Jack Sullivan leads Rocky Point to Suffolk Class B lacrosse title
Troy Reh heard the chants of "L-I-C!" as he stood at Stony Brook's LaValle Stadium.
This was back in November, though. The chants were only in the head of the Rocky Point boys lacrosse senior defender. No one else was hearing them.
"We knew we were coming to the county championship," Reh said. "We played in some fall tournaments, including one right on this field, actually, and after that game our seniors said that we were coming back here."
It was a mental picture that only he and some of his teammates saw then. Yet Wednesday night, Reh heard the same chants at the same place. This time everyone else did, too.
Jack Sullivan scored three goals as the top-seeded Eagles beat No. 2 Miller Place, 6-4, to capture the Suffolk Class B title. Rocky Point (18-1) will play Lynbrook (18-1) for a Long Island crown Saturday at Hofstra.
It's Rocky Point's first title since 2008, but that's hardly the reason longtime Rocky Point coach Mike Bowler called this season "special." The Eagles finished 6-10 in 2013. They were seeded 10th in the preseason poll.
Rocky Point overcame it all.
"Our team bought in even though no one else thought we'd get here," Reh said. "We knew coming into this year we had to shock everyone in Suffolk B and that's what we did."
Reh, Chris Johnson and Chris McGreevy led a defensive unit that held Miller Place (13-6) scoreless in the first quarter. Rocky Point led the entire game and had a 3-1 advantage at halftime. Brendan McGovern's goal with 5:53 left in the fourth quarter gave the Eagles a 6-3 lead.
Pat Dallon, who recorded 14 saves, made three stops on close-range shots inside the final five minutes to seal it. "I'll be honest, Pat played fantastic and that was the best game he played all year," Bowler said. "Our close defense was terrific, it really was."
Jake Buonaiuto scored twice for the Panthers, who were the defending county champions.
Miller Place's defense also played well. Defender Brett Osman held Justin Reh, Troy's twin, scoreless. Justin Reh missed the majority of the 2013 season because of an injury. This season, he's one of Suffolk's leading scorers with 41 goals and 63 assists. Despite not being able to find the net, Justin Reh's presence was a factor.
"Even when he's not scoring goals, he's making plays and making the defense slide to him and just opening it for other people," Sullivan said.
After Sullivan scored his third goal and Rocky Point had a 5-2 lead early in the fourth quarter, Troy Reh said he started to realize his prophecy was becoming increasingly possible.
"It was," he said with a quick glance toward a large, supportive, chanting crowd remaining in the stands, "a great moment."