Tags Posts tagged with "Long Island Championship"

Long Island Championship

It was the miracle that wasn’t.

In the Long Island Championship, the Northport Lady Tiger lacrosse team came back from a six-goal deficit in regulation capped by a goal from freshman Kate Atkinson with less than three minutes to play — only to lose the game in sudden death overtime 9-8 at Adelphi University in Garden City.

Massapequa Lady Chief Caitlyn Dorman scored with less than 20 seconds remaining in the first overtime period to win the L.I.C. and deny Northport its fourth straight Long Island Championship as well as a chance to compete for their third New York State title.

The Lady Tigers were 17-2 this year and they had handled Massapequa (11-5) the two previous years to win the L.I.C., but the Lady Chiefs came out of the gate on fire, determined to stop that streak.

Jessica Giller scored two minutes into the game for Massapequa on a free position opportunity and the flood gates were open. Allison Pertullo took a nifty feed from Bridget Valentine a minute later, and it was 2-0 Massapequa, and when Giller beat Tiger goalkeeper Megan Morris at 4:24 of the first half, it became an almost unfathomable 7-1 lead for the Chiefs.

But Northport, as everyone knows, is made of championship stuff — and they started to chip away. They got two goals in the final moments of the half — both by Kennedy Radziul and the score was 7-3 at the break.
Radziul opened the second half scoring in the first minute and the momentum was still firmly on the Tigers’ side. Emma McLam dodged her way through traffic and slipped one past GK Christina Fredella to cut the deficit to two and the Lady Tigers sideline was delirious, sensing what they thought was inevitable.

With the score 8-6 in favor of Massapequa, Northport’s Payson Hedges, who will attend Adelphi in the fall, took on three defenders with nine minutes to go and zing on past Fredella from close range. Atkinson would complete the comeback on a curl play, taking a brilliant lead pass from Radziul to tie the score at eight. On to overtime.

After Atkinson bounced a ball just wide that would have won the game, Northport turned the ball over and committed a turnover. Dorman was awarded a free position opportunity from 10 yards away to Morris’s stick side. Dorman bounced it in and Massapequa captured its first ever Long Island Championship.

Shoreham-Wading River’s journey to the Long Island Championship was an uphill climb. The Wildcats suffered four early losses in the regular season, but with a strong finish, they earned the third seed entering postseason play.

SWR triumphed over Bayport-Blue Point, the second seed, to reach the county final, then defeated the unbeaten Mount Sinai Mustangs for the Suffolk Class C title.

Enter Manhasset, the 17-1 Nassau County Class C champion. At Stony Brook University Saturday morning, June 3, the Wildcats had momentum through three quarters of play but faltered in the fourth, ending their season with an 11-6 loss.

The Gregorek brothers kept the flame alive for SWR, with junior Liam scoring three goals in the opening quarter and senior Alec scoring twice in the matchup. Senior attack Steven Cain stretched the net to round out the scoring for the Wildcats as goalie Jaden Galfano — who had a stellar season between the pipes — ended with 14 saves in the game, eclipsing 500 varsity career saves as just a junior.

Alec Gregorek concluded his varsity career tied with teammate Liam Kershis in fourth place in Suffolk County’s scoring leaderboard with 70 goals and 27 assists. Kershis, a junior, notched 59 goals along with 38 assists. Galfano concluded the Wildcats 2023 campaign with 200 saves, ranking him fourth in the county.

— Photos by Bill Landon

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Ward Melville football’s journey to the Long Island Championship game was an unlikely one, where the Patriots concluded their regular season with a 5-3 record then peaked in post-season play.  

Ward Melville picked off Whitman in the opening round of the playoffs, took down previously unbeaten William Floyd, 14-7, Nov. 12 and eliminated Longwood a week later for their first Suffolk County Championship in 35 years. 

The Patriots in uncharted territory looked to make history at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium Saturday, Nov. 26, where they faced the Dalers of Farmingdale (11-0) in the Long Island Championship game.

In the opening minute of the second period Ward Melville quarterback Andrew Belli hit Brody Morgan on a diving touchdown catch covering 35 yards to make it a one score game, but Farmingdale surged ahead to take a 28-14 lead into the halftime break.

After two unanswered Farmingdale touchdowns, Belli punched in on short yardage for the score but it was too little too late as the Patriots fell to Farmingdale, 42-20.

By Bill Landon

The Royals got rolling in the bottom of the second inning with bases loaded and no outs when Frank Andriani was hit by a pitch, forcing Nathaniel Mullen home to take a 2-0 lead in the Long Island Class C Championship against Carle Place June 3. 

The youngest roster member for the Royals let his bat do the talking in the bottom of the 3rd when Evan Raymond the 8th grader drove in two runs to put Port Jeff out front 4-0. The Frogs avoided a shutout in the top of the 4th, scoring a run but struggling against senior Luke Filippi’s heat from the mound, who notched eight strike outs in the win.

The Nassau County champs threatened in the top of the 5th, loading the bases with one out, but Filippi, no stranger to pressure, pitched his way out of a jam as Carle Place stranded three. Again, with bases loaded in the bottom of the 5th, freshman Joe Aronica ate a pitch, plating the runner on 3rd for a 5-1 lead. Mullen hit one deep to right in the bottom of the 6th, driving home Daniel Owens the junior for a 6-1 lead. With three outs of life left in the top of the 7th, Filippi fanned the Frogs in order to clinch the LIC title game. 

Photos by Bill Landon 

By Steven Zaitz

L.I.C. is not supposed to stand for Long Island Cakewalk, is it?

That’s exactly what it looked like in the first few moments of the Long Island Boys High School Lacrosse Championship game June 4, as the Northport Tigers raced out to a 3-0 lead in the opening 79 seconds against Nassau champ Port Washington.

With three easy wins at the dot by face-off specialist extraordinaire Tyler Kuprianchik, Tigers Jack Deliberti, Tim Kirchner and Will Murphy were able to slice through and plunder the Viking defense and score three quick ones on beleaguered Port Washington goalie Bradley Hamroff, not two minutes after the singing of the National Anthem. 

With a start like this, it appeared that it was safe for the Tigers to start packing up the team bus for the drive up to Albany for the New York State Championship semi-final.

Not so fast.

“We knew coming in it was going to be a whistle-to-whistle kind of game,” said Head Coach Larry Cerasi, now the proud owner of two consecutive Long Island Championships in his first two years as head man at Northport. “We got off to a fast start, but they are an extremely well-coached team, and we knew it was going to be an all-day battle.”

The Vikings did battle. But the strong opening, a dominating 4th quarter, and unlikely heroes stepping into the breach secured a 13-9 win for Cerasi’s men.

Hamroff would settle down and make several good saves in the first quarter including a straight-on rip from Tiger Midfielder Dylan McNaughton. When Henry Haberman, the Viking’s most lethal attacker, scored his second goal with less than a minute to go in the opening quarter, it was suddenly 4-3.

Put that cake back in the display case.

“We played from behind all season and came back to win a bunch of games, so we never panicked,” said Hamroff, who totaled 18 saves on this hot afternoon in Uniondale. “We knew that we were going to give up goals because the had a big advantage at the faceoff X, but we never once thought we were out of it.”

All year, that faceoff X has been where dreams go to die, and momentum snuffed for Tiger opponents. Kuprianchik won an incredible 80% of his previous faceoffs and would dominate Viking draw-man Alex Papagalis 21-4, good for 87.5%. What makes Kuprianchik’s feat of strength even more wondrous was the fact that he was playing on a sprained foot; an injury that forced him to miss a portion of the Suffolk County final game against Smithtown East.

“I love this team so much.  I would do anything for this team, so I went out there and gave the best performance that I could,” said Kuprianchik, who will be attending Penn State in the fall. “I was really feeling it today and was able to win a lot of them (faceoffs) clean.”

For his efforts, Kuprianchik was awarded the James C.  Metzger award for the second year in a row. This goes to the Most Valuable Player of the Long Island Championship game. Kuprianchik had a similar performance last year in the Tiger’s heart-pounding, 11-10 win over Syosset.

“It’s such an honor to win this award,” said Kuprianchik. “But we won this game as a team.”

The Tigers did get contributions from all positions, all over the field.  Kirchner led the Tigers with three goals and an assist and fellow midfielder Jack Helrigel had two goals, including one of the most important tallies of the afternoon.

After withstanding Northport’s initial blitzkrieg, Port Washington scratched and clawed their way into tying it at 7-7 with three straight goals towards the end of the third quarter. Port Washington Attacker Gavin Jacobsen would rifle one past Tiger Goalkeeper Luke Lamendola with 45 seconds left in the period to get the game even for the first time the since the opening whistle.

It wouldn’t stay even for long.

Helrigel would drive to the net, take a brilliant, lightning-quick centering feed from Murphy, and fling the ball past Hamroff from five feet away with 8.8 seconds to go in the third.  It was now 8-7 and the Tigers would never again relinquish the lead.

“That goal gave us the final push that we needed,” said the senior Helrigel. It gave us the lead back and also the confidence and momentum to put the game away.”

The Tigers won the fourth quarter 5-2 to do just that. Quinn Reynolds, who plays defense, midfield and attack, opened the final quarter by streaking up the center seam and firing it past Hamroff only 12 seconds in. It was 9-7 and Northport would trade a few goals with Port Washington and whittle down the clock to another championship.

“I’m so proud of guys, our coaches and everyone that supports us,” said Cerasi. “We pride ourselves on being well-balanced and today we got contributions from our attack, and we got contributions from our midfielders in the transition game. Also, our defense and goaltender played extremely well. Port Washington double-teamed Mike (Meyer) for much of the game, so our other guys, like Kirchner, Murphy and Helrigel stepped up.”

Meyer, who was second in Suffolk to Mt. Sinai’s Joey Spallina in total points and a shoo-in for All American, had a goal and 3 assists on the day.  It was up to guys like Kirchner, who is also a cross-country star, to find the twine. He was a marauder, with and without the ball, for the entire game; and perhaps the stamina he has honed as a long-distance runner paid dividends in the Hofstra Heat.

“I made good use of my endurance advantage to use today,” said Kirchner. “I love to run up on offense and back on defense and I’ve been playing with a lot of confidence as the season has gone along.”

Goalkeeper Lamendola has also played with confidence as the competition has gotten stiffer.

Port Washington launched assault after assault in a desperate attempt to slice off pieces of the Tiger lead. He made six saves in total and was effective in cutting down angles and standing tall in the face of the pressurized heat in the front of his net. Lamendola, who also starred on the Tiger football team and will study film and animation at The Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, was very animated when the final horn sounded, as he was at the epicenter of a hugging, jumping, glove-throwing and victorious pack of Tigers. 

“We have a lot of talent on this team,” said Lamendola. “I couldn’t do it without my teammates and my coaches and of course my dad. It’s more of a mental game more than a physical in the net and Coach (Dean) Spadaro has taught every aspect of being a goalie since I was 8 years old.”

Coach Spadaro, whose son Kieran registered an assist in the game, has been coaching many of these boys since kindergarten. He knew Lamendola, who follows in the footsteps of goaltending legend Andrew Tittmann, has what it takes to succeed at this level.

“Nobody will ever outwork Luke”, said Spadaro. “Ninety percent of goaltending is between the ears and Luke is smart goalie with great instincts and I’m so happy for him and this team.”

The Tigers, who have now won 19 straight games after an opening day loss to non-conference foe Mt. Sinai, can now move on and think about their semi-final game at SUNY Albany vs. the Scarsdale Raiders who have a record of 14-7 on the year. After last summer’s L.I.C., they did not get a chance to play for a New York State title, as that tournament was not played because of the pandemic.

“Last year was phenomenal, but after the Long Island Championship game against Syosset, we had sort of an empty feeling and we wanted more,” said Cerasi. “As a group we are extremely happy to get an opportunity to play for a state championship this year.”

Cerasi and the Tigers will get it and it is now safe to pack up that bus.

Northport girls lacrosse team. Photo from Northport-East Northport school district

The Northport girls lacrosse team found themselves in a second overtime period with Massapequa June 5 at Stony Brook University.  With one minute and 23 seconds left, Northport secured the win, 11-10.

It was the teams third consecutive Class A Long Island Championship win.

Head coach Carol Rose said, “This win means so much to our team as our goal was to ‘Get on the Bus’ to states. They are an amazing group of young ladies who have persevered all season as a top ranked team in the country. They are resilient warriors who are battle tested and ready for the next challenge.”

The Tigers will now travel to SUNY Cortland for the New York State Championship.

Updated June 9 to reflect correct score of 11-10.

Senior running-back Max Barone looks for an opening for the Wildcats in the Div IV Long Island Championship game against North Shore Nov 27. Bill Landon photo

The Shoreham-Wading River Wildcats found themselves in an unusual position as the final minute ticked off at Lavalle Stadium in Stony Brook with a goose egg on the scoreboard in the Long Island Championship game against North Shore. 

The Vikings were able to move the chains with their running game while containing the Wildcats one-two punch ground game for a 7-0 victory for the Div-IV title Nov. 27. It was the only time the Wildcats were shut out this season. 

North Shore quarterback Daniel Quigley on a keeper found the endzone in the final minute of the opening quarter for a 7-0 lead that held up the rest of the way.

It was a tough weekend for Suffolk football where Nassau County captured all four championship games. Massapequa defeated Walt Whitman in D-I, Garden City beat Bellport in D-II and Plainedge edged East Islip in D-III. 

It was the Wildcats sixth appearance in eight seasons having captured four Long Island Championship trophies. 

— All photos by Bill Landon 

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Port Jefferson struggled to stay with Carle Place in the Long Island Championship round March 6 where the Lady Royals trailed by six after the first 8 minutes of play. They then went down by 16 at the half, and the Frogs never let up the rest of the way to put the game away 70-42 at Newfield High School.

Carle Place advances to the Regional finals March 15. 

Port Jeff concludes their season as League VII champions with a 13-3 league record, adding post season victories against Babylon and Mattituck to reach the LIC title game. 

The Royals — a very young team — will lose just two seniors to graduation, including Jacqueline Lambe and Samantha Ayotte, and if the bulk of the remaining roster returns Port Jeff stands to be the powerhouse in their league again next season.

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Xavier Arline breaks free for one of his 4 touchdowns in a Shoreham Wading River rout of Seaford in the Long Island Championship game Nov. 30. Bill Landon photo

The Wildcats of Shoreham-Wading River’s football team have been sprinting towards success for the past six years, and now this year’s Long Island Championship adds another tally to their streak.

SWR senior quarterback Xavier Arline did what he’s done all season long leading his team to victory where the Wildcats pummeled Seaford 49-7 in the D-IV championship game at Hofstra University’s James M. Shuart Stadium Nov. 30.

Arline ran for four touchdowns in the game with carries of six yards, 54 yards, 64 yards and 67 yards, while throwing a pair of touchdown passes to tight-end Jake Wilson and senior running-back Mike Casazza. Seaford managed to find the end-zone with 29 seconds left as the Wildcats claimed their 4th Long Island Championship trophy in six years.

The Harborfields Tornadoes were too much for East Islip in the Suffolk County Class B title game, winning the championship for a second year in a row with an 11-6 victory May 29 at Farmingdale State College.

John Osmun, a junior, scored twice with two assists, Thomas Sangiovanni had an assist and two goals and Danny Alnwick had the hat-trick. Stephan Markowski had a pair of goals and Ian McGullam Nick Caccamo both scored.

In victory, Harborfields vied for the Long Island Championship, but lost the June 1 face off with Manhasset 16-2 at Hofstra University.