By Gene Morris
LILacrosseNews.com, Posted 5/29/12
Syosset scored six straight goals in the third and fourth periods to rally past top-seeded Massapequa, 14-13, tonight to claim the Nassau County Class A boys’ lacrosse championship at Hofstra University.
The Braves (14-4) will face Wednesday’s Suffolk County winner (West Islip vs. Ward Melville) in the Long Island Championship at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Hofstra.
Syosset ended the Nassau County lacrosse season the way it started – in first place. But it certainly didn’t come without a few bumps in the road.
“This game was a lot like our season,“ head coach John Calabria said. “We started off a little slow and we started off trying to find out who we were and in this season we figured it out, and in this game we figured it out. Our kids never quit even when we were down a bunch – they stepped up and hung in there and put it away.”
The Braves were slotted as the top seed to begin the season, but lost their first two games and found themselves sitting at 2-3 after five games. The Braves made up for it and more by tearing through the home stretch of the regular season and continuing on into the playoffs. Syosset has won nine straight games and claimed its first county title since winning back-to-back in 2007-08.
Massapequa (15-3) dominated the first 12 minutes and held a 4-1 lead after the first quarter. Both offenses ran rampant in the second quarter – it was 9-7 Massapequa at halftime. Something clicked for the Braves late in the third quarter.
Syosset had a quality possession as the clock moved under five minutes remaining in the third frame, but all momentum was killed when Massapequa’s Ian Kirby came right down the other end and scored one of his four goals to boost the Chiefs’ lead to 12-8. That was when the defense – led by goalie Ryan Feit (10 saves) – took over.
“We always say if you can’t stop anybody – and we could not stop Massapequa, they were great – but when it counted in the last three minutes of the game and their last four possessions – we stopped them every time,“ Calabria said. “That’s what won us this championship today.”
The Braves did more than just shut Massapequa down for the last three minutes – after yielding 12 goals in the game’s first 32 minutes the Braves allowed just one in the final 12 minutes.
And during that time the offense picked up the slack, scoring six consecutive goals, which rendered a late goal by Dan Muller as window dressing.
“They went on a run and we just couldn’t stop them,” Massapequa head coach Tim Radomski said. “What can you do? The kids played hard and that’s the way it goes.”
The offense jumped on the backs of senior John Diaz and junior Jon Camposa, who collected six goals and three assists combined. Camposa scored the first two goals of the Braves six-goal march to victory – one on an assist from Diaz and Diaz also had his hand in the third, assisting on Alex Hatzopoulos’s goal that made it 12-11.
“John Diaz is a warrior,” Calabria said. “He has put together a complete lacrosse game within himself in the last month. Jon Camposa has figured out how to finish and he did today – he was big time.”
Diaz and Camposa have been playing big time lacrosse for the Braves for the last month, its two most talented offensive players carrying the load. Syosset will know by Saturday evening if the duo can carry them all the way to a Long Island championship and the state semi-finals.
Syosset 14, Massapequa 13
Jon Camposa 4g
John Diaz 2g, 3a
Ryan Hunter 2g, 2a
Andrew Keith 3g, 1a
Alex Hatzopoulos 1g, 1a
Frank Buffalino 1g
Alex Concannon 1g
Ryan Feit 10 saves
Paul Bentz 3g, 1a
Brandon Savona 2g, 1a
Dan Muller 1g, 1a
Ian Kirby 4g, 1a
Craig Berge 2g, 3a
Ryan Kirby 1g, 1a
Joe Danaher 5 saves
Faceoffs: 17-9 Massapequa