THROGGS NECK, NY – The Maritime College men’s lacrosse team is headed to the NCAA Tournament for the third straight time! On a cold and wet Saturday at Reinhart Field, the top-seeded Privateers (11-7) took control of the game midway through the first quarter and never let up, knocking off third-seeded Farmingdale (12-4) 22-13 in the Skyline Conference Championship Game. With the victory, Maritime earned its third consecutive Skyline championship and extended its winning streak against conference opponents to 25 in a row.
“To do what we did (win three straight conference championships) is pretty hard,” Head Coach Justin Manjares said. “Three years undefeated. Not a lot teams can do that. I’m just proud to be a part of it.”
It was a rematch of last season’s Skyline Championship Game, which Maritime won 13-12. The regular season meeting between the Privateers and Rams was also a one-goal game, with Maritime earning a 14-13 victory on Kyle Orton’s (Lewes, DE) overtime goal.
Orton was the Most Outstanding Player of Saturday’s game, finishing with five ground balls to go along with a goal and an assist. He also caused two turnovers.
“I’m speechless,” Orton said. “I knew we could definitely do it. We’re strong together as a team, and we’re not done.”
Farmingdale scored the first two goals of the contest before Maritime rattled off nine consecutive tallies to end the first quarter. After the Rams pulled within 10-5 midway through the second quarter, Sean Foley (Long Beach, NY) and John Killcommons (Garden City, NY) netted late goals to extend Maritime’s advantage to 12-5 at the break.
Two goals in 17 seconds brought Farmingdale within six at 14-8 with just under three minutes left in the third quarter. However, Orton scored 40 seconds later to start a 6-0 Maritime run that made it 20-8. Matthew Guercio (Smithtown, NY) then gave the Privateers a 21-9 lead with 6:21 remaining. Farmingdale made a late push, finding the back of the net four times in the final two minutes, but Maritime celebrated its third consecutive conference title with a 22-13 triumph.
Killcommons finished with six goals and an assist. He also picked up a pair of ground balls. Parker Reilly (West Islip, NY) added seven points of his own on four goals and three assists while causing three turnovers. Charles Longo (Bellport, NY) had two goals and two assists, while Steven Pinto (Oakdale, NY) scored twice.
Thomas Pellicci (Manorville, NY) went 20-for-31 on faceoffs and collected a team-high 10 ground balls. As a team, Maritime held a 47-28 advantage in that category. Goalkeeper Michael Monahan (Ronkonkoma, NY) (9-1), meanwhile, recorded nine saves in his ninth consecutive win.
“At one point in our season, we had a six-game losing streak,” Manjares said. “And to then go on a nine-game winning streak says a lot about how much our team has grown up and made their own identity. They found ways to become a champion.”
For Farmingdale, Rob Varello led the way with four goals. Thomas Stock also had a hat trick, while Johnny McMahon finished with two goals and two assists. Terrence Haggerty added two goals and an assist, and Antonio Kaminskey paced the Rams with six ground balls. Kevin Loonie (12-4) was credited with 18 saves, as Maritime outshot Farmingdale 62-37.
Maritime will find out the date, time and location of its NCAA Tournament game, as well as its opponent, during the NCAA Selection Show, which airs Sunday at 9 p.m. on NCAA.com.