Tags Posts tagged with "Long Island Championship"

Long Island Championship

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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.

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Meaghan Tyrrell shoots and scores one of her five goals in Mount Sinai's 13-12 overtime loss to Cold Spring Habor. Photo by Desirée Keegan

Despite being down six goals at halftime, junior Emma Tyrrell said she kept repeating to herself: “we couldn’t just give up.”

Scoring five goals in four minutes, Mount Sinai’s girls lacrosse team mounted a comeback that turned a 9-3 deficit into an eventual 12-12 tie, but a Cold Spring Harbor goal late in the second period of sudden-death overtime knocked the Mustangs out of the playoffs in the Long Island Class C championship game at Islip High School June 3.

Mount Sinai’s Camryn Harloff shoots through traffic. Photo by Desirée Keegan

Knowing it was now or never, Tyrrell made a highlight-reel play when she raced past the right side of the cage and scored a behind-the-back shot that started the string of goals. She said it was a play she’d been practicing putting into effect all season.

“I had no idea I was going to do it, until it just happened,” she said. “The funny thing is that just before the game started [coach Al Bertolone] told me that he finally trusts me to take that shot. So when the time came, I had the confidence.”

She scored twice in two minutes, which bookended a Camryn Harloff goal. Both of Tyrell’s scores started with sophomore Jenny Markey (one goal, four assists) winning possession off the draw.

“We were finally getting the momentum to get back at them and be the better team,” Markey said. “I was nervous on the draw, but ready. I knew what the girl guarding me was looking to do, but once I started getting the hang of it I got more comfortable as the game went on.”

She earned more possession time on the next two faceoffs, which led to her scoring a free position goal and passing to Harloff (three goals, one assist) for a good goal on her second to pull Mount Sinai within one, 9-8, with 16:11 left in regulation.

Jenny Markey grabs possession of the ball off the draw. Photo by Desirée Keegan

Markey said seeing Tyrrell’s goal fueled her team’s fire.

“It got everyone going,” she said. “After that goal, the whole feeling changed.”

For a team that usually doesn’t celebrate after scoring, the girls lit up, shouting and jumping toward one another. Senior Meaghan Tyrrell (five goals, one assist), Emma’s older sister, said her heart skipped a beat with each goal scored. Fittingly, the team’s top offensive threat tallied the first two and final three goals of the game. She scooped up a ground ball in the eight-minute mark and forced a turnover with a stick check at the six-minute mark. Both moves led to her last two game-tying goals in what became a back-and-forth battle.

“Knowing how important each goal was to determine the rest of our season made us more excited,” she said. “With every one that went in that celebration had to be done at a more extreme level. Our team’s resiliency is unlike any other team I’ve ever seen before. Seeing our team perform how it did to get back into the game was astounding, and I’m so proud to be associated with that kind of team.”

Losing seven seniors to graduation, Emma Tyrell said the remaining players will use the loss as motivation to make the push next year.

“As sad as it is moving on from this season, I’m excited to start preparing,” she said. “Since the beginning our team has been all about hard work and grit — that was definitely shown in the second half of the game. We never have, and we never will give up.”

By Bill Landon

Garden City’s five unanswered goals to open the Long Island championship game against Harborfields were hard to counter. The Tornadoes closed within three early in the third quarter but fell 12-3 in the Class B title game at Hofstra University June 2.

“They went from being 4-3 to taking it to Garden City for the Long Island championship,” head coach Glenn Lavey said. “They won’t get perspective right now [because] it’s hard to realize that a couple of minutes after you lose a tough game, but they will eventually realize all the special things they did.”

Freshman attack Stephen Markowski scored Harborfields’ first goal with four minutes remaining in the first half, and senior midfielder Jimmy Bifulco brought the score to 5-2 at the 10:51 mark of the third quarter, but it was as close as the team would come.

The Tornadoes were swept away after Garden City score six unanswered goals from the end of the third to the beginning of the fourth.

Junior Aiden Costello caught a pass from senior midfielder P.J. Clementi for Harborfields’ final goal of the game with three minutes remaining.

“[Garden City] has great players and great coaches,” Lavey said .”But at least you can say that today, we lost to a better team.”

Harborfields ends the season with a 13-4 record, outscoring opponents 192-118, and brought home the school’s first Suffolk County championship since 1992. Clementi, who will play for Amherst College next spring, ranks fifth among Suffolk County’s leading scorers with 57 goals 40 assists for a total of 97 points.

Also continuing their lacrosse careers are Bifulco, who committed to Adelphi University; Andy Derasmo, who will compete for St. Joseph’s University; and Mike Pasquaretta, who signed to play for Assumption College. Midfielder Tommy DeVito will remain teammates with long-stick midfielder Lucas Kollmer — both will compete at SUNY Geneseo.