The title game was bound in a tie heading for the fourth quarter. The Ward Melville dynasty would live on for a fifth straight Suffolk Class A boys lacrosse championship or crumble. The Northport county championship drought would end after 19 years or continue for at least another season.
The third-seeded Tigers came out and ruled at home, winning the title and ending the dynasty. They beat the fourth-seeded Patriots, 8-6, Wednesday after scoring four of the final six goals.
"It’s something that we're so happy about," steady senior goalie Andrew Tittmann said. "We’re just so extremely grateful to knock off the kings of Suffolk lacrosse."
Casey Fortunato finished with two goals and one assist, and Mike Meyer and Dylan McNaughton scored two apiece.
So Northport (14-3), after making its fourth appearance in the county final and winning its first championship since 2002, will face Syosset at East Islip High on Saturday at 12:30 for the Long Island Championship.
"We had said in the beginning of the season that we’re playing the season not only for ourselves, but for the Class of 2020 that lost their season (due to the pandemic)," said Larry Cerasi, the Tigers’ first-year head coach. "That’s really important to us."
Ward Melville (13-4), which received two goals from Chris Simonton, was making its 42nd appearance in a county final. They’re now 27-15.
"It’s always tough to lose," coach Jay Negus said. "What I just said to the boys in the huddle is, one of our sayings is, ‘It doesn’t matter; get better.’ They’ve got to use that, and they’ve got to have a good response to this."
Meyer made a long run and scored to give Northport a 5-4 edge 2:29 into the fourth. Trevor Dunn tied it 28 seconds later.
Jake Breckling untied it for the Tigers eight seconds after that. Drew Miller made it 7-5 off an assist from Fortunato.
Then Fortunato scored on a hard shot from the right side, good for a three-goal lead with 3:04 left.
"We just wanted it more," the senior midfielder said. "We’ve been waiting for this moment."
The Patriots dumped Northport in a 3-0 hole in the first quarter. But the deficit was down to 4-3 by halftime.
"We were just settling for poor shots," Cerasi said. "I think we all just needed to reset ourselves."