They couldn’t have asked for a better turnaround.

The Mattituck/Southhold/Greenport High School girls’ lacrosse team has vowed not to suffer a similar fate in the Suffolk County Division D semifinal after falling to the Center Moriches by 8 balls last week and missing the chance to host the playoffs.

On Thursday, the Tuckers delivered on that promise in stunning fashion.

From two goals down in the second half, MSG scored six of their last seven goals to secure a place in next week’s final with a 15-12 win over the hosts, the Red Devils.

“It’s the best thing ever,” said senior Ella Suglia, who scored a career-high five goals and also had two assists. “We finally got the win I thought we deserved. We competed all year and we just couldn’t produce. Everything came together and finally clicked. It was a great win.”

The win avenged an 18-10 home loss on May 9.

“We were frustrated with ourselves last week when they got up a lot,” Suria said. “Today, we turned it around. We hit the metal pedal. We were just killing it. Our mentality was, no matter what the score was, it could be 0-0, it could be 20-0, we’re going to keep going, Until the final whistle.”

It was a classic battle between the two longtime rivals, seeing seven lead changes and seven draws in an intense and entertaining confrontation. Center Moriches (8-9) has three dangerous strikers in Charlotte Castiglione and Peyton Noack, who had a hat-trick, and Megan Magill (one goal), while The Tuckers (10-7) thrived with a more balanced offense.

Seven players scored as MSG booked a place in next Thursday’s final against Babylon at Mastic Beach. Freshman Page Kellershon broke an 11-11 deadlock with a goal with 10:28 left, and he set up two insurance points by junior Sofia Knudsen with 2:19 left in the game.

Freshman Gianna Calise was strong in the duel, contributing two goals, as did seniors Sage Foster and Megan Tobin (one assist). Brynn Gardner scores a goal.

Junior goalkeeper Aiko Fujita made 11 saves, with multiple straight-forward chances for Center Moriches.

“I knew I had the worst game my first time against center,” she said. “No one said I was doing a bad job. They all supported me.”

On Thursday, Fujita reciprocated the favor.

“She’s always been so cool, cool and collected,” head coach Logan McGinn said. “She doesn’t panic. If someone goes in, she’s like ‘I’m going to the next one.’ “I don’t think you can find a better goaltender or a better guy with leadership like a junior.”

The hosts rebounded from a 9-7 deficit at the start of the second half, scoring four goals in a row to take an 11-9 lead entering halftime at 13:05. Then the Tuckers exploded. Zulia scored two goals in a row, the first goal was at 8 minutes and 07 seconds. Fifty seconds later, Foster leveled the score at 11 from close range.

Kellershon broke the tie at 14:52. Suria moved deftly down the right at 17:19 to give the visitors some breathing room. Kellershon then assisted Knudsen twice in 39 seconds late in the game.

“It was a great game,” Knudsen said. “I like pressure because I think it makes you play better.”

McGinn didn’t argue. “When she had horns, that shot was a dagger,” he said. “You can see it deflates other teams and lifts us up. Two big goals from a big player. It’s impressive.”

So did Kellersen.

“Paige was a special kid,” McGinn said. “I’d be very surprised if you didn’t read about her not only in lacrosse. She’s a phenomenal player and I could have her for another three years. So, everybody should be ready.”

On May 25, the Tuckers will play a rare championship doubles match at the Lincoln Avenue Sports Center, with the Mattituck boys taking on Babylon at 4 p.m. and the girls at 6:30 p.m. game

“It’s pretty cool,” McGuinn said. “We do a lot of things with the men’s team. Me and the men’s coach are very good friends [John Amato]. He called me after the game. I called him after his game. This is a very supportive Mattituck lacrosse community.

“We’re going to get out on the bus early. We’re going to watch them play. Then we’re going to play,” McGinn said. Hopefully this is a Mattituck sweep. “

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