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On This Day In History | 1995

May 31, 2016
Lacrosse 1995

The Bears celebrate the 1995 County Championship as time expires

On this day 21 years ago, the boys’ lacrosse team won a thriller over rival Comsewogue to advance to their second consecutive County Championship. Here is the recap of the game from John Gambadoro of Newsday.

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The Bears Make It 2 in a Row Stony Brook wins Class B thriller

It’s hard to imagine a coach having a five-year plan on the high school level. But that’s exactly what John Kenney implemented when he started the Stony Brook varsity lacrosse program six years ago. After a few mediocre seasons the plan worked to perfection last year when Stony Brook won the Class B title in its fifth year.

But the challenge for Kenney this season may have been even greater. He had to prove Stony Brook wasn’t a one-shot wonder; to make sure the accomplishments of last season would not be diminished by an early exit in the playoffs. And with yesterday’s thrilling 7-6 victory over Comsewogue in the Class B semifinals at Hauppauge, the Bears (15-2) assured they will be respected. They will face Half Hollow Hills West to decide the B champion at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Hofstra.

“We had it in our minds that if we didn’t make it back to the finals this season we would have been considered a fluke, a team that was set up for one run,” Kenney said.

Ironically, yesterday’s matchup against the Warriors was a game of runs. After a slow first half in which each team scored twice, Stony Brook scored five unanswered goals in the third quarter to take what appeared to be a comfortable 7-2 lead.

David Metz got things started when he won the opening faceoff of the second half and six seconds later Eaghmon Banks converted a pass from Spencer Neibuhr to give Stony Brook a 3-2 edge.

Banks struck again 1:23 later and the Bears were off to the races.

“We were a little timid in the first half and our coaches always say that the first five minutes of the second half are the most important,” Banks said.

What Stony Brook could not have expected was that Banks’ fourth goal, off a pass from Luke Fischer with 2:27 left in the third quarter that gave the Bears a 7-2 lead, would be its last.

Down but not out, Comsewogue (11-6) chipped away at the lead.

Matt DelRosso’s unassisted goal 34 seconds into the fourth quarter brought the Warriors within 7-3 and started Comsewogue on a run of its own. Del Rosso and Frank Curra scored within 1:08 to cut the deficit to 7-5 with 6:22 remaining in the game, and suddenly the Bears were playing for survival.

Stony Brook managed to take 2:30 off the clock with its slow-down tactics, but Comsewogue gained possession with 3:45 remaining and 27 seconds later Ryan Cohen freed himself for a blast from 15 yards that beat keeper Derek Kenney and made the score 7-6.

“We never got down on ourselves,” Curra said. “We had some things to fix, mainly winning the ground balls, and we put ourselves in a position to win.”

An offsides penalty with 1:58 left cost Comsewogue a precious 30 seconds at a man down, but Stony Brook only managed one shot. Comsewogue’s Jimmy Droge picked up a loose ball with 54 seconds left and after two shots went wide Bears midfielder Evin Steed stripped Dan McCarren of the ball, sealing the victory.

“I think that all the other teams in the county thought of us as a bunch of prep school wimps,” Banks said. “And we were out to show them that we weren’t.”

And that they did.

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Banks finished with four goals while Sam Hanchett, Charlie Hanchett, and Jim Bickley each added one. Derek Kenney anchored the defense with 13 saves.

The Bears went on to defeat Half Hollow Hills West in the title game for a second consecutive year, 8-7, to cement their place as one of the best teams on Long Island.

Sam Hanchett, Jake Kenney, Spencer Niebuhr, and Jim Bickley made the All-County Team while Dave Metz, Ed Hughey, and Derek Kenney joined them on the All-Division II 1st Team. 2nd Team recognition went to Evan Tiska, Luke Fischer and Eaghmon Banks. John Kenney and Dave Castle were deservedly named the Division II Coaches of the Year.

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Bear

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