On this day 23 years ago, the boys’ lacrosse team won a second consecutive Suffolk County Championship with an 8-7 victory over Half Hollow Hills West. Here is the recap of the game from J. P. Pelzman of Newsday.
Deja Vu for Stony Brook —
Bears Again Edge Hills West in Suffolk B Final
In any sport, at any level, winning your first championship begs the question, “Can you do it again?”
It’s a question the Stony Brook boys’ lacrosse team has heard since last June, when it claimed its first Suffolk Class B title in only its fifth year of existence at the varsity level. The Bears beat Half Hollow Hills West, 4-3, in the final last year.
Stony Brook completed the second verse yesterday, and it was much the same as the first. The Bears again scored a one-goal victory over Hills West, this time by a score of 8-7 at Hofstra Stadium. Stony Brook (16-2) advanced to the Long Island Class B final, where it will play Manhasset (18-1) Tuesday at Hofstra Stadium at 5:00pm. “This proves that last year wasn’t a fluke,” said Stony Brook attackman Sam Hanchett, who had three goals and two assists. Instead, Hanchett said, “We’re starting a dynasty.”
That pronouncement may be a bit premature, but the Bears yesterday showed that Hanchett’s assessment is not out of the question. Stony Brook used an opportunistic offense and a suffocating defense to again turn away Hills West.
It was a tight game all the way, as neither team led by more than two goals. Hills West’s biggest lead was one, an advantage it last enjoyed when Frank Scicchitano scored on a pass from Mike McKeefrey 3:31 into the third quarter to give the Colts a 4-3 lead.
The score was tied at 4-4, 5-5, and 6-6 before Eaghmon Banks scored on a pass from Jake Kenney 57 seconds into the fourth quarter to put Stony Brook ahead to stay 7-6. Hanchett beat Hills West goalie Denis Miciletto from short range 1:19 later to extend the lead to two.
Hills West (14-3) closed within 8-7 on James Tillis’ goal with 6:31 left in the game, but that was it. Not only didn’t the Colts score again, but they didn’t even get off a shot. “I thought their ability to disrupt our offense was the key,” Hills West coach Gordie Hodgson said. “They disrupted whatever we wanted to do.”
Stony Brook coach John Kenney noted that he was most concerned about three Hills West offensive players: attackman Scicchitano and midfielders McKeefrey and Jasen Isom. “We were definitely worried about those three guys,” the coach said.
And while Scicchitano (five goals) and McKeefrey (one goal, four assists) did some damage, the Bears neutralized Isom. He sparked Hills West’s comeback victory over Harborfields on Wednesday with two goals and two assists, all in the second half. But all he managed yesterday was one assist.
“We modified our zone defense to take away their dodges,” coach Kenney said. He credited the defensive play of Ed Hughey, Evan Tiska, and goalie Derek Kenney, who made seven saves.
The flip side of Stony Brook’s joy was the fact that it was the second straight disappointment for Hills West, which won the title in 1993, Hodgson’s first year as coach there. “You’ve got to be in it to win it,” Hodgson said. “I’m real proud of my kids.”
Perhaps the only real difference between this year’s final and last year’s was the venue. Stony Brook won its first title at Smithtown, and captured this one on the artificial turf at Hofstra. “I really like the turf,” Hanchett said. “It feels like you’re walking on air.” That’s a feeling Stony Brook has experienced two years in a row.
Hanchett led all scorers with 3 goals while Eaghmon Banks (2), Jake Kenney (2), and Liam Banks (1) rounded out the scoring. The Bears went on to lose to Manhasset in sudden death overtime in the Long Island Championship. The Indians went on to win the state crown.