During a 10-second span late in the first half of a 14-4 win over Kings Park last Thursday, the Mattituck/Greenport/Southold girls lacrosse team reminded everyone just how lethal they can be.

The Kingsmen had pulled within one goal for a 5-4 deficit with 27.4 seconds remaining before halftime.

The Suffolk County Class D defending champions then turned the game on its head, striking twice, on goals by sophomores Claire McKenzie and Gianna Calise, sparking a streak of nine consecutive unanswered goals to close out the Division II match and putting the Tuckers on the verge of clinching a playoff berth.

It was the team’s fifth straight victory after enduring a four-game losing streak — and none of those wins have been nail-biters. The Tuckers’ average margin of victory during the streak is an impressive 12.2 goals.

“We played our best game this year,” head coach Logan McGinn said. “We’re getting hot at the right time. It’s fun to coach. It’s fun to watch.”

“I’m so happy for how the hard work and everything’s paying off and coming together,” said Calise, a midfielder who scored six goals to match her career high and added two assists. “We had it a little rough a few games, but we really showed each other that we want this. We push each other to the best of our abilities. We are back and we’re on a roll.”

The Tuckers (9-5, 7-5) hope to secure the top seed in the final at William Floyd High School on May 22.

Unlike other sports, in which teams need to finish at least .500 to be considered for the playoffs, girls lacrosse is determined solely on power points. After last Thursday’s results, the Tuckers (101.01) moved past Center Moriches (94.83) and held a slim lead over Babylon (96.29.) 

Lacrosse is a game of momentum and Kings Park (7-8, 6-8) had established a bit of its own as it pulled within a goal on Emily Hnis’ score late in the first half.

Then the three sophomores changed the direction of the match.

Calise won the ensuing faceoff. Midfielder Page Kellershon set up McKenzie for a close-range goal with 10.1 seconds remaining.

Just as the next faceoff was about to begin, a Kings Park player ran across midfield from the defensive end. The referee ruled that she was in an illegal position and gave the hosts possession at midfield.

Kellershon was the playmaker again, feeding Calise with 1.1 seconds left on the clock.

A one-goal lead suddenly had become a three-goal margin.

“We might have lost a little motivation for a little bit but we got right back up. We put our game faces on,” McKenzie said.

“It definitely deflated them a little bit,” McGinn added. “We are able to play fast. I’m very lucky for the group that they can just play.”

It was another impressive team performance by the Tuckers.

Kellershon contributed a goal and career-best six assists. McKenzie scored four goals and senior attacker Sofia Knudsen tallied twice. Sophomore Grace Quinn finished with a goal and two assists. Sophomore defender McKenna Clark and freshman Reese McKenna had one assist apiece.

Goaltender Aiko Fujita, along with Ruby Villani, Haylie Dickerson and Clark, led a stellar defensive effort. “They really stepped up,” McGinn said. “We came up with a very good game plan. They followed it to a tee.”

Few teams can rival the Tuckers’ power-scoring trio.

Calise is 10th in the county with 43 goals and 14th with 56 points. Kellershon, who has 28 goals, is 13th with 58 points. Knudsen has 33 goals, including 22 during the winning streak.

“We know where to find each other, and with Sophia especially now that she’s going to be open along with her height,” Kellershon said. “We can trust her to finish the ball. ”

Only 64 seconds into the fourth quarter, the Tuckers held their collective breath when Calise fell to the ground after scoring her sixth goal. Calise said that she knocked knees with a Kings Park player.

“It was kind of scary,” she said. “It was an accident.”

Calise, who was taken out of the game, also handles faceoffs, and won 11 of 18 last Thursday.

“Thank God she didn’t tear her ACL because that would have been [season-ending],” Kellershon said. “That would have definitely hurt the team. Her game has just been phenomenal.”

Which is a good word to describe all of the Tuckers these days.

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