Alec Meiselman isn’t as big as Chris Fiore, both in terms of stature and reputation and isn’t a two-time All-American like Fiore.
But the Tottenville goalie played like one Sunday night, helping lead the Pirates to a 5-4 win over rival New Dorp in the PSAL Class A boys lacrosse final at Aviator Sports Complex Sunday night.
“He’s an amazing kid,” Tottenville coach Demetrios Haronitis said. “He prides himself on doing everything intricately, every little detail…Fiore’s outrageous, everyone knows that, but Alec is right there with him.”
Meiselman made 11 saves to earn MVP honors, his biggest coming in the frantic final 52 seconds of the fourth quarter as Curtis threatened to equalize with a two-man advantage.
He robbed the Central Cougars top two scorers – Shawn Brackett and Shannon Richardson – on consecutive shots in the waning seconds.
“That first shot, I saw the shot, that was the [Staten Island] Shootout shot Brackett did and I was ready for that this time,” Meiselman said. “I get that first stop and I see Shannon pick up that ball and all I’m thinking is I have to get there. I stuck my stick up and got the ball.”
The wild closing moments, the slow start which yielded second-seeded New Dorp a 2-0 lead after one quarter, it was all normal in a wacky Tottenville season, according to star attack Kenny Coughlin.
“We turned the ball over, we had the penalties,” Coughlin said. “We couldn’t get anything. It had to end that way, that’s the story of our season. We always do something dumb, but we always end up on the better side of the game.”
Coughlin was a dominant force during the season and had a goal and an assist in the final en route to the first PSAL title of any kind for the Pirates senior dual-sport standout, who is also one of the top linebackers in the city.
“It feels great,” he said. “I’m at a loss for words. I’m so happy for my team. We played great today. Chris [Fiore] is such a great goalie, we all had to switch up our shots, we had five different guys scoring. It just feels so good to finally get one.”
Coughlin led top-seeded Tottenville (13-1) in scoring during the year, but on Sunday he was one of five different goal scorers, joining Justin Cayton, Nick DeMeo, Cody Rivera and Tyler Royal.
Royal, who also assisted on Coughlin’s tying goal 1:10 into the second quarter, scored what proved to be the game-winner with 10:59 left in regulation on an assist from Cayton.
“Our season started with eight different goal scorers,” Haronitis said. “I’m a big believer in things happening for a reason. It was good because they locked down on Kenny a lot of the times and we came up with a lot of schemes and ideas over the last few days…It was great because the team stepped up and did what they were supposed to do.”
It was a bitter pill for New Dorp to swallow. The Central Cougars lost to the Pirates three times during the regular season, twice by a single goal. Yet, second-seeded New Dorp (11-3) had a deserved 2-0 lead after one quarter on goals by Enes Sinan, the first of his two, and Brackett. Adrian Cobaj also scored for the Central Cougars.
“It’s tough because this is now the third game we lost to them by one goal,” New Dorp coach Brian Murphy said. “But I’m very proud of my kids, the effort they put forth. We battled right down to the final bell.”
New Dorp desperately pushed forward for the tying goal late, but Meiselman stood tall in the cage and when Nick Ferraioli picked off a pass in midfield with a few seconds left, Tottenville clinched its first city title since 2004.
It also wrapped up a clean sweep of the PSAL Class A lacrosse titles for the Huguenot powerhouse. Tottenville edged Curtis, 15-14 in a four-overtime thriller in the girls final immediately before Coughlin and his teammates stepped on the field.
“It’s better than last year, because last year they won, we lost,” Coughlin said. “We were happy for them, we’re always happy for them. They’re a great team. It’s great to bring two banners back to Tottenville.”
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