Frankie Buffalino heard the call for a substitution but he chose to stay on the field. The Syosset senior made a split-second decision which ended up being the biggest play of his career last night and also helped No. 2 Syosset beat No. 1 Massapequa, 14-13, in the Nassau Class A boys lacrosse final at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium.
"I was going to go out, I was going to sub out because I just came from defensive middie and instead, I saw the man following me and I used my head and I went back in," said Buffalino, who scored his only goal off a looping feed from Taylor Kalbacher with 6:49 to go to give Syosset its first lead of the game. "I called for the pass over the net and I just shot it. It was just a head's-up play. Coaches were telling me to come off then I saw the guy following me, so I used my speed and I beat him.
"Right when I got that, it was just all the momentum shot up from there."
Jon Camposa had four goals and an assist, Andrew Keith three goals and an assist and John Diaz two goals and three assists for Syosset, which came back from down four goals.
Ian Kirby (four goals, one assist) scored on a breakaway to give Massapequa a 12-8 lead with 4:01 to go in the third quarter. Syosset responded with a 6-0 run from five different goal-scorers, capped by freshman attack Alex Concannon, who fired a rocket from 15 yards to make it 14-12 with 3:08 to go.
"They had a four-man defense and I was our top," Concannon said. "We had a set play but apparently, we couldn't do it. I knew I had the shot and I took it and it went in. I was confident that I could score."
It is the third straight loss in the county final for Massapequa (15-3), which led from the 3:22 mark of the first quarter.
Ryan Feit made nine saves for Syosset, which scored two man-up goals in the fourth and held off a late charge from the Chiefs when Dan Muller scored to make it 14-13 with 19 seconds left.
Syosset was the preseason No. 1 and avenged its lone conference loss of the season, 14-8, to Massapequa on April 19.
"This game went a lot like our season," Syosset coach John Calabria said. "We started off a little slow and we put it away when it mattered. Our defense and our goalie stepped up when it mattered."