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AJ Alexander leads No. 1 Syosset over No. 4 Massapequa in Nassau 'A' semifinal

AJ Alexander of Syosset reacts to his goal

AJ Alexander of Syosset reacts to his goal during the final period of the Nassau Class A boys lacrosse semifinal playoff game on June 11, 2021 in Syosset. Credit: Dawn McCormick

A postseason rematch with rival Massapequa, the three-time defending county champion, had remained at the front of AJ Alexander’s mind for too long.

That certainly was evident on Friday.

Alexander scored four goals and Danny Garone contributed two goals and an assist as No. 1 Syosset took down visiting Massapequa, 13-4, in a Nassau Class A boys lacrosse semifinal.

"This day has been on my agenda," Alexander said, "to be able to play them in the playoffs again. That’s been on my mind for a while. It’s a bad taste to lose and watch them get that trophy [in 2019], but now it’s our turn and I’m happy about it."

Joe Bueti and Stephen DiStephani also scored two goals apiece and Joey Greco made 12 saves for Syosset (11-2).

Syosset will try to earn its first county title since 2016 when it takes on No. 2 Farmingdale in the final at Mitchel Field on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

Garone said the team learned plenty after an 8-7 overtime victory over Massapequa (6-8) in the teams’ lone regular-season meeting on May 29.

"We watched the film and there was a lot we had to improve on," he said. "We knew that we had to come out hot . . . It was a really great atmosphere today and we just had to take advantage."

After fourth-seeded Massapequa scored the game’s opening goal in the first quarter, Syosset responded with goals from DeStephani and Alexander. Adam Giovinco found the back of the net in the second period before Garone stretched Syosset’s lead to 5-2 entering halftime with back-to-back goals in a 26-second span.

Massapequa notched the first goal of the second half when Anthony Mollica scored at the 7:44 mark, but Syosset recorded the final five goals of the period.

Syosset coach John Calabria said he had a strong message for his players at the break and that it was well-received.

"Massapequa wasn’t going to come over here and play badly," Calabria said. "And they proved that. They stepped up and it was a tight game in the first quarter . . . At halftime I said, ‘You guys need to take it from them. You need to step on the field in the first five minutes of the third quarter and take the game.’

"They got the first goal and then we stormed back. The kids really responded and it was nice to see this group execute in the quarter and really decide the game then."

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