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Andrew Keith accepts coach's challenge, wins game for Syosset

Syosset midfielder Andrew Keith gestures on the field

Syosset midfielder Andrew Keith gestures on the field against Garden City in the Nassau non-league boys lacrosse game. (March 19, 2013) Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

With the score tied and 1:15 remaining, Syosset boys lacrosse coach John Calabria disregarded his playbook, and in his own words, “challenged” senior Andrew Keith during a timeout to simply win the game.

Fifteen seconds after play resumed, Keith dodged to the right of the goalpost and netted what ended up being the game-winner Tuesday.

“It was definitely a good feeling,” said Keith, after the 8-7 non-league home win against Cold Spring Harbor. “I expected that coach would draw up an Xs and Os type play and he just told me to go out and score.”

Calabria knew what he was doing.

“I knew he would respond to that because Andrew has been on my team for four years and just knows what it takes to win,” he said.

To secure the victory, Syosset goalie Ryan Feit saved two shots inside the final minute. One was an attempt from CSH’s Jordan Walter (three goals), from about 12 yards away. Feit, who is headed to Johns Hopkins University, recorded 11 saves.

“It’s very frustrating when you get a good look and beat a defense and a goalie takes it away,” Calabria said. “And he did that to Cold Spring Harbor a lot today.”

The road team caused some defensive disruption of its own on during the first half, though. Cold Spring Harbor (7-3) confused the Syosset’s offense by sliding adjacent to the crease — something Keith said the Braves (7-3) hadn’t seen too much of — making things harder for the primary dodger to score.

After leading 4-2 at halftime, Syosset squandered the advantage during the third quarter as Cold Spring Harbor tied it at 5. The Seahawks then took a 7-5 lead with just under eight minutes remaining in the game. 

CSH received solid offensive performances from Ian Laviano (two goals, two assists), Allen Winkoff (one goal, one assist) and Ryan Tassan (one goal, one assist).

“We didn't come out that hot,” said Syosset's Mac O'Keefe. “We should've had some of those shots. We knew we had to have a momentum change.”

O’Keefe scored with 7:34 left to cut CSH’s lead to one, and then he tied the score with 4:10 remaining.

The game was reminiscent of last year’s matchup, a 12-11 win for Syosset.

“We always expected a tight game,” Keith said. “They’re basically right down the street, so it’s usually pretty close.”

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