ALBANY — Colin Gleason’s older brother, Sean, is a redshirt-junior on the University of Albany men’s lacrosse team. But on Wednesday, it was the younger Gleason who left his mark at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium.
Gleason, a senior on the Massapequa boys lacrosse team, went into his bag of tricks in the state Class A semifinal against Mamaroneck, making highlight-reel plays when they counted most. He scored five of his six goals in the second half as Massapequa overcame a three-goal first-half deficit to win, 14-9.
Massapequa (17-2) advances to play Fairport at 10 a.m. Saturday in the state Class A championship game at St. John Fisher College in Rochester.
“It’s a swagger and a confidence that we like to play with,” said Thomas Greenblatt, who scored three consecutive goals spanning the second and third quarters to erase a 5-2 deficit. “We like to think that when we play confidently, we play at our best.”
Greenblatt’s contributions ignited the Chiefs, who initially struggled to figure out Mamaroneck’s zone defense. Coach Tim Radomski called it “probably the worst half we played,” but Massapequa turned it around.
After Greenblatt tied the score at 5 early in the third quarter, Gleason fired a shot for a 6-5 lead. Mamaroneck, which entered on a 20-game winning streak, tied the score 14 seconds later.
That’s when Gleason got the crowd — and the Chiefs — roaring. He scored behind the back on an assist by Eamon Hall for a 7-6 lead, then jumped in stride, catching a 15-yard pass from Owen Vail and scoring in one motion while in midair. When he hit the ground in front of the crease, Massapequa led 8-6.
“It’s just a huge momentum boost when you can do stuff like that,” Gleason said. “I wasn’t trying to be flashy. I was just making the easiest play and the best play to help us score.”
He followed five minutes later by dishing out a behind-the-back pass in a 2-on-1 transition, and Sam Lutfi buried the easy shot. That was part of three consecutive goals by Lutfi, the last of which put Massapequa ahead 11-7. Lutfi had four goals and one assist.
The flashiness didn’t stop there. Up 12-9, Garrett Gibbons intercepted a pass that led to a Lutfi goal eight seconds later. Then, with two minutes remaining, Gibbons corralled a ground ball and was met by two defenders. He split the defenders by switching his stick from left to right behind his back, allowing Massapequa to clear the ball and ice the game.
With several high-level talents, Massapequa is primed for its first state title since 2014. Gleason got it started Wednesday on the same field his brother regularly patrols.
“A lot of [the highlight plays] came from working with my brother,” he said. “He taught me a lot of that stuff and helped me get good at it.”