. Comsewogue (8-7, 8-5) historically has run a strong program, and the current Warriors are no slouches.
“I knew it was going to be a tough game,” Suglia said. “I think we could have brought it a lot more. We didn’t bring our ‘A’ game.”
Meanwhile, Comsewogue brought its game. The Warriors rang up seven goals before Mattituck finally got on the scoreboard, courtesy of Max Kruszeski’s man-up goal with 1 minute, 14 seconds left in the first half.
Corey Watson led the way with three goals and two assists while Chris Wolfe added three goals and one assist. Sean Kennedy scored twice. T.J. Heyder and James Mantione contributed two goals and one assist each. Karl Lacalandra (five) and Aiden McCaffrey combined for nine of Comsewogue’s 16 ground balls. Mattituck had five ground balls.
Not to be overlooked, though, were the efforts of Tom Heller in the Comsewogue goal. Heller was particularly outstanding in the second half when he made nine of his 12 saves. “They got the best goalie in the county,” said Amato.
Wolfe fired in three straight third-quarter goals before Dane Reda cut the Comsewogue lead to 10-2 with his strike a half-second before the quarter ended. Reda also scored 31 seconds into the fourth quarter from a feed by Matt Seifert.
That was all Mattituck’s scoring for the day. It was the Tuckers’ second-lowest output of the season, behind a 15-1 loss to Shoreham-Wading River.
Mattituck is hoping to defend the Suffolk and Long Island titles it won for the first time last year. Its defense has helped, with the likes of Cole DiGregorio, Nicholas DeNicola, Suglia and Matt Warns at long-stick middie.
“They’re all very good,” Amato said, adding, “They’re all tough and they pick up ground balls.”
Suglia, in his third year on the team, could be considered the leader of that defensive corp.
“He’s a very aggressive player,” DeNicola said. “He’s a go-getter … and we like it.”
Amato certainly does.
“He’s not scared of anyone or anything, for that matter,” the coach said of the hard-nosed defenseman. “He plays tough. He’s always been like that, even when he was playing on varsity as a freshman. He just goes for it. It’s fun to watch, and he just plays confident and tough. He usually is matching up on the other team’s top guy, and he has stepped up to every single assignment that we have given him this season.”
Asked about his role, Suglia said: “I try to bring the defense together and really just make sure we’re playing as a team and communicating and really just working together as a unit and not going against each other. I’m going to call someone out if they did something wrong, but we’re all trying to win.”
Photo caption: Mattituck/Southold defenseman Nicholas DeNicola tries to contain Comsewogue attack Chris Wolfe (three goals, one assist). (Credit: Bob Liepa)