The Mattituck/Southold high school boys lacrosse team reached the state Class D semifinals for a second straight year. And for a second straight year that is the stage where the Tuckers’ season came to an end.
This time Mattituck ran into a defensive wall named Briarcliff, which ran off eight straight goals for a 9-1 lead on the way to a 10-3 rout at Adelphi University’s Motamed Field.
The Tuckers (13-6) hoped to make program history by advancing to their first state final. Instead, Briarcliff moved on, losing to LaFayette/Onondaga, 9-8, in the championship game.
Briarcliff scored all seven second-quarter goals for the bulk of that 8-0 burst. Mattituck was held to one first-half goal, and that came from Matthew Seifert 9 minutes, 3 seconds into the game.
“I think we could have done a lot more,” midfielder Max Kruszeski said. “We played tense. We definitely didn’t play our best game.”
Dane Reda, from an assist by Ethan Schmidt, and Kruszeski scored for Mattituck in the second half.
“Besides the second quarter, I feel like we were right there with them,” coach John Amato said. “We just had that little letup in the second quarter and you can’t do that against a good team, but I’m extremely proud of these guys. They don’t feel bad for the season just because it ended like this. It’s been a great run, Suffolk County champs, Long Island champs. I mean, that’s pretty awesome.”
Mattituck waltzed into the state semis with a 16-6 rout of Oyster Bay in the Long Island final. Kruszeski, the game’s MVP, rang up four goals, three assists and four ground balls.
The county final was more of a test for the Tuckers. They used six first-quarter goals to propel themselves past Port Jefferson, 14-10.
Kruszeski, who had six goals and an assist in that one, said, “There’s no better feeling.”