By Jaclynkelli Kronemberg
LILacrosseNews.com, Posted 6/1/14
Ian Kirby tallied three goals and one assist to lead Massapequa’s to a 13-12 victory over Smithtown East Saturday for its first Long Island Class A Championship title at Hofstra University.
Massapequa (17-2) advances to the New York Class A semifinals vs. Section 2 champion Niskayuna on Wednesday at Hofstra at 3:30 p.m. Niskayuna defeated Section 1 champion Lakeland-Panas, 14-7.
“This is an amazing feeling, getting to the counties is one thing but winning a Long Island Championship is a totally different level,” said Kirby. “I’ve wanted this since I was a little kid. Counties are a big step but once you get counties you always want more.
“Once we went up in the second half we knew we had to keep our minds straight and focus on the big picture. This is amazing, we love this and we don’t want it to end!”
Matt Valdini (10) was a standout in goal with several key saves in the final quarter and Phil Brady managed to win enough draws vs. Smithtown East (16-4) sophomore standout Gerard Arceri (19 of 29) at the face-off X.
“Our goalie was amazing and we had a good fight on all the ground balls,” said Kirby. “Phil Brady believes in himself and our team believes in him a lot that’s where it start and that’s how he held his own on the face-off.”
The Chiefs took the lead for good by scoring three straight times to break a 9-9 tie in the third period. Jack Korber made it 10-9 and Griffin Barnathon (two goals, one assist) scored off a fast-break following a big save by Valdini. Kirby later made it 12-9.
Smithtown East drew within 13-12 with 1:45 remaining on a goal by Nick Capuana. And then with three seconds left, Joe Saggese shot wide.
“This is great, I’m proud of my guys, my coaches, the school, all the players before us, this is for them,” said Massapequa head coach Tom Radomski. “We’ve been here eight times and this is the first time we’ve won it. It’s been a great ride so far and we still have another game to go on Wednesday.
“When they started to battle back I knew my guys would hunker down on defense, our goalie came up big and the clock ran out. Phil did a great job at faceoff. He worked all week with our faceoff kid from last year and he just did awesome today. This is just great feeling. This is the best.”
Brian Willets tallied five goals and Dan Rooney had two goals and one assist for Smithtown East.
Massapequa 13, Smithtown East 12
Smithtown East 5-3-1-3-12
Massapequa: Ian Kirby 3G, 1A; Griffin Barnathon 2G, 1A; Ryan Tierney 2G, 1A; Jack Korber 2G; Jim Byrns 1G; Nick Yevoli 1G; Craig Berge 1G; Phil Brady 1G; Carter Hawthorne 2A
Smithtown East: Brian Willets 5G; Dan Rooney 2G, 1A; Joe Saggese 1G, 2A; John Daniggelis 1G, 2A; Connor Desimone 1G, 1A; Tom Skoff 1G; Bobby Doyle 1G; Bobby Burns 1A
Saves: Matt Valdini (M) 10; Billy McEnroe (SE) 6; Sean Turner (SE) 1