The South Side team piles on goalie Michael Muscarella of...

The South Side team piles on goalie Michael Muscarella of South Side after winning the Class B championship against Manhasset during the Nassau boys Class B lacrosse finals on Friday, May 24, 2024 at Hofstra University. Credit: Dawn McCormick

The players and coaches from South Side posed with the championship banner on the Hofstra turf early Friday evening, smiles on their faces and one finger in the air — as in No. 1 in Nassau Class B boys lacrosse.

The top-seeded Cyclones had just beaten No. 3 Manhasset, 12-10.

It had been a long time between championship photos, and then again, it hadn’t.

This marked South Side’s first county boys lacrosse title since 2004. But for 19 players, this was their first county title since last November, when they won one in football.

“This has been building since we were in third grade, playing football, playing lacrosse together,” said Michael Melkonian, one of 27 seniors on this team. “We’ve been friends ever since. We all promised ourselves this was going to be our year to win in both sports.”

The Cyclones (17-1) will face East Islip — the team that beat South Side for a Long Island championship in football — for the Long Island B crown at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Hofstra.

“Hopefully we get some revenge,” Melkonian said.

The Cornell commit continually gave South Side possession, winning 23 of 24 faceoffs.

“He’s a special, special kid,” coach Steve DiPietro said. “ . . . Obviously, we don’t win the game without him.”

Michael Aiello, Cullen Lynch and Owen West each scored three goals for the Cyclones. Conor Sheerin scored four for Manhasset (12-7), which had claimed three straight Nassau Class C titles and two straight state crowns.

“Our guys played their butts off today,” Manhasset coach Keith Cromwell said. “I’m so proud of this group of 40 guys that we’ve got here.”

South Side took a 9-8 lead when West scored from about 5 yards out on the right side with 9:59 left. Goals by Cole DiPietro and Aiello made it 11-8.

Patrick Arnold cut Manhasset’s deficit to two with 4:31 left, but Aiello scored with 1:20 left.

Manhasset went ahead 5-2 in the second quarter after scoring five consecutive goals. But after a timeout, South Side scored five straight in the final 5:12, including two in the last 8.5 seconds, to go up by two at halftime.

“We’ve been so close so many times, losing to great programs like Manhasset and Garden City,” Steve DiPietro said. “To finally have a special group and to be able to get over the hump, I can’t really say how proud I am of these kids.”


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