John Piscitello's tough defense helps Locust Valley win Nassau C title
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It was only 49 seconds, but it "felt like an eternity" to John Piscitello.
Possession of the ball was exchanged five times in that nerve-racking span. Locust Valley, looking to capture its first boys lacrosse county championship, was leading by one goal.
Finally, Cold Spring Harbor had the ball with four seconds left, but was unable to get off a good shot because of Piscitello's defensive presence and Locust Valley held on, 8-7, Tuesday night to capture the Nassau Class C crown.
"I can't even explain the feelings that went through my head at that point," said Piscitello, a senior who held the Seahawks' leading scorer Ian Laviano without a goal.
Locust Valley (13-4) will play Babylon in the Long Island championship at 6 p.m. Saturday at Hofstra.
"The final minute or so was too long," Locust Valley coach Matt McFarland said with a laugh. "I was getting dizzy and felt like I was going to pass out."
The score was tied at 6 after the third quarter. Joe Bressingham gave Locust Valley a 7-6 lead off an assist from Louie Jokinsky with 11:13 left in the fourth quarter. Owen Trepeta made it 8-6 with 7:57 remaining.
"It's amazing," Bressingham said. "We just needed to play hard, play smart and get it done."
Cold Spring Harbor which finished 12-5, was led by Colin Burke's two goals. Justin McBride scored the Seahawks' seventh goal with 5:19 left.
Frank Mongiello made 14 saves, including a few pretty ones in the fourth quarter, and Tyler Liantonio led the Falcons with three goals.
"Tyler helps us out so much and doesn't get as much publicity as other guys, but he's been so good for us," Bressingham said.
McFarland said he has coached most of the team's seniors for seven years, since he started teaching at Locust Valley Middle School.
"We got our butts kicked every year in the summer," McFarland said.
And every high school season had ended without an appearance in the county final.
Until this season.
"Everything we experienced over the years was all for this," Piscitello said. "We all waited for this and worked so hard with one goal in mind."