It was while glumly gathering up stray lacrosse balls near the end line after yet another losing game at North Babylon High School that Matty Beccaris and Ryan Slane made their pact.
"We were friends and we'd been playing lacrosse together since we were little kids," Beccaris recalled. "We decided to go to a good lacrosse school and try to win a championship together."
Latest college sports stories
The sophomore pals are one game away.
Beccaris scored five goals with two assists and Slane added a goal and three assists as LIU Post beat No. 1-ranked Adelphi, 12-9, Sunday in a men's lacrosse NCAA Tournament Division II semifinal played before a packed house at Motamed Stadium in Garden City.
The red-hot Pioneers (11-5) will take a five-game winning streak into Sunday's Division II championship game against Limestone at 4 p.m. at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Post won national titles in 2009 and 2010.
"It feels good to be part of a winning program with Ryan," Beccaris said. "This is a great opportunity for us."
Beccaris scored twice, including one goal on a pass from Slane, and added an assist in the first half, when LIU Post built a 7-4 lead. But Brandon Goodwin scored two of his three goals in the third quarter, including a low bullet with 10:49 left that tied the score at 7.
Slane assisted on an extra-man goal by Connor Drost (Shoreham-Wading River) that made it 8-7 and from that point, Beccaris took over. He spun free of a defender, slipped to the turf, regained his feet and rifled home a goal early in the fourth quarter for a 9-7 advantage. Thirty-six seconds later, he fed Joe Costello for a goal that made it 10-7 with 10:04 left.
Tim Daly and Goodwin scored for Adelphi (17-2) to make it 10-9 with 2:03 left, adding tension to the final minutes.
But LIU Post, led by goaltender T.J. DiCarlo (Farmingdale) -- who made 10 saves -- shut down Adelphi late.
"Our defense had a gladiator mentality," DiCarlo said.
The Pioneers limited Adelphi's Sal Tuttle (Farmingdale), one of the nation's leading scorers, to just two goals and an assist. "Their goalie made some key saves but I thought we held the ball a little too long," Adelphi coach Gordon Purdie said. "We had a chance to tie it but we didn't make the right pass."
Instead, LIU Post regained possession with 40 seconds left and Beccaris scored two empty-net goals as Adelphi tried desperately to get the ball back.
Said Beccaris, "We slowed it down and we only attacked when the time was right."