One byproduct of Massapequa’s domination of conference play has been a shortage of close games, but that was what the Chiefs had on their hands Tuesday at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium.
The challenge was rare but the result was quite familiar.
Logan Tucker and Garrett Gibbons scored in the final five minutes to extend a one-goal lead to three and Angelo Petrakis won all six faceoffs in the fourth quarter to lead the top-seeded Chiefs past No. 2 Syosset, 11-8, in the Nassau Class A boys lacrosse championship. It is the third straight county title for Massapequa (15-2), which will play either Smithtown West or Ward Melville in the Long Island championship at 10 a.m. Saturday at Hofstra.
“We know the talent Syosset has, they’re a great team and we battled back and forth,” said Gibbons, who had four goals and an assist. “We knew it was going to be a dogfight, but we preach ‘practice must be harder than the game,’ and the way we compete against each other prepares us for these kinds of situations.”
After Gibbons netted his second goal of the game to put Massapequa ahead 8-5 with 3:28 left in the third quarter, A.J. Alexander scored for Syosset as time expired in the period and then assisted Ryan Lebson’s goal 18 seconds into the fourth quarter.
Gibbons scored again with 8:27 remaining, but Jack Monfort answered for the Braves about three minutes later to make the score 9-8. A faceoff win for Petrakis (17-for-21 overall) led to a goal by Tucker with 4:19 left and Gibbons scored after Petrakis’ final faceoff win at the three-minute mark.
“Angelo is the fuse, he lights us, he sparks us and leads us,” said Tucker, who had three goals and an assist. “He’s everything we need all the time.”
Coming into the game, Massapequa had won all but three games since conference play began on April 5 by a double-digit margin, and its 11-6 win over Port Washington in the county semifinals was its only win in the span by fewer than nine goals.
On Tuesday, Massapequa led 4-1 after a quarter of play, before Joe Bueti and Monfort scored consecutive goals for Syosset (14-3) in the second quarter. Tucker scored later in the period to give Massapequa a 5-3 lead going into halftime, and he and Eamon Hall scored in the third quarter to extend the margin to 7-3.
Bueti (two goals) and Monfort (three goals) scored in quick succession later in the third to bring Syosset back within two.
Sam Lutfi (two goals), Colin Gleason (one goal, one assist) and Nick Squicciarini (seven saves) also helped lift the Chiefs, who will try to advance to the state tournament after consecutive Long Island championship losses.
“We’ve said it all week: There’s no Saturday without Tuesday and we’re on to Saturday now,” Gibbons said. “Third time’s the charm.”