The Long Beach Marines boys lacrosse team have made it to Hofstra in every year of head coach Jim Kasper's tenure -- this season will be no different.
A 9-6 victory over the Lynbrook Owls on Friday night at Long Beach Middle School sent the Marines back to the Nassau Class B quarterfinals.
"That's our goal every year," Kasper said of playing at Hofstra during the playoffs.
As the first half wound down, it looked like the Marines would sail toward the Hofstra date. Connor Sofield's second goal of the evening gave Long Beach a 4-1 lead with 5:58 left in the second quarter.
The goal was Long Beach's fourth unanswered score after Lynbrook had taken an early 1-0 lead. The Owls managed to grab two more goals in nearing the end of the half, but still trailed 5-3 lead at halftime.
However, the break did wonders for Lynbrook. The Owls returned to the field with a clear sense of purpose and a refusal to go down without a fight. third goal of the game knotted the score at five with 9:11 left in the third quarter.
Four minutes later, Lynbrook took its second lead of the game on a goal from Anthony Rainone.
The Owls' lead didn't last long as the Marines recaptured the lead less than two minutes later. Joe Radin's goal with 4:20 left in the third quarter put Long Beach up for good.
"They're just really talented," Lynbrook Head coach Bill Leighley said of Long Beach. "They're loaded with great players and great athletes. They're very deep, a little bit deeper than us. I think they just had more than us tonight. We tried to stay with them, but we couldn't."
Despite the loss, Leighley remained positive about his team's effort following the game.
"We scored great in transition. We kept a very high-scoring team down to single digits," he said. "... I don’t think we had anything left for the end of the game, but there was no quit in [this team]."
Long Beach's test against Lynbrook led Kasper to believe that his team is ready for anything Plainedge throws at them on Friday.
"It was a tough game for us because [Lynbrook] was so good," he said. "Coming out a winner, it made us a better team because we had to work hard."
Sonfield and James Forkin both had three goals for Long Beach. Goalie Mike Rourke made 13 saves.
Long Beach will play Plainedge at Hofstra on Friday at 4:30 p.m.