It had already been 35 years since the Calhoun boys lacrosse team had earned a berth in a Nassau county final, so what was another four minutes worth of waiting?
After Mark Restivo made his 18th and final save of the game in overtime, the Colts broke out in transition.
Xander Megias cleared the ball and got it to Jayden Finkelstein. He then made the final pass to A.J. Molinari and the junior midfielder was able to score as No. 3 Calhoun beat No. 2 MacArthur, 10-9, in a Nassau Class B semifinal at Hofstra. The Colts advanced to their first county final since 1987.
“It was back and forth all game and both teams are good at scoring in transition,” Molinari said. “To be able to get the game to overtime and get the ball back in overtime was great. Thankfully I was able to put it in the back of the net.”
Calhoun (12-5) got to overtime thanks to the goaltending of Restivo and a big goal from Alex Vieni in the final 10 seconds of regulation.
After calling timeout with 19.8 seconds left, the Colts drew up a play that put the ball in Vieni’s stick.
“I was confident with the ball,” said Vieni, who had three goals and an assist. “Coach calmed me down before I went out there and said it was nothing different than if it was 0-0, the moment wasn’t too big.”
Vieni started to the left of the cage and cut inside before firing a low bouncing shot that found its way to the back of the net.
“I wanted the ball on my stick and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way,” Vieni said.
Neither team led by more than one goal in the second half as they traded scoring chances and goals.
“In the fourth quarter we trusted our guys to make the plays in transition,” Calhoun coach Jim Femminella said. “We missed three of them but at some point it’s about Jimmy's and Joes and not ‘x’s and o’s’ so you have to trust your guys to make a play and the boys made the correct play.”
MacArthur (11-5) was led by three goals and three assists by James Hegel and two goals and an assist each from Joe Forchelli and Rocco Hogan.
Calhoun will play top-seeded Garden City in the final at Hofstra at Wednesday, June 1 at 5:30 p.m.
“We haven’t been here in a very long time,” Molinari said. “It’s so special to be back here in the playoffs and to get the win.”
Twitter: @ GeneMorris