Steven Schneider knows Kevin Mack’s moves.
So when Mack crouched slightly as he rounded the net, the Manhasset senior made sure he was in the right spot.
“I’ve been playing with him since sixth grade and he’s been doing that ward move when he gets really low and comes to the goal,” Schneider said. “He did all the work on that play.”
Mack drew an extra defender on his cut around the net, freeing Schneider, who stepped down and fired a high shot inside the far post with 31 seconds left to lift Manhasset to a thrilling 8-7 win over Chaminade Saturday at Gold Star Stadium.
It was Manhasset’s second consecutive win over Chaminade in the 10th annual Reg’s Rock Lacrosse Day for Heroes and the Indians evened the all-time series at five apiece.
It is also the second straight Saturday Manhasset (11-2), ranked No. 7 in the Tri-State by News 12 Varsity, picked up a signature win. A week ago, the Indians defeated archrival Garden City in the 131st Wood Stick Classic.
“It’s a little sigh of relief right now because those two games on back-to-back [Saturdays] are pretty challenging,” Schneider said. “We still have a ton of work to do and we’re just blessed we can come up with these two huge wins.”
No player seemed to thrive more in the physical, emotional game than the North Carolina-bound Schneider, who bounced off of checks and used his quick feet to beat his defender on dodges.
“He’s our No. 32 for a reason. I keep saying it,” first-year Manhasset coach Keith Cromwell said. “He’s been phenomenal all year long, he puts the time in, works his butt off. In my opinion he’s one of the best middies out there on the field. He’s playing with so much confidence, he gets to his spots and he does so much for our team.”
A save and clear by Brendan Haggerty set the sequence in place for Schneider’s winner. The senior goaltender was terrific throughout, making several critical saves, while the defense in front of him took the crease away for much of the game.
“They have a bunch of great shooters, we knew that coming in,” Haggerty said. “The defense had to be on their game and I just happened to see the ball today.”
On the crucial ensuing faceoff, freshman Marc Psyllos picked up a ground ball following a scrum and Cromwell called timeout.
“I thought Marc started off well and then I thought he got a little winded, I was trying to manage the faceoffs and probably could have done a better job with that,” Cromwell said. “He’s earned his spot there and came up with a big-time win for a freshman faceoff guy who allowed us to close the game out on our side of the field.”
Schneider tied the score at one 15 seconds after Christian Kuhn put Chaminade (8-3), ranked No. 2 in the Tri-State by News 12 Varsity, in front, 1-0.
Mack scored a pair of goals 49 seconds apart after Logan Hyde gave the Indians their first lead and Manhasset had a 4-1 lead after one quarter.
The Flyers roared back as Patrick Kavanagh, Joe deLyra and Jack Sexton scored to tie the score at 4. A spectacular spinning strike by Mack followed by Schneider’s second goal of the game gave Manhasset a 6-4 lead at halftime.
Trailing 7-5, Regan Quinn fed Aidan Byrnes and Sean Kuttin scored to tie the score at 7-all with 2:25 left.
Moments earlier Schneider had a chance to extend the Indians lead, but couldn’t corral a Mack pass.
“I completely whiffed and they ended up getting the ball scoring a few possessions later,” Schneider said. “I knew I had to make a good play to make up for that.”
He did that and more with the late winning goal, sending the Indians home happy and into the stretch drive playing their best lacrosse.
“We have a lot of momentum going now,” Haggerty said. “We’re playing with a lot of confidence going into the playoffs and we’re going to see if we can make a run of it.”