X-Man was a superhero for Shoreham-Wading River Wednesday night, pulling off a spectacular rescue mission.
Xavier Arline, a freshman with speed, savvy and skills, stole the ball from Islip’s goaltender with an aggressive ride and made a behind-the-head pass to Chris Gray for an open-net goal that stopped an Islip run and propelled SWR to a 13-7 victory in the Suffolk Class C final at Stony Brook.
The Wildcats (15-3) made it back-to-back county titles and will face two-time state Class C champion Cold Spring Harbor on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Stony Brook. Islip was looking for its first county crown and finished a breakout season at 15-3.
Gray had five goals and an assist and leads Long Island with 86 goals.
The Buccaneers had scored four goals in 2:09 to get back in a game that looked to be over when Gray converted a solo dodge late in the third quarter for an 8-3 lead. But Kieran Kissane scored consecutive goals followed by tallies from Jeff Atlas and Mike Bienkowski to make it 8-7 with 8:08 left.
The Bucs forced a turnover and were about to clear the ball for an offensive rush when Arline (two goals, three assists) attacked. He stick-checked the ball away from Devin Degennaro, whose sparkling play in the first half had kept the Bucs in the game. Then, demonstrating expert lacrosse IQ, Arline delivered a no-look pass to Gray for the dunk that made it 9-7 with 7:48 left.
There was still plenty of time left for Islip, but the Wildcats were dynamite down the stretch. Kevin Cutinella scored his third on a long-distance blast before things faded to Gray. He stole the ball at midfield and scored on a breakaway. He took another crisp feed from Arline and buried it, then added an unassisted goal as SWR finished on a 5-0 blitz.