Earning a spot in the postseason has become the expectation around Riverhead. When the No. 7 Blue Waves took the field Tuesday for their first round matchup against No. 10 Connetquot, it marked the third straight year, and fifth out of seven, playing in the postseason.
During that stretch, though, the Blue Waves still hadn’t won a playoff game on their home turf.
That changed Tuesday.
Staring at a two-goal deficit midway through the fourth quarter, the Blue Waves rallied for five consecutive goals to win 11-9 and make history. The 13th win on the season marks the most of any point in program history.
And the win sets up a date Friday against the original dynasty of Suffolk County lacrosse: Ward Melville.
The Blue Waves trailed 8-6 with 7:39 left in the fourth and it was the first time they were down by more than one in the game. The season suddenly hung in the balance.
All it took was one goal for the momentum to surge in their favor.
Connor Batjer scored just about 30 seconds after Connetquot took a two-goal lead, starting a stretch of three goals in under three minutes as the Blue Waves regained the lead.
Connor Kalmus scored back-to-back goals to give the Blue Waves leads of 9-8 and 10-8.
Batjer added an empty-netter with under a minute to go to help seal the win.
The Blue Waves had a typical balanced scoring effort. Batjer led the scoring with three goals and two assists. Kamryn Gill, Shane Coleman and Kalmus all scored two goals. Caleb Zuhoski and Chris Timpone both chipped in one.
Top photo caption: Caleb Zuhoski (6) and Kamryn Gill celebrate a goal. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)