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On This Day In History | 1998

May 26, 2011

On this day 13 years ago the boys lacrosse team won a thriller, 9-8, over Shoreham-Wading River to advance to the Suffolk County Class B Championship; however, it had not been an easy road to the finals.  The word that defined the ’98 campaign was “adversity” as the team lost two of the best players in the county as well as an additional four starters to injuries.  Three of the replacements had never played lacrosse before and two freshman had to fill holes in the starting lineup.  Stony Brook preaches character, something that captains Jay Miaritis and Kevin Graves would have to display in order for the blue and white to overcome.  Despite their many setbacks, it was a triumphant regular season as the Brook posted an 11-4 overall record, arranging a County semifinal showdown with Shoreham-Wading River, whom the Bears had dispatched 16-0 just 3 years earlier.

The Brook had no such comfort level in the rematch as the upset-minded Wildcats took a 4-3 lead into halftime.  ”We told Miaritis at halftime that he’s one of the few seniors that has been here since we won the title in 1995,” said John Kenney to Newsday, “and it’s going to fall to the seniors to do that kind of job.”  The Wildcats netted the first 2 tallies after haltime to build a 6-3 edge, but the Bears responded as Sean Metz scored one of his 4 unassisted goals with 2:44 remaining in the quarter.  Stony Brook then tied the game at 6 just 1:35 into the 4th on goals by Mike Titus and Nate Kenney.  A frenetic pace ensued as Shoreham grabbed the lead right back, netting a shot 36 seconds later, and Miaritis tied the game just 37 seconds after that.  The Bears then took their first lead since early in the 1st quarter when Metz scored on a dodge from behind the cage.  The day seemed to be Stony Brook’s, but the Wildcats put the celebration on hold, knotting the contest on a 15-yard bullet with a mere 47 seconds remaining.  The moment cried out for a leader and one clad in blue and white responded.  With 29 seconds on the clock Miaritis rose to the challenge given by coach Kenney, providing the winning score on a bounce shot that seemingly traveled 5 mph, found a seam, kissed off the net and fell along with the dreams of SWR.  ”We had the experience and we knew what it took to win this game,” said Miaritis to Newsday, “and we went out and did it.”  The Bears had overcome all the odds to earn an unprecedented 5th straight berth in the County Final.

The Stony Brook boys lacrosse team needed a lift from someone who had been there before, a battle-tested veteran who had endured his share of playoff wars over the past four years.  And with the new kid on the block giving the Bears everything they could handle, senior attackman James Miaritis stepped up and delivered.




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