Sal Tuttle drove into scoring position from behind the left side of the net and faked one direction before turning around and shooting the ball low to give his team a 2-0 lead eight minutes into play. About a minute later, the Adelphi attack struck again.
And the senior from Farmingdale and the Panthers were just getting started.
Tuttle scored two goals in the final eight seconds of the game and had five overall to power visiting Adelphi to a 15-9 win over LIU Post Saturday in a battle of nationally ranked Division II lacrosse teams.
“Just a great overall win,” said Tuttle, who was selected by the Rochester Rattlers in the eighth round of the 2016 Major League Lacrosse draft. “We knew with the offense we were running we would get shots. Just to show in those first two minutes, we got five quality shots. We knew they were going to fall, we just had to keep shooting.”
Tuttle, who also had an assist, and the ninth-ranked Panthers (2-1) had plenty of opportunities behind John English’s work on faceoffs. English, of Lindenhurst, had a 20-6 advantage on faceoffs, which led to constant possession, a dangerous tool for a talented team that excels in transition. Adelphi also outshot its opponent, 46-29.
“It gives us the ball often and allows us to be creative off the ball and gives us more chances to score goals,” Adelphi coach Gordon Purdie said of English. On Tuttle: “He is becoming the conductor of the train that is taking us to wherever it goes. He’s an emotional leader, a four-year starter, and a phenomenal player to coach.”
No. 7 Post (0-2) stole momentum when Jeremy Morgan and Anthony Berardis scored consecutive goals to get within 3-2 with under four minutes left in the first quarter, but couldn’t sustain a lasting attack, a problem it never overcame.
Post started the second strong, but spent an eight-minute stretch either without the ball or unable to break through Adelphi’s defense, despite strong dodges.
Adelphi jumped to a 10-5 lead on third-quarter goals by Tuttle, Michael Osmundsen, Gerard Cunningham and Gordon Purdie Jr.
Post’s Morgan, Ryan Slane and Matty Beccaris rallied late with consecutive goals to pull the team within 12-9 with 3:31 left, but three final-minute goals sealed Adelphi’s win.
“We prepared a lot,” English said. “We had a good read on what they wanted to do. This definitely pumps up our confidence. We were a little down after [a loss at the University of] Tampa, we didn’t really expect to get beat the way we did, so to come back and get a huge win like this going into games like Merrimack and NYIT, this gives us a lot of confidence.”