Mattituck's William Burns looks to get around Briarcliff's Aidan Murnane...

Mattituck's William Burns looks to get around Briarcliff's Aidan Murnane in the second quarter during a state Class D boys lacrosse semifinal on Wednesday at Adelphi. Credit: Bob Sorensen

It wasn’t the ending the Mattituck/Southold boys lacrosse team hoped for.

The Tuckers fell 10-3 to Briarcliff Wednesday night in the New York State Class D semifinal at Adelphi University, unable to overcome a seven-goal outburst by the Bears in the second quarter.

“The guys fought and they played hard and we were in this game, other than the second quarter,” said coach John Amato. “We were right there with them, but we had that let-up in the second and you can’t do that against a good team.”

Mattituck/Southold (13-6) kept things close in the first quarter, tying the score at one on Matthew Seifert’s goal with 2:57 left, but Briarcliff took control of the game in the second. The Bears won 4-of-8 faceoffs in the frame and held Mattituck/Southold to one shot, controlling possession and spreading the ball out with quick passes.

Jack Ricciardi and Anthony Capasso led the charge for the Bears, each scoring three goals in the quarter, and Briarcliff (18-4) wrapped up the first half with three goals in the final 59 seconds, taking an 8-1 lead into the break.

“We had a few opportunities in the beginning of the game that we didn’t cash in on,” Amato said. “Then, all of a sudden, the second quarter, you could sense, we started playing tight and too urgent.”

Mattituck/Southold did its best to mount a second-half rally, with goals from Dane Reda in the third and Max Kruszeski in the fourth, but it wasn’t enough. The Tuckers struggled to gain possession down the stretch and made a handful of late-game turnovers that hurt their chances of a comeback.

“Once you get down in that hole, no matter how positive you try to keep yourself and your attitude, it’s always tough,” Kruszeski said. “Their zone defense was one of the best we’ve played all year, if not the best.”

Kruszeski added that Briarcliff’s defense took Mattituck/Southold out of its usual offensive game plan.

“With that zone, it’s compact, it’s very tight,” Kruszeski said. “So, when you beat that first defender, you’ve got another three guys right on you and it’s very tough to make that pass.”

The loss was a disappointing one for Mattituck/Southold, but Amato was quick to point out everything the Tuckers accomplished this spring, including a second straight Long Island championship.

“I hope they don’t feel bad for the season just because it ended like this,” Amato said. “It’s been a great run, Suffolk champs, Long Island champs and that’s pretty awesome.”