The West Islip Lions, the No. 1 ranked team in the nation by Inside Lacrosse, suffered a stunning 13-12 overtime loss to visiting Sachem North today. We caught up with Sachem North coach Jay Mauro (shown here in the photo by Ray Nelson) and got his thoughts on today’s big doings.
While many are undoubtedly shocked by today’s developments, keep in mind, Sachem North has a strong senior nucleus and quite a few college-bound players, including a couple of standout juniors: UMass-bound attackman/midfielder Michael Andreassi and Robert Morris-bound midfielder Jake Cabble.
And with the depth and parity that is Long Island lacrosse, upsets like this do happen pretty regularly.
But still, this is big news, no doubt.
Here’s the Q&A with Mauro.
What were the keys to the win for you today and what was your game plan going in?
The keys for us were to play our style of lacrosse. They are a great team but we needed to focus on what we do and execute to the best of our ability.
Tell us about the game-winning goal in OT?
Phil Schaefer, our senior attackman, scored the winning goal off an assist from Michael Andreassi. We won the faceoff in OT, called timeout and my offensive coordinator (Rich Petillo) set up a play. They doubled-teamed Andreassi and he found Phil on a back cut in front of the cage.
What happened at the end of regulation to force OT?
We were down 12-11 and Michael Andreassi like he did all game found the back of the net. They then got possession with about 20 seconds left and we stopped them after a timeout by West Islip.
What does this say about the Class A picture overall now?
I think it shows how deep our league is. I say it all the time, Long Island lacrosse is the best in the country. I will argue that point forever. West Islip is still the team to beat. They still are the defending state champs. This is just one win for us and one loss for them and until someone beats them in June, I believe they are still the best.
What does the win mean to the Sachem North program and how would you regard it among the biggest in school history?
We still have a lot to prove. West Islip has been on top for a long time and that is a testament to their program and their coaches, especially Scotty Craig. He is someone I have and will continue to look up to. He has not just built a team but a program, which is what we are trying to emulate at Sachem North. With that being said, Sachem North has a lot of tradition.
Even with the split (of the former Sachem High School to Sachem North and Sachem East high schools) we have a longstanding tradition of championships. Is this the biggest win in school history, I would say no because this wasn’t for a state championship but this is definitely the biggest win for the program since the split. We have been stressing for the past six years since the split it’s about the program and building the program from the ground up. Today, we took a major step forward and like I told the boys, it’s only one game and we need to be ready to answer the bell come Saturday night (at 7:30 vs. Syosset at Syossets Field of Dreams) and for the rest of the season.
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Posted In: Long Island lacrosse