Editor's note: This an updated version from an earlier story.
West Islip’s run to a ninth straight Suffolk County Championship continues as the Lions defeated Sachem North 10-5 on Friday at West Islip High School
The win moves top-seeded West Islip (17-1) into the Class A County finals on Wednesday at Stony Brook University where they will face a familiar foe in No. 3 Ward Melville (15-3). Sachem North finishes the season at 13-5.
Friday’s semi-final was a rematch from earlier in the season when West Islip dominated the Flaming Arrows 14-3, and appeared headed the same way through the first half. While the game through much of the first quarter was a defensive battle, Tom Moore got the Lions’ first goal at the 2:36 mark, and would extend the lead to 2-0 with 1.7 seconds left in the quarter.
Another blowout appeared to be in the offing as the Lions outscored North 5-1 in the second quarter with Anthony DeLuca and Jon Resse each scoring twice and Moore scoring his third of the game. Shawn Murphy scored Sachem North’s only goal in the first half.
“We kept the ball hot, but I felt we shot poorly,” said Scott Craig, West Islip’s head coach. “We kept ball moving but were overshooting the ball a lot.”
Throughout the first half, West Islip was a step ahead of Sachem North, winning faceoffs and grabbing a majority of the ground balls.
“For us, it’s just a matter of staying focused and playing as a team,” said defenseman Anthony Santo, a team captain.
Despite trailing by six, the Flaming Arrows started the second half with renewed vigor and kept the pressure on West Islip. However, the Lions held serve and extended their lead to 9-2 heading into the fourth quarter.
Sachem North would make the final 12 minutes uncomfortable for West Islip as goals by Joe Caridi, Shane deBoer and Murphy would trim the Lions’ lead to 10-5.
But they would get no closer.
For West Islip, Reese had three goals and an assist, Anthony DeLuca had five points (2G, 3A), Moore had three goals, Brendan Smith had three points (2G, 1A) and Ryan Wieczorek had three assists. Jack Kelly was again a solid presence in net with 10 saves.
The Flaming Arrows also got a goal from Evan Petillo and Kyle Rhatigan had four assists on the day. Goalie John Quinn had a busy afternoon making 11 saves.1 2 3 4 F Sachem North 0 1 1 3 5 West Islip 2 5 2 1 10