On an evening of wild weather that saw periods of violent, torrential rain, John Amato tried to find a silver lining in the dark clouds above.
He talked about how his Mattituck/Southold high school boys lacrosse team had made it as far as it did to the New York State Class D semifinals for a second year in a row. It was there, though, where the Tuckers ran into a wall called Briarcliff.
Briarcliff ended Mattituck’s season, showing its quality by running off eight straight goals for a 9-1 lead on the way to a 10-3 rout Wednesday night at Adelphi University’s Motamed Field.
The Tuckers (13-6) hoped to make program history by advancing to their first state final. Instead, Briarcliff (18-4) will play for the title when it faces Lafayette/Onondaga Saturday at St. John Fisher College in Rochester.
Anthony Capasso and Jackson Ricciardi fired in three goals each during that 8-0 burst, removing whatever juice the game had.
Mattituck was held to one first-half goal, and that came from Matthew Seifert 9 minutes, 3 seconds into the game. That goal tied it at 1-1.
Dane Reda, from an assist by Ethan Schmidt, and Max Kruszeski scored for Mattituck in the second half. Kruszeski’s goal, with 4:54 left to play, was the final one of his five-year career as a varsity starter for the Tuckers. He will play for Marquette next year.
Kruszeski, who was presented with a sportsmanship award after the game, also picked up four ground balls, as did Parker Sheppard and Colby Suglia.
Mattituck goalie Luke Wojtas made nine saves before being relieved by Tyler Shuford with 4:11 to go in the game.
Kyle Proctor (one goal, two assists) and Matthew Waterhouse (one goal, one assist) also helped fuel the Briarcliff offense. The Bears also received a goal each from Andrew Karnovsky and Aidan Murnane (six ground balls). Ian Leahy stopped nine shots for Briarcliff.
Briarcliff outshot Mattituck, 36-20.
Mattituck bids farewell to four seniors — Willie Burns, Greg Hauser, Ryan Seifert and Kruszeski.
Top photo caption: Ethan Schmidt of Mattituck tries to maintain possession as his stick hand is hit by a Briarcliff defender. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)