In the Cold Spring Harbor version of tic-tac-toe, it seems as if the Seahawks have the X’s and the O’s.
“You make a mistake, they come down and score. You make a mistake, they come down and score,” an admiring Shoreham-Wading River coach Mike Taylor said after watching Cold Spring Harbor tame his Wildcats, 16-7, Saturday in the Long Island Class C championship game at Stony Brook. “They have so many guys who can score.”
Taylor Strough was the shooting star this time, with four goals and two assists. Ian Laviano and Will Reed each netted three goals and an assist and Matt Licciardi scored one goal with three assists for the Seahawks, who improved to 19-0 with their 26th straight victory overall. They will face Pleasantville on Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Adelphi in a state Class C semifinal. SWR, which beat Garden City for the Long Island Class B title last year then dropped to Class C this season, finished 15-4. Chris Gray, Long Island’s leading goal-scorer with 90, scored three goals with an assist for the Wildcats.
“The energy we brought was excellent. I’ve never felt anything like it. This goes down in my books as the best win that I’ve had here,” said Laviano, Nassau’s leading scorer with 102 points and a five-year starter. He was alluding to the completeness demonstrated by a team gunning for its third consecutive state Class C crown. “We are on a mission. When we sling the ball like that, we’re unstoppable.”
The Seahawks came out slinging. Strough drilled one from the wing; Laviano intercepted a clearing pass and finished; Strough scored in transition, and Reed tallied on a feed from Teddy Bentley. Gray scored on a dodge from behind the cage, but that was a temporary reprieve. Long-stick middie J.T. Roselle went coast-to-coast and Kevin Winkoff came around the corner to end the first period at 6-1.
Laviano scored twice and Kane Jaklitsch and Strough added to a 6-0 run that made it 10-1 with 2:49 left in the third. After Gray scored again, the Seahawks went on a 5-0 run that triggered a running clock when they took a 14-2 lead with 8:58 left in the third. “We have a fabulous group. They don’t want this ride to end,” CSH coach Dennis Bonn said. “Today was our day. It was a complete game.”
There was one particularly slick passing sequence that delighted Strough. “I recall one play where I got a ground ball, threw it to Ian. He threw it to Will and he scored. That’s Cold Spring Harbor lacrosse. When we run and move the ball like that, it’s incredible. It’s that tic-tac-toe offense we love to run,” said Strough, who has 61 goals, second in the county to Laviano’s 64. “We were looking forward to this game since we saw they dropped down to Class C. I definitely did not expect that. We came out guns a blazing.”
For Cold Spring Harbor, it was a game of tic-tac-boom!