Lacrosse face-off men often do the dirty work without a lot of glory.
Yesterday, LIU Post senior midfielder Dom Mantovani did the work -- and got the glory.
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Not only did he score his second goal of the season, he set up the winning goal by Matty Beccaris with 2:07 remaining en route to a 10-9 victory over Dowling in the first East Coast Conference men's lacrosse championship game.
"That was incredible," Mantovani said. "Those are the moments you dream about as a little kid in a big-time game like this."
The West Babylon High graduate's lone goal had been against Dowling during the regular season.
Post coach John Jez wasn't sure whether the triumph would be enough to give his 9-5 team a Division II tournament berth.
"A couple of our early losses may stymie us a little bit," he said. "Maybe the committee looks at our quality wins down the stretch against teams they are considering to put in. We've done some good things."
Eight seconds after Post's Connor Drost completed his hat-trick at 9:36 of the third quarter, Mantovani won the faceoff and raced down the right side of the field unmarked to score for an 8-6 advantage.
"He's definitely been picking up his game," Beccaris said. "He just played his heart out."
After Dowling's Matt Crough (hat-trick) and Post's Joe Costello (two goals) traded goals in the fourth, the Golden Lions (12-4) equalized at 9-9 behind Pete Schneider (11:11) and Tom Cleary (12:38).
Mantovani won the ensuing faceoff and fed Beccaris (two goals), who beat goalie Frank Sommers on the left side.
"I heard Chris Caiazza call for it," Beccaris said. "I looked down and saw the man a little late on the slide. I know where I wanted to put it and everything fell [into place]."
The Pioneers wouldn't have been in a position to win had not been for Drost, who converted his second consecutive playoff hat-trick.
"Looking around the locker room, all of the guys are stepping up," Drost said. "I looked to myself and I realized it was my turn."
And Mantovani's turn as well.