05/31/12 8:00pm
05/31/2012 8:00 PM

ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River freshman goalkeeper Lauren Daly stopped 15 shots in an 11-7 win over Mount Sinai Thursday.

CLASS C COUNTY FINALS  |  WILDCATS 11, MUSTANGS 7

During their run of seven straight county titles and four state championships, Shoreham-Wading River could always count on a solid goalkeeper to anchor the defense. And when the playoffs started, and the intensity ratcheted up, that’s when the Wildcats’ goalie would always seem to elevate her play to another level.

Shoreham freshman Lauren Daly grew up during the Wildcats’ heyday watching the likes of Michelle Verbeeck and Erin McMullan as they solidified Shoreham’s championship defense. All the while she knew she wanted to one day be a part of that.

“I still don’t believe it’s real,” Daly said of becoming the next goalkeeper, keeping the tradition alive. “Being able to come up big like they did in the past is great.”

When the Wildcats needed a big game, Daly delivered an epic performance with 15 saves Thursday afternoon to help the Wildcats reclaim their spot atop Class C.

The Wildcats (14-3) knocked off defending county champion Mount Sinai, 11-7, at Dowling Sports Complex to secure an eighth championship in the last nine years. Last season ended in a county final loss to Hauppauge as a Class B school. Now the Wildcats meet Nassau champion North Shore at noon Sunday for the Long Island title back at Dowling.

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The pressure of playoff lacrosse is hardly new for Daly. She started all three playoff games last season as a rookie eighth-grader and performed admirably in each game.

“I know going into the game that there’s going to be a lot of shots, especially in a county championship, and to just be prepared for them,” Daly said.

The Mustangs (13-5) tested her early with a barrage of free position shots. Shoreham coach Mary Bergmann said she thought Mount Sinai came out shooting high or wide on their first shots.

“Then they started getting them on goal and Lauren was just coming up with huge saves,” she said.

Thanks to Daly and the defensive core of Meghan King, Alyssa Fleming, Patricia Miller and Meredith Bushell, the Wildcats held a 4-3 lead at halftime before the offense erupted in the second half.

Mount Sinai scored the first goal of the second half to tie the game before Shoreham went on a 6-0 run in just over six minutes. Before that point, neither team had led by more than a goal.

Sophomore Shannon Rosati started the run with a goal to put Shoreham ahead 5-4. Junior Jessica Angerman capped it off with a free position goal with 14:28 left and just like that the Wildcats led 10-4.

“I think both teams gave a good fight,” Bergmann said. “It’s just that when we have the ball we were executing, at least in the second half. Once we started rolling with those couple of goals I think we had the power on our side of the field and it was putting the pressure on Mount Sinai.”

Seven goals for Mount Sinai equaled a season low. Shoreham held Mount Sinai scoreless for 12 straight minutes in the second as the lead grew.

Last year the Wildcats came into county championship game as underdogs against Hauppauge, knowing that even with a victory, the season would likely end a few days later against a powerhouse Garden City team.

“I think we were nervous last year,” said junior Alex Fehmel, who scored three goals Thursday. “We were more confident in ourselves as a team as opposed to last year I think.”

The Wildcats have developed into a team that rarely relinquishes a lead once they get it.

“When they get that lead, they’re holding onto it,” Bergmann said. “So it’s a good comfort level walking into the next playoff game knowing we’ve been pretty consistent with keeping leads.”

Even as the lead ballooned in the second half, the Wildcats weren’t taking anything for granted. Only one night earlier North Shore came back from six down to beat Cold Spring Harbor in the Nassau C championship.

Fehmel said they also thought back to the University of Florida-Syracuse game in the Division I semifinals played at Stony Brook where the Orange came back from seven down in the second half to win.

“It really showed us anything is possible,” Fehmel said. “That’s why we didn’t let up at the end. We know Mount Sinai’s a team that can come back.”

The Mustangs never really threatened in the second half once Shoreham got rolling. The Wildcats had a 14-6 advantage on draws, a huge key in helping expand the lead and then maintain it. Angerman took the majority of draws for Shoreham and plucked several out of the air herself once the ball went up.

Bergmann said winning draws has been a strongpoint for the Wildcats all season.

“I said I know we can win the majority of draw controls and then it’s just a matter of capitalizing on the fact we’re winning draw controls, which we didn’t do the last time we played them,” she said.

The Wildcats had a balanced offensive attack, led by three apiece from Fehmel and Rosati. Senior Katie Boden, who won her fourth county title since joining varsity as an eighth-grader, added two goals.

Notes:

–Several Shoreham underclassmen played alongside Mount Sinai players at a tournament at Stony Brook University recently designed for recruiting. Fehmel was one of the players who played on a team that included Mount Sinai players.

“I love them,” she said. “We’re all friends. That’s why it’s fun. It’s a tough game. They always put up a good fight.”

–The Wildcats avenged one of their three regular season losses. Mount Sinai won 8-5 in early April to hand the Wildcats their first loss.

–The Wildcats had over two weeks off before the championship game while Mount Sinai had to play Babylon in a semifinal game. Bergmann said the conditioning work that the team put in during the break played a huge factor in Thursday’s win.

“If we had that semifinal game I don’t know if we would have had the conditioning coming into this game to really pull off the type of game that we did,” she said.

–The Mustangs got freshman Kasey Mitchell back for the playoffs. A huge player in last year’s run to the state finals, Mitchell tore her ACL during the winter playing basketball and was expected to miss the entire spring season. She had one goal in Thursday’s game.

–The first eight goals of the game were all scored by different players.

–Both teams could find themselves facing off again for the county finals next year. Mount Sinai started one senior while Shoreham started three.

–The win was the third county championship for Shoreham in two days. The boys lacrosse and baseball teams won county titles Wednesday. Both beat Bayport-Blue Point. It’s the first time all three have won county titles in the same year.

joew@timesreview.com

05/31/12 7:00pm

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Trash on Northville Turnpike in Riverhead Thursday morning.

Some Riverhead residents were surprised to find their garbage wasn’t picked up the Tuesday after Memorial Day, as it had been for years.

It’s part of a new garbage pickup policy effective this past January, a town official said. And it was advertised and the changes were mailed to each resident.

“We expected this to happen,” said John Reeve, superintendent of the town’s sanitation department. “We’ve been getting calls from members of the public who didn’t read the schedules properly or read them at all. People are getting edgy.”

Mr. Reeve estimated getting about 15 calls and hour from residents, some confused by the new policy and some irate.

Other town officials said Wading River residents were reporting problems with raccoons ransacking the trash that hadn’t been picked up since Tuesday.

The town’s holiday policy now eliminates the pickup for that day, while keeping all other collection days that week on the same schedule.

“The schedule doesn’t change anymore… you just have to wait three days,” Mr. Reeve said.

A phone message at the Town Sanitation Department explains the policy to residents and the information is also available on the town’s website.

The new policy with carter European American Waste Disposal saves the town money by including roughly the same number of garbage pickups for a rate “almost half as low” as in previous years, he said.

psquire@timesreview.com

05/31/12 5:00pm

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Rich Vandenburgh (right), a co-owner of Greenport Harbor Brewery, and Vincent Tria of the Vail-Leavitt Music Hall spoke with the Town Board Thursday.

Phew, that was close.

The Riverhead Town Board, Blues Festival organizers and downtown restaurant owners managed to hammer out an 11th-hour plan Thursday to allow alcohol consumption anywhere outdoors at the music festival.

The event is scheduled for June 16 and June 17 in the riverfront parking lot behind East Main Street.

Because the parking lot is public space, liquor liability insurance is required by the town in order for the Town Board to lift open alcohol restrictions, just in case someone is injured on town property and sues.

The town had sought to acquire $5 million certificates of insurance from each of the area restaurant owners — naming the town as co-insured — but the business people resisted, saying the amount was too much.

Because of this, Vincent Tria — the treasurer of Vail-Leavitt Music Hall, a nonprofit operation that runs the festival as its chief fundraiser — contacted the owners of Greenport Harbor Brewing Company to foot the bill for a $5 million policy in return for selling beer outdoors exclusively.

Instead of lifting open-alcohol laws for the entire parking lot, Supervisor Sean Walter suggested Greenport sell its beer in a specified “beer garden” area closer to the river, as to better the odds of restaurant owners cashing in on the event by serving beer inside their Main Street establishments.

Greenport co-owner Rich Vandenburgh ultimately balked at that idea, saying crowding beer drinkers into a pen behind the suggested comfort station could cause more problems than if they had space.

After much discussion at Thursday’s public Town Board work session, the board decided $2 million liquor liability insurance policies from each of the restaurants would suffice.

Those restaurant owners who do not want to participate would not be able to allow patrons to leave their establishments with beer or liquor drinks, town officials said.

“Do we have to really go along with whatever the insurance company says?” Councilman John Dunleavy had said. “I’ve been arguing that we should lower it to $2 million.”

“$5 million was unreasonable,” Tweeds restaurant owner Ed Tuccio later said in an interview. He said he would get a $2 million policy in place for the town in time for the festival.

“But I have to get a letter [from the town] stating specifically what the town wants, which I haven’t seen,” he added.

Mr. Tuccio said he had a heated exchange with Mr. Walter over the Blues Festival prior to the work session. Mr. Walter also acknowledged the two traded words.

The argument centered mainly on Mr. Tuccio’s belief that downtown business owners who pay into parking district taxes were getting shafted in favor of the Vail-Leavitt, which as a nonprofit does not pay into the district, and the Greenport brewery, which doesn’t pay any taxes in Riverhead.

Mr. Tuccio and other restaurant owners eventually agreed Thursday — some via text message to and from Business Improvement District officials — that $2 million policies each would be fine.

They were instructed to get the policies, insuring the town, to the Town Board before next Tuesday’s meeting.

“If we don’t have this by Tuesday’s board meeting” Mr. Water said, “then I’ll have a resolution rescinding the measure to allow open alcohol.”

Vic Prusinowski of Cody’s BBQ and grill said Friday that he was pleased with the Town Board’s decision and called the plan “a good compromise.”

He said he’s already got plenty of insurance in place for both is indoor and outdoor bars, so adding the town as co-insured for two days wasn’t a problem.

The Main Street restauranteurs also had to secure the proper off-site permits with the state Liquor Authority by Thursday — the same day as the work session — because the permits need to be secured 15 days before an event, officials said.

Mr. Tuccio said getting those permits is normally not a problem either.

Three Town Board members present were in favor of the insurance plan for the event, except Councilwoman Jodi Giglio, who said she was undecided and would like to see the restaurant owners produce the policies before committing to the plan.

She also said the insurance issues should have been worked out months ago.

During the meeting, Ms. Giglio asked Mr. Tria why it was even necessary that Blue Festival-goers to drink beer in the parking lot.

Mr. Tria responded that “it’s historically been that people could enjoy a beer while listening to the music.”

The Blue Festival, which started over a decade ago, was not held last year after a downtown power struggled in the run-up to the 2010 event nearly cancelled the show.

No outside alcohol is allowed to the event.

“No coolers. No backpacks,” Mr. Tria told the board Thursday.

A woman sued the Vail-Leavitt after one festival, claiming a broken bottle had cut her foot, town officials said.

All alcohol in the town parking lot has to be in plastic cups, officials said.

mwhite@timesreview.com

05/31/12 2:45pm

ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | The Shoreham-Wading River Wildcats won the Class C county championship Thursday with an 11-7 victory over Mount Sinai at Dowling College.

New York Class C teams can officially take notice: The Wildcats are back.

Shoreham-Wading River won 11-7 against defending county champion Mount Sinai Thursday afternoon at the Dowling Sports Complex, reclaiming its spot as the best Class C team in Suffolk.

The Wildcats won their eighth title in the last nine years after last season ended with a loss in the county finals to Hauppauge in Class B.

Shoreham used a 6-0 run in the second half to blow open what had been a tight, back-and-forth game. Sophomore Shannon Rosati scored her second goal to put Shoreham ahead 5-4 with 20:52 left in the second half. Just over six minutes later junior Jessica Angerman sank a free position shot to make it 10-4 Shoreham.

Mount Sinai could never recover.

Shoreham freshman Lauren Daly played a superb game in goal with 15 saves, including many on free position shots. She helped set the tone early for Shoreham in what was one of the team’s best defensive efforts of the season. Seven goals equaled a season low for Mount Sinai this season.

The Wildcats had a balanced offensive attack, led by three goals apiece from Rosati and junior Alex Fehmel. Senior Katie Boden, who won her fourth county title, added two.

Shoreham will now play Nassau champion North Shore at noon Sunday back at Dowling College for the Long Island title. North Shore lost in the Long Island title game last year to Mount Sinai.

Below was a live blog from Thursday’s game:

05/31/12 12:45pm

NEWS-REVIEW ARCHIVES | The cover of the June 12, 1997 issue featuring Kalila Taylor's arrest.

Jury selection in the retrial of a former Riverhead High School student accused of stabbing another student to death more than a decade ago began yesterday at Suffolk County court.

Kalila Taylor, 35, of Riverhead stands trial for the 1996 murder of fellow student Curtisha Morning, who was stabbed 94 times in the woods behind the high school parking lot.

Ms. Taylor was convicted of second-degree murder in 1999 and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

But the State appellate court overturned the conviction in 2004 because the judge, Arthur Pitts, incorrectly instructed the jury to treat the prosecution’s DNA evidence used in the trial as direct evidence instead of circumstantial evidence.

A retrial was ordered, but two years later, County Court Judge Ralph Gazzillo ruled that Ms. Taylor was not mentally fit to stand trial, based on letters sent to the judge which he, at the time, called “bizarre, baseless and delusional.”

She did not use an insanity defense in her original 1999 trial.

In 2010, Ms. Taylor was found to be fit to stand trial. She was offered a plea deal for an 18-years-to-life sentence, but it was rejected, said District Attorney spokesman Robert Clifford.

If acquitted, Ms. Taylor would go free, and if convicted the nearly 14 years she has already spent in jail would count toward any prison term she receives.

Ms. Taylor is currently incarcerated in county jail, Mr. Clifford said. Opening statements will begin after jury selection is finished.

psquire@timesreview.com

05/31/12 11:37am

ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River junior Jessica Angerman leads the WIldcats against Mount Sinai today in the Class C championship game.

A day after the Shoreham-Wading River boys lacrosse and baseball teams won county championships, the girls lacrosse team will look to be the next team to raise a banner today.

The top-seeded Wildcats face No. 2 Mount Sinai at 3 p.m. today at Dowling Sports Complex for the Class C title. The Wildcats, who won four straight state championships in Class C from 2007-10, will need to beat last year’s county champion to return to the Long Island championship game. The News-Review will be providing live coverage.

The teams will renew their playoff rivalry after playing four consecutive years in the county finals from 2006-09. Shoreham won every game.

The Mustangs defeated Shoreham earlier this season, 8-5. The Wildcats lost their next game after that against Hauppauge, the No. 1 seed in Class B, but have run off eight wins in their final nine games since then.

The Wildcats ended the regular season with an uplifting non-league victory over Sacred Heart, 13-11. It was the kind of signature win the Wildcats needed before the playoffs.

Although Mount Sinai beat Shoreham in the regular and the teams finished with an identical 12-2 record in Division II, the power points worked in favor of the Wildcats. Shoreham narrowly finished ahead of Mount Sinai in the standings to earn the No. 1 seed. That allowed the Wildcats a bye into the championship game.

Mount Sinai had to play No. 3 Babylon May 22 and won 11-8 at home. Danielle DellaRocca led the Mustangs with five goals.

The bad news for Shoreham is that it’s now been over two weeks since playing a regular season game, which could lead to some rust to start Thursday’s game.

The Mustangs made the most of Shoreham moving up to Class B last year by advancing all the way to the state finals for the first time in program history. It’s a place the Wildcats have been accustomed to getting to and one they’ll hope to return to this year.

The first step starts Thursday against a Mount Sinai team that won’t give up its title without a fight.

joew@timesreview.com

05/31/12 10:00am

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Vince Tria, left, and Rich Vandenburgh of Greenport Harbor Brewing Company, discuss alcohol at the Blues Festival with the Riverhead Town Board.

Today’s Riverhead Town Board work session is at 10 a.m. News-Review editor Michael White is reporting live from the meeting, which is at Town Hall. The board kicked off the conversation with issues concerning open alcohol laws and insurance for this summer’s Riverhead Blues Festival.

Click on the blog below to follow along:

05/31/12 8:00am

A Riverhead man was one of two convicted drug dealers to be released from prison last week following Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota’s investigation into the “credibility” of a Southampton Town police officer involved in the cases.

He was the same man who filed a $50 million lawsuit against Southampton cops, alleging officers had illegally conducted a body cavity search and “threatened his son’s freedom” in order to get him to sign a false statement.

Mohammed Proctor, 36, had his convictions vacated and his indictments dismissed after the DA’s office began reviewing more than 100 arrests involving an office in the Southampton department’s now-disbanded Street Crime Unit.

“The decision to release convicted drug dealers back into the community under these circumstances is not undertaken lightly,” Mr. Spota said in a statement last week. “Rather, we are duty bound under the law to take this action.”

Mr. Spota said his office is looking into further pending and closed cases to “determine what, if any, additional action is necessary.”

“It is anticipated that other cases involving this unit will be dismissed,” he said.

Mr. Proctor, who was arrested in April 2010, filed a lawsuit that same year.

In a handwritten complaint filed while Mr. Proctor was an inmate at the Suffolk County jail in Riverhead, he alleges that Southampton police officers forcibly removed a bag of cocaine from his rectum without a proper search warrant. Mr. Proctor claims he was injured in the search and requested medical attention, but was refused by arresting officers.

“I don’t believe any of his allegations are founded,” said attorney Jeltje DeJong, who is defending Southampton police in the lawsuit. She has filed a motion to dismiss the case, which is still pending.

Mr. Proctor also claims in the suit that Southampton cops searched his mother’s vehicle and also his 16-year-old son without a proper warrant.

He claims that police coerced him into signing a false statement stating the drugs were found in his pants pocket by threatening to arrest his son for the illegal items found during a search of his home.

“You’re gonna sign this statement or your son goes to jail for everything in the house,” then-Sgt. James Kiernan is alleged in the suit to have said.

A felony complaint against Mr. Proctor and a supplementary police report — both submitted with the lawsuit ­— show conflicting reports on where the drugs were found. The felony complaint states narcotics were found in his pants pocket, while the supplementary report states the drugs were recovered from his rectum.

The narcotics found on Mr. Proctor were deemed admissible at trial.

He pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a controlled substance and had been incarcerated since last October, court records show.

The suit was filed against Sgt. Kiernan, as well as officers Vincent Cagno and Eric Sickles and several other unnamed Southampton police. An amended complaint also includes assistant district attorney Andrew Hefferman, whose attorney has also filed a motion to dismiss the case against him.

Mr. Proctor claims he was sexually assaulted by police, had his civil rights violated and suffers from “heart palpitations,” “severe depression,” and “nightmares” as a result of the incident. He is seeking $50 million in compensatory damages.

psquire@timesreview.com