Wantagh scores five in fourth quarter to top Farmingdale
Wantagh boys lacrosse coach James Polo had never seen one of his teams do something like this before.
Clinging to a one-goal lead early in the fourth quarter, Wantagh handed host Farmingdale an opportunity to even the score with a two-man advantage in the teams' Nassau non-league matchup on Friday night.
But as the Dalers turned the ball over on an errant pass, Wantagh pushed the ball up the field. Ninth-grader Devin Paccione caught a pass near the crease and scored, despite being down two players. Wantagh (3-1) totaled five goals in the fourth quarter in its 11-6 win.
“They’re resilient and they don’t quit,” Wantagh’s fifth-year coach said. “That was just a great opportunity and a great thing that they noticed and were able to go and exploit. “That was huge. That swung it in my opinion.”
Jake Martini had two goals and two assists, and Antony Tsakos added three goals and an assist for Wantagh. Kyle Conklin stopped seven shots for Wantagh, including three in the fourth quarter. Mike Ippoliti made eight saves for Farmingdale.
Wantagh fell behind early after Brendan O’Keefe scored two goals and James Goodrich added another to put Farmingdale ahead 3-0 six minutes into the first quarter. Danny Fisenne broke his team’s scoreless drought with just over one minute left in the quarter, and then scored again with 10.6 seconds left in the first.
“We haven’t played a team like this where they press out as far this much and they’re that physical,” Fisenne said. “But the second half we said let’s come out with the energy we need, we played as a team and moved the ball.”
Tsakos scored a man-up goal with 8:08 left in the third quarter and gave Wantagh a 5-4 lead, its first of the game. Martini’s second of the game, a left-handed bounce shot off the far post and in, made it 6-4 a minute later.
Wantagh's defense allowed one goal in each quarter after the first. Martini said it wanted to limit the Dalers to six or fewer goals.
"We knew we had it," Martini said. "Everyone had them beating us and we had faith in ourselves. We stayed composed and fought back into it."
Wantagh has won its last three games after losing by a goal to Bayport-Blue Point in its season opener. It will host fellow Nassau C-D opponent Seaford on Sunday.
"They play selflessly and they play for one another," Polo said. "When you have a team that buys into that, the sky is the limit."