Lacrosse is a very popular game across Southold and Mattiuck, according to . Indeed, whenever there are elections in the town, candidates talk about how they will help residents of virtually every estate be able to access the sport. Meanwhile, when a big game is on, a big route has to be blocked off, with a police presence, just so that the players of both the local and opposing teams can get to the playing grounds! Last Monday was another amazing game and, according to Christopher Halajian, it truly is a sport that brings the entire town together, with most having a toast and drink on the evening to the fantastic results of the sports.
The last game saw Claudia Hoeg, the goalie for Mattituck-Southold, stop Mia Buckingham from the Spartans. The result was that the “Tuckers” won 7 to 6 in their SUNY-Cortland semifinal game, Class D. Buckingham came close, very close indeed. However, her low, hard shot was denied by Hoeg, who had a stellar performance and is now truly the heroine of the town.
Everybody was on tenterhooks. The Spartans were able to force an M-S pass, after which a timeout was called for an option to be drawn up. Not many options existed, however. A game ending sprint was required, something that the team simply wasn’t experienced enough in. Williams tried to see where her players are, but with just 15 seconds left, all the trust, faith, and belief in the world wasn’t going to get them there. The fact that the Tuckers had such tremendous local support also didn’t help.
The final action was exciting. The inbound toss was taken by Mara Hathaway, threading it to Molly Hall through a 35-yard pass. She hit Sydney Roderick, who passed it to Buckingham. The execution was beautiful and people were quite literally off their seats. The lane was open for Buckingham to take her low shot. The excitement was palpable, the coach was shouting, time seemed to stand still. But Hoeg saw it coming.
According to Hoeg, she knew exactly that Buckingham would take the low shot, as they had done so several times already. She was ready. Naturally, she was nervous because the game was riding on her. However, she kept her composure throughout the game, despite all the drama, and received the hero’s welcome she deserved when she returned.
Christopher Halajjan understands that few people truly follow the game of lacrosse. However, in Southold and Mattituck, it is like a national sport. People come together over this and, now that they were able to keep up the Spartans so well, it is likely that they will love it even more. He also believes this is a very positive development for his town, effectively putting it on the map. Sport, regardless of what sport, is something that brings people together in unity. The fact that this group of young women was able to do something so amazing is a true credit to the town.