By Bill Landon
The Comsewogue boys’ lacrosse team led by three goals to open the third quarter, but undefeated Bayport-Blue Point came back to win, 9-8, on Friday night with a shot with 11 seconds left on the clock.
“Tonight’s atmosphere was awesome and that’s what lacrosse is supposed to be and I thought we played well,” Comsewogue head coach Pete Mitchell said, adding that he was proud of his team for hanging with an opponent of Bayport’s caliber. “I thought we played well enough to win, but the kids played hard and I’m proud of their efforts tonight.”
The Warriors wasted no time getting the game going when midfielder Matthew Spahr, a University at Albany-bound senior, found the back of the cage just eight seconds into the contest, for the early lead.
Bayport-Blue Point answered back three minutes later to tie the game, but Comsewogue senior midfielder Trevor Kennedy’s shot found the cage to help his team edge ahead 2-1 at the 8:46 mark. The Phantoms scored next with four minutes left in the opening quarter, as Comsewogue drew a penalty and went a man down. Tied 2-2, Bayport-Blue Point looked to capitalize with the extra player, but Comsewogue’s defense stood its ground.
With seven seconds left, Kennedy, who will play for Assumption College next spring, struck again to put his team out front 3-2 to open the second stanza. Bayport barked back by firing two quick goals to edge ahead 4-3 and take the lead for the first time, but the Warriors were quick to respond when midfielder John Koebel, an Endicott College-bound senior, split the pipes to make it a new game, 4-4.
“I thought we started out hot, but I knew they were going to come back — they’re a second half team,” Kennedy said. “I knew that they would come out to play in the second half.”
Comsewogue rattled off the next three goals, with sophomore attack Richie Lacalandra, junior midfielder and attack Ryan Dorney and junior attack Will Snelders aiding the team in going up 7-4 to open the third quarter, but the Phantoms found a way to come back.
Comsewogue played keep away until the team turned the ball over, and Bayport made them pay for it. Despite being a man down themselves now, the team made four quick passes for a score that cut the deficit. With 34 seconds left in the third, Comsewogue’s opponent struck again as the Warriors struggled to stop the onslaught.
With 10 minutes left, Comsewogue received a penalty, and committed another soon after, to go down two men. And the Phantoms cashed in. Bayport, at 12-0 on the season, proved why it’s gone undefeated for a reason, and rattled off two more goals for an 8-7 lead with seven minutes left in regulation.
Kennedy’s stick spoke once more when his shot found the net for his hat trick goal to deadlock the game with little time remaining. Overtime seemed likely, but on the ensuing faceoff, the Phantoms made three quick flips and fired at the Comsewogue cage. The shot found its mark and Bayport edged ahead to retake the lead, 9-8, with 11 showing on the scoreboard clock. Comsewogue won the final faceoff and with precious seconds left, failed to find a clear lane to the cage.
“We did some things that are uncharacteristic of what we do,” Mitchell said. “We lacked discipline by not taking a last shot in the final seconds.”
The loss drops the Warriors to 9-3 in Division II with two games remaining before the playoffs.
“They played a good game,” Mitchell said of Bayport. “And I hope to see them again.”