Great eight, Northport boys lax in county final again

Great eight, Northport boys lax in county final again

Jack Deliberti rips one over the top of Ward Melville goalkeeper Davon DiFede. Photo by Steven Zaitz

By Steven Zaitz

It was a rivalry that has become a domination.

And the latest chapter was delivered with quite the punctuation.

The Northport boys lacrosse program thrashed Ward Melville on Saturday, May 18, by a score of 14-3 in the Suffolk County Class A semifinal match at Northport. It is the eighth straight time the Tigers have beaten the Patriots, three of the eight knocking Ward Melville out of the playoffs.

Northport goalkeeper Quinn Napolitano made an astounding 20 saves in the contest that sent the second-seeded Tiger team, led by Northport alum Billy Cordts, to face top-seed Half Hollow Hills. Northport beat Hills 7-3 on May 8 but the Section XI power ranking computer put Hills, who beat Huntington in their semifinal, atop the playoff bracket.

Northport attacker Jack Deliberti netted a nickel-full of goals, all five coming in the second half to lead the onslaught for hosting Northport. Fellow attacker Luke Loiacono scored three in the first half to ignite the Tiger attack, the second of which gave the Tigers the lead for good and it came with exactly one second remaining in the first quarter. 

Midfielders Quinn Reynolds and Logan Cash had a pair each and crafty veteran Tim McLam scored from the seat of his pants at the end of the first half to give the Tigers a 6-2 lead. It would balloon to 11-2 when Deliberti and Reynolds alternated goals in an eight-minute span to bridge the third and fourth quarters. The rout was on.

Deliberti added a triple dollop of dessert with three more to finish off the luckless Patriots. 

Meanwhile, Napolitano was busy fending off shots until the very end, as Ward Melville played hard until the final whistle – some might say a little too hard.

As frustration set in, slashing and cross-checking penalties were assessed late in the game to Thomas Murphy and Zach Brittman of Ward Melville as yellow flags flew frequently in the fourth quarter. Giancarlo Valenti and Derek Vassallo were also given unsportsmanlike penalties for the Tigers.

Northport (15-2) will be playing in its fourth straight Suffolk County final when they play Hills at neutral site Longwood on Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m. They have won the previous three with two Long Island championships since 2021, but fell to Farmingdale last year.

Ward Melville, who got two goals from Aidan Kilduff and one from Callan McLaughlin, finishes at 13-4. Davon DiFede made nine saves for the Patriots.

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