Xavier Arline seemed to begin his celebration before Anthony Cimino even turned to fire at the goal.
“I had a feeling,” Arline said.
After a timeout 10 seconds into overtime of Tuesday night’s Suffolk Class C boys lacrosse championship game at Farmingdale State, Arline worked the ball toward the middle of the field. His eyes darted between his options before he settled on Cimino and delivered an on-target pass.
Cimino caught it, and Arline turned toward midfield with his arms raised. When Cimino finished, the real celebration was on. Second-seeded Shoreham-Wading River defeated top-seeded and previously undefeated Mount Sinai, 14-13, advancing to Saturday’s Long Island Class C championship game at Hofstra against No. 1 Cold Spring Harbor. Cold Spring Harbor claimed its fifth consecutive Nassau Class C boys lacrosse title with a 15-9 victory over No. 3 Locust Valley.
“X was doing his thing, and I was just there to finish the ball,” Cimino said of his only goal against Mount Sinai. “If he’s throwing me the ball, I know I’m open. I can just finish.”
The program’s 13th county title and third in four years was in doubt for much of the second half. Leading 9-7 at halftime, SWR unraveled in the third quarter.
Bobby DeMeo of Mount Sinai (17-1) took control, scoring three of his six goals as the Mustangs built a 12-10 lead. DeMeo’s goal with 7:36 left in regulation put Mount Sinai ahead 13-11.
Johnny Schwarz cut Mount Sinai’s deficit to 13-12 with 6:46 to play, them Arline tied it with 4:55 remaining. The Mustangs pressured SWR in the waning seconds of regulation, but Liam Daly (11 saves) redirected a shot as time expired.
“You got to keep the intensity because this game is full of runs,” Cimino said. “They make a run, we make a run. It’s simple.”
In overtime, Jeff Lachenmeyer corralled the ground ball off the faceoff, allowing SWR (15-3) to take a timeout. From there, Arline just had to make the right play.
“Just be smart, most of all,” said Arline, a junior who scored five of his six goals in the first half. “Always live to fight another day. So if something doesn’t work, don’t take a bad shot. Take the right shot.”
Arline said the Mustangs brought an early slide — which they did much of the second half — an indicator that he likely wouldn’t be able to take the shot himself. “What that does is it opens up everyone else around me,” he said.
There was Cimino, just a few steps in front of the crease, ready for his moment.
Said Cimino: “I’ll never forget this.”