Has a new team joined St. Anthony's and Chaminade to form a Long Island Catholic League lacrosse trinity?
Not yet, Holy Trinity's Nick Ferreiro said, but the senior midfielder believes the Titans are close.
Holy Trinity won the state CHSAA Class AA title (St. Anthony's and Chaminade are Class AAA) with a 7-5 win over Bishop Timon-St. Jude of Buffalo on June 3, the school's first state title in any class since 1982.
Holy Trinity finished 15-6, with four of the losses coming against St. Anthony's and Chaminade. The other two losses were to Fordham Prep (the Titans avenged that in the playoffs) and Georgetown Prep, which won a Maryland state championship. Their victories included decisions over Nassau playoff teams Hewlett and Seaford, and the signature win, 10-9, over eventual state Class A public school champion Farmingdale.
"Not many teams beat a Class A state champ,'' Ferreiro said. "We hoped to get over the hump of Anthony's and Chaminade, but they just wore us down. After that, we beat everyone we were supposed to beat.''
They did, but it didn't come easy. Ferreiro tore his posterior cruciate ligament in the team's second game, but came back and was a key in the playoff run. As was goalie D.J. Mauro, who broke his thumb in practice the day before the second St. Anthony's game. Mauro, who had 19 saves in the Farmingdale win, made double-digit saves in each of the playoff games.
Said coach Steve Tempone: "We got healthy just in time.''
Still, the Titans had plenty of senior leadership and talent. Nick Susko scored the eventual winner in the state final, and Pat Candon and Mike Plaia were also attacks of the highest caliber. Nick Olson and Hartford-bound Robbie Zecher manned the midfield.
"We've all been starting since sophomore year,'' Ferriero, a captain, said. "We felt like this was our time.''
And it was. After the long wait, Susko scored on a feed from Olson with 3:00 left to seal the state title for the Titans, who lost only two of their last 13 games -- to St. Anthony's and Chaminade.
"They're head and shoulders above everyone in the [CHSAA],'' Tempone said of his rivals. "But we can play with anyone."