Northport had a man advantage for three minutes late in the first half, but that turned out to be an advantage for Connetquot, which scored a man-down goal and killed the non-releasable penalty for an illegal stick.

But when Connetquot took a three-goal lead late in the third quarter, now that actually was an advantage for Northport.

"We've been down many times and I guess we're just used to it," Northport's Rocco Sutherland said. "We keep our composure. We have a lot of heart. Our second halves have been great."

Sutherland made sure that would be the case again Friday in the duel between undefeated Suffolk League I boys lacrosse teams. He scored three goals and added two assists as Northport improved to 11-0 with a 9-8 victory.

Jake Richardson had three goals and an assist for Connetquot (10-1).

"A game like this speaks volumes," Northport coach George Searing said. "They would not settle for adversity."

advertisement | advertise on newsday

The rally from a 6-3 deficit began when Jack Sullivan scored on a pass from Austin Henningsen, who won the faceoff to start the play. Henningsen won seven of eight draws in the first half and 13 of 19 overall. Sutherland intercepted a pass and scored unassisted to make it 6-5 and defenseman Finn Goonan went coast to coast for a rare goal to tie it with 10:15 left in the fourth.

"No goal is bigger than any other, but that one lifted our spirits," Sutherland said. "We fed off it."

A feed from Brandon Carner to Chris DuPont gave the Tigers a 7-6 lead with 9:04 left, and about a minute later, Sutherland dodged from behind the cage to score from a tough angle.

Sutherland again darted from behind the cage to score on a solo dodge that gave Northport a 9-6 lead with 4:43 left. Richardson and Colin Grippo scored a minute apart to bring the Thunderbirds to within 9-8 with 2:49 left.

Each team got a shot on goal in the next minute before Northport forced a turnover and called a timeout with 1:10 left. The Tigers were able to run the clock down to 11 seconds before the T-birds regained possession, but they couldn't get off a shot.

"Rocco is our leader on offense. Teams are always looking to stop him," Searing said. "But he doesn't get upset and he stays cool under pressure."