The waiting game can be a dangerous game. Mike Taylor knows that only too well.
Shoreham-Wading River High School’s boys lacrosse coach recalled two years ago when his Wildcats were in the exact same situation they were in on Saturday. Having received a bye straight into the Suffolk County semifinals, Shoreham then faced Sayville and lost a close one in 2015.
It was both a gray day and a Gray day.
First, the weather report. The combination of cold, rain and wind made conditions miserable for the Islip and Shoreham-Wading River high school boys lacrosse teams on Friday.
Being tagged as the top-seeded high school boys lacrosse team in Suffolk County Division II is a sign of respect, but it can also be discomforting.
“It’s a compliment, but it keeps me up at night,” said Shoreham-Wading River coach Mike Taylor, chuckling.
A high school boys lacrosse game of great consequence came to down to a simple game of keepaway. Yorktown is good at keepaway, among other things.
Protecting a 6-5 lead in a New York State Class B semifinal, Yorktown was running the clock down during the final minutes when Shoreham-Wading River caught a break. A turnover gave Shoreham the ball and hope. But that hope didn’t last long.
The Suffolk County Class B boys lacrosse final didn’t start the way Shoreham-Wading River wanted it to. Sayville was taking it to the Wildcats, who were on their heels and looking out of sorts. At halftime, Shoreham was on the short end of a 5-2 score.
The Wildcats can’t say they haven’t been there before. Just five days earlier, in the semifinals, they trailed Comsewogue, 4-2, at halftime.
Kevin Cutinella scored on a pass from behind the cage with 1 minute 49 seconds remaining to snap a tie and lift Shoreham-Wading River to an 8-7 victory over Eastport-South Manor in a Suffolk County Class B boys lacrosse quarterfinal on Saturday.
After playing in the bitter cold with temperatures in the mid-30s, the Shoreham-Wading River Wildcats must have felt a warm feeling inside as they walked off Thomas Cutinella Memorial Field. Their performance, however, might have sent a chill through the other boys lacrosse teams in Suffolk County Division II.
From an outsider’s perspective, last season had all the makings of a rebuilding year at Shoreham-Wading River. The Wildcats introduced a new coach, Mike Taylor, their third in three years. READ