Matty Beccaris hopes to lead LIU Post to national title
Matty Beccaris led the LIU Post men's lacrosse team with 35 goals and 51 points last season and was named to the East Coast Conference All-Conference first team -- as a freshman.
Beccaris, an attack who was a four-year starter at North Babylon, earned the ECC Rookie of the Year award. While that's impressive, there's quite a bit more that he would like to accomplish this year, he said.
"The whole goal is a national championship," Beccaris said Tuesday. "I felt comfortable with this team immediately. It's a great atmosphere because no one puts themselves ahead of one another and I think that will go a long way this year.
"And I say that because this whole offense is based around everyone on the field. We've worked on possession and controlling the ball and that should mean a couple of more wins."
Last season, LIU Post was only a few victories away from a national championship.
The Pioneers return "more than 90 percent" of last year's squad, coach John Jez said, including nine of 10 starters. They won the ECC championship, but lost to Le Moyne, 9-8, in the first round of the NCAA Division II Tournament.
With a season of experience, many believe Beccaris could lead LIU Post further in the tournament this season.
"We weren't overly surprised at Matty last season," Jez said, "but it was definitely a great accomplishment."
The Pioneers will open the season at noon Saturday when they host Saint Anselm in a non-league game.
In addition to Beccaris, LIU Post returns senior defender T.J. McAndrew, junior defenseman Robbie Chiocco, a Massapequa alum, and sophomore attack Ryan Slane, who played with Beccaris at North Babylon.
Slane was LIU Post's second-leading scorer with 43 points (30 goals, 13 assists) last season.
"We want those couple of more wins," Jez said. "And to get more we have to be more cohesive, play a complete season and share the ball a little more."
Foley a winner at Suffolk
Kevin Foley has won six regional titles and a national championship as the women's basketball coach at Suffolk Community College.
But it's the season he had in 2000-01, when his team posted a solid-but-unspectacular 14-7 record, of which he said he is most proud.
"That year was a season we didn't exactly have the talent -- maybe one or two really good players," Foley said Wednesday. "But the players we had were willing to work extremely hard to get better and the next two years we combined to have 49 wins and only two losses."
Foley, 67, is in his 23rd season at Suffolk. The Bayport resident said he has received offers to coach at four-year schools, but prefers to stay at Suffolk to be close to home and "live a more balanced life."
Foley has a record of 391-121 at Suffolk. His teams won more than 20 games in eight seasons and he has never had a losing season. This season is no different. With two games left in the regular season, Suffolk is 14-5.