Nicholas Squicciarini did his homework.
The Massapequa senior goalie said he and his teammates were ready for anything in their Class A state championship lacrosse matchup against Fairport on June 8, after hours spent watching film and familiarizing themselves with the Red Raiders’ style of play. The preparation paid off as the Chiefs cruised to a 10-6 victory at St. John Fisher College and their first state title since 2014.
“It was strictly scouting reports before the game,” said Squicciarini, who made seven of his nine saves in the first half. “It’s another game, but we knew it was more important than anything. We wanted to win it all. It was all about throwing the first punch.”
Massapequa set the tone early, taking a lead on Garrett Gibbons’ unassisted goal with 8:12 left in the first. The Chiefs offense, which averaged just over 12 goals per game during six postseason matchups this spring, continued its strong play, but it was the squad’s defense that helped cement the victory.
“It all started with Nick in the cage,” coach Tim Radomski said. “We shut down their top guys and all our young poles played great. Defense wins championships and they proved it.”
Squicciarini was a force in net in the first half, shutting down Fairport’s chances and giving Massapequa the chance to move quickly up the field.
“That’s a total momentum swing,” said senior midfielder Thomas Greenblatt, who finished with three goals and three assists in the final. “When (Nick) makes big saves like that, it gets us going, gets the bench going and our confidence is through the roof.”
Squicciarini credited Massapequa’s pre-game prep for his early-game success, giving him a boost of confidence between the pipes and the certainty that he could make big-time saves when he had to.
He faced a handful of close-range shots, particularly in the first half, but said he was never worried. He knew what Fairport was going to do and he was ready for it.
“We knew that there were only three lefties on the team and the rest were all righties, so we could assume those three, they’re going to be going lefty the entire time,” Squicciarini said. “So, we watched their top hand and stayed relaxed and stepped to the ball.”
Massapequa, which fell in back-to-back Long Island championships before topping Ward Melville 10-5 this season, had its sights set on a deep playoff run from the first practice. The squad boasted 14 seniors, all of whom were determined to wrap up their high school careers on top.
“I’m proud of this whole team,” Radomski said. “They worked their tails from last June until today and this was their goal, to get to the state finals and win it.”
As the final seconds ticked down on their win, Squicciarini said he couldn’t believe what was happening, a moment he’d been waiting years for. The only thing he knew was that the victory was even better than he expected, and, after everything, all his hard work had paid off.
“It means more than anything,” Squicciarini said. “When I first started playing goalie, this was my dream. Go to Massapequa, win a Long Island title, win states and get a ring. That’s all it’s been for me.”
CHIEFS' ROAD TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP
vs. Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK, 19-0
vs. Port Washington, 11-6
vs. Syosset, 11-8
LONG ISLAND CHAMPIONSHIP
vs.. Ward Melville, 10-5
vs. Mamaroneck, 14-9
vs. Fairport 10-6