Playing their final game of the year at The Pit, the boys varsity lacrosse team showed a lot of character as they fought back and beat Great Neck South 8-5 in exciting come from behind victory.
Port controlled the action from the opening face-off but was unable to put the ball in the net as the Vikings offense, playing without their key set-up man Pat Mulqueen, struggled. After repeatedly thwarting the Viking attack, the Rebels ultimately ran the ball up field and scored to take 1-0 lead.
Minutes later Ray Ross fed Sean Lowes who tied it up at one but Great Neck came right back to regain the lead. Port continued to keep the pressure on at both ends of the field and defenseman Tommy Maher ran the ball up and found Shane Hafer who fired it in to tie things up. The Rebels scored on a man-up situation and led 4-2 lead into the half.
The overflow crowd at The Pit, including many former players home from college, was clearly tense and worried but stood behind the Vikings 100 percent. Port opened the second half with the ball in Rebel territory (due to a penalty) and wasted no time getting back into the game when Doug Lutin rifled one in from deep in the box to bring the Vikings within one. On the ensuing face-off Michael Cosolito ran the ball up the middle and scored to tie the game 4-4.
The Vikings were a rejuvenated team and started to look sharp on both ends. Once again Great Neck scored on a man-up situation but the Vikings came right back as Lutin stood on the crease and tucked one in to tie it up. Minutes later the Vikings jumped on a bad clearing pass and Hafer scored again to give the Vikings a 6-5 lead, which they held as the third quarter came to a close.
Early in the fourth, Maher once again ran it up the field and shot and Lutin was there to pick up the rebound and pop it in, giving Port a bit of insurance.
Goalie Mike Ferrari turned in a solid quarter and, backed by the steady defensive work of Maher, Bobby Ogrudek, Scott Schnipper, Vince Zorskas and the hard-hitting Chris Koh, helped turn the tide and snuff out any Rebel scoring threats.
With about three minutes left Hafer found Jeremy Francis who scored to seal the victory. The Port offense controlled the ball to end the game and walked away with a hard-fought 8-5 victory.
The playoff win sent Port on to the next round against conference-leading Garden City at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point (which was played after this edition went to press).