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Cold Spring Harbor, Ward Melville eye state boys lacrosse titles

Cold Spring Harbor players celebrate their 12-10 win

Cold Spring Harbor players celebrate their 12-10 win over Pleasantville in the NYSPHSAA lacrosse Class C state semifinals at Hofstra University on Wednesday, June 8, 2016. Credit: James Escher

Cold Spring Harbor is looking to make it back-to-back state Class C championships and Ward Melville is gunning for its ninth state Class A title on Saturday when the boys lacrosse season concludes at Middletown High School. Shoreham-Wading River’s narrow loss to Yorktown in Wednesday’s Class B semifinal prevented Long Island from having a chance to sweep all three classifications.


Cold Spring Harbor (17-1) vs. Penn Yan (17-2)

Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

At Middletown High School

Cold Spring Harbor, the state’s No. 1-ranked Class C school, is led by four returning stars from last year’s state championship team — the entire midfield of Riley Cox (41 goals, 14 assists), Taylor Strough (50 goals, nine assists) and Matt Licciardi (18 goals, 30 assists) plus attack Ian Laviano (34 goals, 43 assists). They lead a powerful offense that averages 14 goals a game.

The Seahawks’ only loss was to league rival Locust Valley, 10-9, but they reversed that big-time in the Nassau Class C final, 17-9.

Licciardi, also a faceoff wizard, has scored a hat trick in the last two playoff games. Strough netted four goals in a 12-10 victory over Pleasantville in Wednesday’s state semifinal at Hofstra and scored three goals in the LIC victory over Babylon.

As if the offense wasn’t potent enough, sophomore Kevin Winkoff has sizzled in the postseason with 11 goals in four games.

Penn Yan, the state’s No. 3-ranked team in Class C, barely survived No. 2 Cazenovia, winning an overtime thriller, 11-10, on Wednesday. Sean Emerson tied it with 2:12 left in regulation and Tate Stewart scored the winner in OT.


Ward Melville (18-3) vs. Victor (21-0)

Saturday, 4 p.m.

At Middletown High School

Ward Melville last won the state Class A crown in 2013 and is looking for its first under third-year coach Jay Negus. The Patriots are heating up at the right time. They entered the playoffs as a No. 4 seed, but defeated Smithtown West, Whitman and Connetquot for the county championship and stymied high-scoring Syosset, 9-5, in the LIC before walloping Lakeland-Panas, 16-6, in Wednesday’s state semifinal.

For much of the season, it was a defense led by John Day and goalie D.J. Kellerman that defined Ward Melville. But the ever-improving offense featuring four players with more than 20 goals, has blossomed in the postseason, capped by a 16-goal explosion on Wednesday that was the Patriots’ highest goal total of the season. Eddie Munoz scored five goals while Chris Grillo and Dom Pryor chipped in with a hat trick each.

The Giaquinto brothers, Mike and Jake, won 18 of 26 faceoffs but will be challenged by T.D. Ierlan of unbeaten Victor, who won 17 of 18 draws in a 15-4 blowout of Corning in its semifinal.

The Blue Devils are the No. 1 ranked Class A team in the state, with Ward Melville at No. 3 behind St. Anthony’s. Victor defeated Manhasset to win last year’s state Class B championship, moved up to Class A, where it has posted another undefeated season, and enters the game riding a 43-game winning streak.

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