When the lights are the brightest, Gavin Arcuri is at his best.
Arcuri scored three goals, including the difference-maker Thursday in No. 4 Westhampton’s 6-5 home victory over No. 5 East Islip in the quarterfinals of the Suffolk Class B boys lacrosse playoffs.
Chance Brindle snapped a tie at 4 by scoring off an assist from Aidan Kellachan with 5:15 remaining. With 2:30 left to play, Arcuri picked up a loose ball, shook off a defender and fired a jump shot to give Westhampton a 6-4 lead.
“I was in the middle of the field so I was just thinking, ‘I need to get to the net,’ ” Arcuri said. “Once I face dodged my defender, I knew I had to get a shot off, so I jumped and took it and thankfully it went in.”
Matthew McIntee scored for East Islip (9-8) with 49.3 seconds remaining, but Westhampton held on for the win. East Islip's Jason Fiorello scored with 3.2 seconds left in the third and once again early in the fourth to tie it at 4.
Westhampton (12-5) will visit No. 1 Smithtown West in the semifinals at 5 p.m. Tuesday and will look to avenge the 11-10 loss it suffered to Smithtown on April 13.
Arcuri’s first goal gave Westhampton a 2-1 lead in the second quarter, before McIntee answered with 1:26 left to send the game into halftime tied at 2.
The defenses controlled the pace for most of the game, and Westhampton’s was led by goalie Jake Dagata, who made 10 saves on 15 shots.
“As a unit, our defense and Dagata played very well all game long and gave us an opportunity to win,” coach Drew Peters said.
Westhampton's Morgan McEntee scored with 4:50 left in the third quarter to make it 3-2. Three minutes later, McEntee checked the ball out of East Islip goalie Jack Kern’s stick. Brindle picked it up behind the net and found Arcuri, who gave Westhampton a 4-2 lead.
“I threw an insanely risky pass to Gavin through three sticks, but he always catches the ball,” Brindle said.
“When I caught it, my defender was turned around and didn’t know where the ball was, so I shot it around him and I don’t think Kern saw it,” Arcuri said.
Those key plays set up the rematch against Smithtown West.
“We think Class B is wide open and we’ve gotten better since we played Smithtown West,” Brindle said. “So why not us?”