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Girls Lacrosse: With one more win, Tuckers are in playoffs

The smiles were plentiful among the Mattituck/Southold girls lacrosse players. They could have been smiling because their team had played so well. Or maybe it was because they had pumped in a season-high 21 goals. Or maybe it was the fact that they had just snapped a six-game losing streak. Or maybe it was because they had brought their two seniors a win on Senior Day.

It most assuredly wasn’t the weather, which was absolutely horrendous and surely nothing to smile about.

All of the above probably contributed to the good cheer among the Tuckers, but it may have also been something else. Saturday’s game marked the first time in three weeks that Mattituck had its full team together after a spell in which the Tuckers continually missed players because of a flu bug that had been running through school.

Now that is something to smile about.

“We had everyone back, so I think that definitely played a factor, you know,” coach Logan McGinn said. “They’re a family. They’re our family.”

Bigger smiles may be coming in the near future if Mattituck qualifies for the Class D playoffs. McGinn said a win in the team’s final regular-season game Wednesday night at Bellport would do the trick. If Mattituck loses that game, other factors could come into play, such as how Babylon fares down the stretch.

“I hope it goes well for us,” junior attack Sage Foster said. “I’m really hoping that, yeah, that we can make it.”

A playoff spot is a great motivator.

“They’re doing all the right things,” McGinn said. “They definitely deserve that opportunity to kind of make a name for ourselves.”

The Tuckers took care of business Saturday, beating Southampton, 21-11, at Southold High School. They sure seemed to be having a good time in spite of the rain, wind and cold. It was 48 degrees during the Suffolk County Division II game, but it felt much colder.

Mattituck/Southold’s Gianna Calise (four goals) powers her way around Southampton’s Ava Guillo. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

How rough were the playing conditions?

“I’m not gonna lie, it kind of [stunk],” junior attack Ella Suglia said, “but as our assistant coach [Caitlin Appel] always says, both teams are playing in the same weather, so it shouldn’t affect our play. And if it does, it will affect the other team’s play, too. So, I mean, it worked out in the end.”

It sure did work out for Mattituck (6-7, 6-7). Gianna Calise and Foster scored four goals each. Suglia had five assists to go with her three goals. That raised her season total to 19 goals and 37 assists. “I had a blast,” she said.

Sofia Knudsen bagged three goals and two assists and Brynn Gardner had three goals (including her 28th of the season), with one assist. Ruby Villani netted two goals and an assist. Page Kellershon and Megan Tobin each added a goal for the Tuckers.

Eight of Southampton’s goals came from junior midfielder Juliette Archer. Paige Garvin added two goals and Autumn Wilson one.

Southampton, which is last in the 27-team division, dropped to 1-12, 0-12.

“We definitely started off way too slow,” Suglia said. “We came out flat-footed. No one had any energy. I think it had something to do with the weather. But we picked it up in the end and we got the win we needed to get and we’ll see where it takes us.”

Before the game, Mattituck’s two senior defenders, Cassidy Czujko and Rileigh Frend, were presented with gifts and honored. Frend, a regular starter over the past two years who plans to continue her playing career at SUNY/Plattsburgh, missed her third straight game after suffering a concussion. McGinn said it is hoped that Frend will play in Wednesday’s game. And hopefully playoff games after that.

McGinn said Mattituck is “a dangerous team right now and we’re firing on all cylinders.”

A countdown has begun. Three more wins and Mattituck would be a county champion.

Asked about his team’s chances of getting into the playoffs, McGinn replied: “I think our chances are really good. I would, you know, almost bet on it. I think we’re gonna be in it and we’re gonna make some noise. You know, again, three more [wins] is all we’re looking for.”

That would be sure to generate a lot more smiles.