Last year Southampton took an elite squad out to Mattituck on the North Fork of Long Island for the Long Island War on the Shore tournament and we took home the Championship. This year we brought out an equally elite squad of ten, yes 10, guys and ended up losing every game we played and we only lost one game by 2 goals. The rest we managed to lose by 1 and one in OT. They slipped out of our hands like a smooth lacrosse ball, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t have a lot of fun. We did.
I took the subway a couple stops to the Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn where I picked up the Long Island Rail Road. After a couple of transfers I got to Stony Brook where “The Doctor” Dave Schwartzberg picked me up. We headed 45 minutes further East to Mattituck accompanied by the sweet sing along crooning of The Doctor. Nothing gets me ready to lax like a soulful rendition of a choice Madonna tune.
We rolled into the parking lot and were quickly informed that our 11am game was now at 1045. It was 1030 and there were 6 of us. Finally the Fortunato brothers rolled in with our 3rd long pole and that crucial last shortie. 10 guys. Let’s roll. The number of last minute “can’t make it” calls was staggering. The team we played in the first round was called Hustle Lax and they probably thought they had the best uniforms of the tourney until we managed to show up. Striker Danger hooked us up with some sick unis and I dare you to say otherwise.
We played them straight up the whole game and ended up dropping a tight game 6-5 or 7-6. Or something. We didn’t have the horses at the end and it was clear as guys were dragging a bit all over the place in the second half. Let me just say this: playing with no subs is tough. The field seemed really long as well but that is probably just recent historical recreation.
We then were informed that our next game was in fact now. Well then, but you get what I’m saying. We were clearly the better team on both ends of the field but we managed to give away a late lead and lose it in OT. I don’t know what the name of this team was but they did actually have 3 pretty good players, all from D2 schools on the Island; NY Tech, CW Post and Adelphi.
In our final game we played what was probably the best team in the tournament. There were a lot of NY State located college helmets with Cortland, Colgate, Dowling and Hofstra all represented as well as a guy from the Power-Tek club team from Upstate NY. These guys could definitely ball and in the early goings we could not keep up with them. We rallied a bit as the first half wore on and finished up down by 3 or 4. Or 5. We were losing.
In the second half we decided to take our longpole from Hopkins, Andrew Blasko, and throw him in goal in place of Virginia’s potential 2011 keeper, Rob Fortunato. Fortch had come up big time and time again all day (and we were NOT providing a ton of help out there. 10 men.) and he needed a break. Andrew’s energy and unorthodox style sparked the heart of the lion in our team and we clawed our way back into the game. We didn’t make it all the way back to actually win and our opponents may have let up a little but all in all it was good to just get out there and play some lax.
The Long Island WOTS is only 2 years old (Southampton were the inaugural champs and you can never take that away from us!) and it can be tough to get guys to come out and play, especially since most guys have just recently finished up their college or club seasons. But the weather is usually great, the atmosphere is relaxed and playing lax is always good.
We didn’t stick around for the Championship game so I have no idea who won it all but that wasn’t really the point anyway. Southampton will also be playing in the Citylax charity tournament in Southampton, NY on the South Fork of Long Island on Saturday August 21st, 2010. LAS will be there.
About the Author: Connor is a life-long lacrosse player who doesn’t know when to give up on the game. He played and coached at Wesleyan University and now plays for the Southampton LC in NYC. Connor lives with his fiance in Brooklyn and thanks her for allowing him to keep the dream alive.
Contact him at [email protected].