Tuesday was moving day for the Syosset boys lacrosse team. Moving on, that is.
A 12-6 victory over the Baldwin Bruins at James M. Shuart stadium sends the Braves to the semifinals of the Nassau County Boys Lacrosse Class A tournament. Syosset will face Massapequa on Thursday at 3:30pm at Hofstra’s North Soccer Field.
A seemingly bad break for the Braves turned into a spark plug. Leading 6-5 entering the fourth quarter, Syosset was called for an illegal stick violation. The equipment violation resulted in a three minute major penalty, meaning Syosset would be left a man down for the duration of the infraction, regardless of how many goals Baldwin scored.
Instead of playing conservative and concentrating solely on clearing, Syosset attacked. With eleven minutes left in the game and potential danger on the horizon, John Diaz took the ball from behind the Baldwin net and scored, unassisted and untouched, to give the Braves a 7-5 lead. More importantly, Syosset held Baldwin scoreless during the man-down situation.
“It does happen,” coach John Calabria said of the penalty. “I thought our kids, under a tremendous amount of adversity, were able to come through that.”
Syosset held a two goal lead with 6:40 to play. Then the onslaught began. Four goals in two minutes and eleven seconds turned the tightly contested affair into a rout.
Hero: Diaz - The Braves sophomore did a lot more than notching the tide-turning tally in the fourth quarter. With 4:06 left in the third, Diaz deaked Baldwin goaltender Brett Dadiego to his right with a stick fake, leaving a wide open net to deposit the ball in. The goal gave Syosset a 6-3 lead.
Turning Point: The man-down goal by Diaz in the fourth stopped any momentum that Baldwin had. The Bruins had climbed back in the contest after falling behind 6-3 in the third quarter. Two Baldwin goals in under a minute cut the Syosset lead to 6-5. The Diaz goal reassured that there was little that could slow Syosset down, not even a major penalty.
Quotable: "[Baldwin] was controlling the tempo of the game,” Calabria said. “Once we were able to pick some of the grounders, it got to be a situation in which we could play our style of lacrosse and the result was that we were able to stick some in the net.”
Bottom Line: Syosset’s experience in high pressure situations showed up at exactly the right time.
Key Stat: The Braves won the face-off battle 13-7. They won nine of 13 face-offs in the second half.
Who’s Next: Syosset vs Massapequa, Thursday at 3:30pm @ Hofstra’s North Soccer Field.
Box Score:Team 1 2 3 4 F Baldwin 1 2 2 1 6 Syosset 2 1 3 6 12
Baldwin: Harper (3), Warner, Mertens, Ainbinder
Syosset: Storrie (3), Diaz (3), Kalbacher (2), Hunter (2), Buffalino, Schmieder
Baldwin: Dadiego- 13
Syosset: Feit- 10