Ward Melville boys lacrosse falls in close game with rival Northport Tigers

Ward Melville boys lacrosse falls in close game with rival Northport Tigers

By Steven Zaitz

The Ward Melville boys lacrosse team must know what Sisyphus felt like.

On Friday, April 12, against their most hated rival – reigning county champion Northport – the Patriots muscled that boulder up the side of “Tiger Mountain” time and time again, but couldn’t quite reach the summit, as Northport held on for an emotion-churning 10-9 win.

After opening up a 4-1 after one quarter, Northport fended off Ward Melville’s furious rallies on three separate occasions, as the Pats closed to 4-3 in the opening minutes of the second quarter, all but wiped out a five-goal in the fourth quarter, and almost wiped out a very late 10-7 deficit.

But the green and gold were never able to tie it. Northport has now beaten Ward Melville six times in a row.

Midfielder Quinn Reynolds got the scoring started in a hurry when he took the opening faceoff, raced down the right sideline, and sniped one past Patriot goalkeeper Davon DiFede barely a minute into the game. Logan Cash buried one from the middle and Tim McLam slithered inside to score. Northport was up 3-0 just like that.

Attacker Jack Deliberti, who is in the top 30 in goal scoring in Suffolk County, scored two before halftime as the Tigers had a 5-3 lead at the break. Quinn McKay, Madden Murphy, and Ben Ehlers, all non-starters, tallied for Ward Melville in the first half to keep them in striking distance.

And strike they would.

Zachery Brittman, who is a starter, scored three goals in the second half, the third of which brought the Patriots to within one.

Northport was staggered but had enough to offer a counterpunch. Giancarlo Valenti, a defender by trade, picked off the scraps of a faceoff, stormed up the middle, and put Northport up by two with six minutes to go. Midfielder Luca Elmaleh followed up for the Tigers to give them a three-goal lead with four and a half to go. 

Game over, right?


Middie Aidan Kilduff scored from in close against Tiger goalkeeper Quinn Napolitano – who notched 12 saves for the game – with just under two minutes remaining. Attackman Stephen Rosano scored another for the Pats with five ticks remaining – but it wasn’t quite enough. Until they break this skid against the Tigers, the boulder they tote will get heavier and heavier. 

It was the first conference loss for Ward Melville which is now 4-1 in league play. Northport is 5-1 and played another of its most bitter rivals, Commack (4-1) on April 16. All three of these teams are jockeying near the top of the table in Suffolk Division I play as the season nears the midpoint.

Half Hollow Hills was in first at 6-0 and is the only undefeated team in the league.

– Photos by Steven Zaitz