Oceanside sinks at Port Washington

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For the second straight year, the Oceanside boys’ lacrosse season ended at Port Washington.

A controversial buzzer-beating goal at halftime and a stifling Port Washington offense in the second half proved too much for fifth-seeded Oceanside to overcome as it fell 11-5 to the fourth-ranked Vikings in the first round of the Nassau A playoffs on May 16.

The Sailors finished the season 9-7, which was a three-win improvement from 2018, but it wasn’t enough to avoid a fourth straight defeat in the opening round of the playoffs.

In the first game between the teams on April 17, Port Washington rallied from a two-goal deficit midway through the fourth quarter and scored with 19 seconds left to escape with a wild 9-8 victory. The rematch was shaping up to be another classic with the schools tied at 4 in the final seconds of the first half before the Vikings dealt the Sailors a crushing blow.

As time was running out, Port’s Jared Morales received a pass at the high right slot and released a shot with three-tenths of a second left that bounced past Oceanside goalkeeper K.C. Carlson to put the Vikings back ahead. Sailors coach Rob Blount argued with the referees before walking off the field, but the call stood.

“They made a good play at the end of the half,” Blount said. “[The officials] were looking at the time on the clock and they said it was .3 seconds left. They were guaranteeing that the ball was out of the player’s stick. As soon as it left the player’s stick, it’s going to be considered a goal.”

Port Washington put the game away in the third quarter. Mikey Beil quickly made it 6-4 just 63 seconds into the second half and Brandon Caslow added two more for a four-goal bulge with 1:34 left before Beil struck again 25 seconds later.

“We’ve had a problem the entire year coming out of the third quarter,” Blount said. “They came out and threw a couple of punches early on and once they ended up getting that four, five-goal lead, it’s going to be difficult for us to come back.”

The run was somewhat similar to last year’s playoff matchup, when the Vikings carried a 5-4 lead into halftime before a 5-3 third quarter vaulted them to a 12-9 victory.

The Vikings scored twice more in the fourth before Luke Hickam, in his final game as a senior, capped the scoring with a sharp-angle shot from the left side with 28.6 seconds left.

“They just wanted it more than we did today,” Blount said. “We didn’t come to play today, there’s no doubt about it.”

Hickam scored twice, including a power-play tally that gave the Sailors a 2-1 lead with 6:18 left in the first quarter. Another senior, middie Joe Kiesche, had both Oceanside goals in the second quarter and junior Gunnar Johnson opened the scoring 1:50 into the game.

Carlson stopped 12 shots for his seventh double-digit save performance of the spring.