Cullen Lynch of South Side looks for an opening against...

Cullen Lynch of South Side looks for an opening against Jake Mangio of Farmingdale during a game at South Side, on Wednesday April 17, 2024. Credit: David Meisenholder

There’s nothing magical about the turf at South Side High School. But it felt like something magical was unfolding on that field Wednesday evening.

South Side’s boys lacrosse team scored seven unanswered goals between the first and second quarter and then rumbled on to defeat visiting Farmingdale, 12-7, in a Nassau Power League contest.

The Cyclones (8-1, 5-1) have now posted victories this season over three defending Long Island champions. When it defeated defending Class D champion Cold Spring Harbor, it was only their second win against the Seahawks since 2007. When the ’Clones triumphed against defending Class B champion Garden City, it was their first win over the Trojans since 2006. And this win against the defending Class A champ is their first in four years.

South Side hasn’t won a state boys lacrosse title since 2004. But 19 of those players come from the football team that played on that same surface in the fall and won the school’s first county championship in 22 years.

“Something is brewing,” South Side junior Cullen Lynch said.

“It’s brewing but we can’t be overconfident about it with so much left to play,” added senior Michael Aiello. “It’s a good start for us.”

Aiello finished with three goals and an assist and Lynch had another three goals. Senior Owen West chipped in two goals and an assist and senior Liam Livingston had a pair of assists. Goalie Michael Muscarella — finally the starter with Tommy Gentile off to Boston University — made nine saves for the Cyclones.

“It really wasn’t that bad — [Gentile] was a great player and mentor,” said Muscarella, also the Middlebury-bound valedictorian. “Being part of this team is great. A lot of us have been playing together since kindergarten and we’ve really got great chemistry. We preached that if we were unselfish, we could be really good and that’s what’s happening.”

Brendan O’Keefe had three goals and an assist, southpaw Cuinn Sunde had a pair of goals and goalie James Caputo made 12 saves for Farmingdale (5-4, 0-3). But it was two straight Daler goals by Sal Posillico and Jake Mangio that opened the third quarter and drew them within 8-6. In the following 5:09, Aiello scored twice and senior Sean Quirk once to make it 11-6.

And Lynch capped a highlight-reel performance with a behind-the-back goal from in close for a 12-6 lead early in the fourth. He had a first-quarter goal on a weaving drive where he went to his weakside and scored righty. He had a second-quarter score from a submarine angle lefty.

“When I’m dodging, I hear them saying ‘lefty,’” Lynch said. “So I can surprise them.”

Cyclones’ 17th-year coach Steve DiPietro described the program the past few years as “knocking on the door,” but sees something evolving.

“We’ve never had more veteran leadership and many have a confidence in what they can do together from football,” he said. “Those things — that experience — lends itself to not making the mistakes we once did and being more successful.”


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