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Bobby Burns scores with 15 seconds left to give Smithtown East thrilling win over Smithtown West

Smithtown East midfielder Bobby Burns celebrates with teammates

Smithtown East midfielder Bobby Burns celebrates with teammates John Daniggelis and Dan Rooney after Burns scored the winning goal late in the fourth quarter against Smithtown West on Thursday, May 1, 2014. Credit: Daniel De Mato




Or as one gray-haired spectator put it, "The best high school boys lacrosse game I've ever seen in my life."

Bobby Burns scored the winning goal with 15 seconds left after cutting to the right in front of the crease and receiving a pass from John Daniggelis as host Smithtown East edged town rival Smithtown West, 11-10, in a Suffolk Division I game Thursday.

"I couldn't believe it. Couldn't believe it," Burns said. "It was insane."

Here's why:

A previously unbeaten team, perhaps the best squad in the country -- Smithtown West was ranked No. 3 in the country by Under Armour/Inside Lacrosse's latest rankings -- lost.

The winning team trailed by four with 10 minutes left.

The game-winner was scored by a freshman.

"You just have to believe in yourself, and I did. I put it in," said Burns, almost as if convincing himself aloud that this wasn't a dream.

Burns was mobbed by teammates in a jubilant celebration usually reserved for the playoffs -- but the game wasn't over.

After West won the ensuing faceoff, East goalie Billy McEnroe made a pretty save on a low shot from Jimmy Caddigan as time expired.

McEnroe isn't the type of guy who would let a good celebration go to waste. "That is something that I'm never going to forget in my entire life," said McEnroe, who made 11 saves. "It was literally the greatest feeling I've ever had."

After West (9-1), which was led by Ryan Keenan's three goals, went ahead 9-5 on a shot by Caddigan with 10:40 left, East (9-1) went on a 4-0 run in four minutes. In the middle of it all was Gerard Arceri, who won 19 of 23 faceoffs overall, and Joe Saggese, who had three goals and tied it at 9 with 5:18 left.

"I knew if we kept getting possessions, we would be able to make it happen," Arceri said.

Matt Heldberg gave West a 10-9 lead with 4:03 left. Saggese then scored off an excellent feed from Brian Willetts to knot it at 10 with 3:18 left.

"Joe did a great job," East coach Jason Lambert said. "He's so sneaky and so quick. Every time we play them, the atmosphere is great. We kept telling them it was our time."

Another faceoff win by Arceri secured the possession that led to Burns' goal, the one that put East in the conversation as one of the best teams on Long Island.

"It was the craziest thing I've ever seen," Arceri said. "That could've been the No. 1 team in the country and we just took that away, and now we get the respect."

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