The Comsewogue boys lacrosse team prides itself on being a second half team.
They jumped out to a quick start Wednesday night against West Islip in the Suffolk Class B title game and brought the raucous crowd to a fever pitch. But just as quickly as it started it suddenly stalled, leaving the team to once again prove themselves in the second half.
And that they did, scoring seven straight goals from the third quarter into the fourth on the way to a 14-7 win over West Islip and the program's first Suffolk title since 2010.
"Me and (Jake) Deacy both talked to the boys in the huddle and just reminded them how we play in the second half and that it was pretty much a 0-0 game at that point," defenseman Aiden McCaffrey said. "We came out and we started winning faceoffs by changing what we were doing on the wings a little bit and from there we went out and dominated. That’s heart and that’s what this team is all about and what we’re built on."
Comsewogue will face Garden City on Saturday at 3 p.m. for the Long Island Class B championship.
West Islip opened the scoring seven seconds into the second half after CJ Schwarz won a faceoff and immediately darted up the middle of the field before dishing to Parker Reilly for the goal.
But Comsewogue answered back a minute later with a goal from James Mantione and took the lead for good after a pair of goals from Michael Katz later in the quarter.
"We knew we had to start working and everybody had to do their part," said Katz, who scored four goals. "We knew they were going to come out and play tough because everyone does that against us."
Kevin Radmann also helped turn the game around in the second half by winning faceoffs, securing valuable possessions and scoring a goal of his own on a dash to the cage straight off a draw to open the fourth quarter.
"I challenged him a little bit after the first half," Comsewogue coach Pete Mitchell said. "In the second half he just turned it around and that was the big difference in the game."
"The first half we played a little selfish but in the second half we played together," said Deacy, who had two goals and four assists. "We were able to use that for momentum."
McCaffrey and the rest of the team also fed off the energy of the crowd and the messages they got before the game.
"We walked out there and saw the crowd and I saw familiar faces that I played with five years ago and guys that played 30 years ago that texted me and messaged me on instagram and said, ‘Bring home the 'chip," McCaffrey said. "This lacrosse community is amazing. The whole town came out tonight so it was extra special. It felt great to win for ourselves, but it felt even better knowing we won for this school and this town and our wonderful coaching staff."