Ever since walking off the field following a six-goal loss at last season’s state semifinals, the Mattituck/Southold girls lacrosse team has been on a mission to prove themselves as a championship-worthy team. The players moved one step closer to accomplishing just that, beating Carle Place, 16-5, in the Long Island Class D championship/Southeast Regional final at Islip High School on Sunday afternoon.
“I think losing in the state semifinals last year was such a motivation for us,” said Jane DiGregorio, who had four goals and an assist Sunday. “We want to get back there and be able to prove ourselves and prove that we’re better than how we played last year.”
DiGregorio, a senior at Mattituck High School, also had a personal stake after being held without a point in the Tuckers’ 14-6 county final victory over Babylon on May 29.
“I’ve been pushing myself to be the best I can be because I feel like I didn’t step up last game,” DiGregorio said. “So I felt like this game was my time to prove I can do it.”
Mattituck/Southold (13-5) plays Friday at SUNY Cortland in the state Class D semifinals.
The Tuckers broke the game open by scoring eight of the final nine goals in the first half for a 9-3 lead. With strong defensive play and the attacking of Riley Hoeg (three goals, three assists), her younger sister Mackenzie Hoeg (three goals and two assists) and Francesca Vasile-Cozzo (one goal, four assists), the Tuckers controlled the pace of play to get another chance at a state championship.
“We just wanted to come back and prove ourselves and go back to states,” Riley Hoeg said. “That was our ultimate goal and now, it’s to win states.”
Carle Place ends its season at 7-7, after two goals and an assist from Julia Winer and two goals from Abby Selhorn.
Mattituck coach Matt Maloney credited his team’s work ethic, saying the players didn’t want to waste any time from last season’s finish to start preparing for this year.
“Literally when last year ended, they couldn’t wait to get back on the field,” Maloney said. “Actually playing these games that matter the most, they couldn’t wait. A year felt like 2 1⁄2 years.”
“We want to get the state title this year and prove ourselves — like we didn’t do last year,” Riley Hoeg said. “We want to show how good we are and how much work we put into this sport.”