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Rocco Sutherland helps Northport to comeback win

Northport's Rocco Sutherland carries the ball to the

Northport's Rocco Sutherland carries the ball to the net while being covered by Connetquot's Austin Pinto in the fourth quarter during a game between Connetquot and Northport on Friday, May 1, 2015. Credit: Bob Sorensen

Northport had a man advantage for three minutes late in the first half, but that turned out to be an advantage for Connetquot, which scored a man-down goal and killed the non-releasable penalty for an illegal stick.

But when Connetquot took a three-goal lead late in the third quarter, now that actually was an advantage for Northport.

"We've been down many times and I guess we're just used to it," Northport's Rocco Sutherland said. "We keep our composure. We have a lot of heart. Our second halves have been great."

Sutherland made sure that would be the case again Friday in the duel between undefeated Suffolk League I boys lacrosse teams. He scored three goals and added two assists as Northport improved to 11-0 with a 9-8 victory.

Jake Richardson had three goals and an assist for Connetquot (10-1).

"A game like this speaks volumes," Northport coach George Searing said. "They would not settle for adversity."

The rally from a 6-3 deficit began when Jack Sullivan scored on a pass from Austin Henningsen, who won the faceoff to start the play. Henningsen won seven of eight draws in the first half and 13 of 19 overall. Sutherland intercepted a pass and scored unassisted to make it 6-5 and defenseman Finn Goonan went coast to coast for a rare goal to tie it with 10:15 left in the fourth.

"No goal is bigger than any other, but that one lifted our spirits," Sutherland said. "We fed off it."

A feed from Brandon Carner to Chris DuPont gave the Tigers a 7-6 lead with 9:04 left, and about a minute later, Sutherland dodged from behind the cage to score from a tough angle.

Sutherland again darted from behind the cage to score on a solo dodge that gave Northport a 9-6 lead with 4:43 left. Richardson and Colin Grippo scored a minute apart to bring the Thunderbirds to within 9-8 with 2:49 left.

Each team got a shot on goal in the next minute before Northport forced a turnover and called a timeout with 1:10 left. The Tigers were able to run the clock down to 11 seconds before the T-birds regained possession, but they couldn't get off a shot.

"Rocco is our leader on offense. Teams are always looking to stop him," Searing said. "But he doesn't get upset and he stays cool under pressure."

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