Craig Berge overcomes injury and helps lead Massapequa to county title

The high ankle sprain that slowed Craig Berge could not do the same to Massapequa's offense. The Chiefs continued to operate at high speed, especially in the fourth quarter.

"We started slow, but with our offense, once we start running, we can score a lot," Berge said. "Once we get one goal, that makes it much easier to get more. Once we get going, we're tough to stop."

The Chiefs scored four straight goals in about four minutes to start the fourth quarter, one a perimeter blast by Berge, to break open a close game and zoom to a 15-8 victory over Syosset Tuesday in the Nassau Class A boys lacrosse final at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium.

Berge, the Georgetown-bound midfielder, scored two goals and contributed two assists, and attack Ian Kirby and Paul Dilena each scored four goals with an assist as Massapequa (16-2) won its second consecutive county crown and eighth overall. The Chiefs will face the winner of Wednesdy night's Smithtown East-West Islip Suffolk Class A title game at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Hofstra. Syosset finished 13-5.

"I was pretty limited. I couldn't really dodge," Berge said. "But I got some time and room."

Other Chiefs were able to create their own space. Kirby and Dilena each scored two goals during the game-changing fourth quarter. "We always dominate the fourth quarter," Dilena said. "When one guy scores, the next guy says, 'I've got to score.' We're all scoring machines. We're up-tempo. It's what we do."

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Flashy sophomore Mac O'Keefe scored four goals for Syosset, including a low-to-high laser that made it 9-7 late in the third quarter. But Nick Yevoli scored his second goal, unassisted, six seconds later after a faceoff win by Phil Brady to launch a 5-0 Massapequa burst.

"We have so many guys who can score, it takes the pressure off you," Kirby said. "We don't have to rely on one person to score."

That's why Berge, usually an all-over-the-field presence, didn't want to miss out on the fun.

"Not being able to play with these guys would have hurt a lot more than my ankle did," he said.

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