Call them Shoreham-Wading River's version of the Core Four. Tim Rotanz on attack, Trevor Brosco at midfield, Chris Mahoney on defense and Tyler Lutjen between the pipes are the heart of the Wildcats figuratively and literally because of their presence in the middle of the field at their respective positions,
"We had four in the middle," Shoreham-Wading River coach Tom Rotanz said. "I always use the baseball term 'if you're strong up the middle, you're going to do well.' "
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The Wildcats' Core Four did do well as Rotanz scored two goals, Brosco had a goal and two assists, Mahoney had a goal and was stellar on defense and Tyler Lutjen made 10 saves for Shoreham-Wading River in a 9-7 win over Cold Spring Harbor in the boys lacrosse Class C Long Island Championship Saturday at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium. It is the fourth LIC and first since 2007 for Shoreham-Wading River (16-3), which plays Section I champion Bronxville in a state semifinal at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at Hofstra.
"It's a big accomplishment for our seniors and the whole team," Brosco said, "but we still have two more games to look forward to."
Ryan Bray scored two of his three goals in the first half for Shoreham which led 5-4 at the break and controlled the tempo in the second half to take an 8-4 lead with 10:27 left.
Jordan Walter scored both of his goals in a span of 1:03 midway through the fourth quarter as Cold Spring Harbor cut the gap to 8-6 with 6:30 to go.
"It was a little nerve-racking," Tom Rotanz said. "We wanted to get the air out of the ball mainly because I think Trevor, Timmy and Danny Malave were gassed so we wanted to take a little time out to try to get a minute and then try to run a play. When they scored I'm looking, I'm thinking there's a lot of time left and they have a good faceoff man."
After Chris Roufanis (four saves) made a great initial save for the Seahawks, Troy Miller collected the rebound and scored to make it 9-6 and put the game away for Shoreham with 2:53 to go. "We had our chances . . . we extended out there and that ninth goal really was killer," Cold Spring Harbor coach Dennis Bonn said.
Cold Spring Harbor (14-4) tried to force a fast pace in the first half in which the teams traded goals on several occasions but the Seahawks had to settle for ties on three occasions and could never gain the lead.
"They wanted the fast pace and we really wanted to shut that down," Tim Rotanz said. "Controlling on offense, slow it down a bit and get them out of rhythm."
Mahoney and the rest of the Shoreham zone defense kept Cold Spring Harbor's leading scorers Sean Doyle (one goal, one assist) and Danny Simonetti (one assist) in check.