Led by Jack Bruckner and John Edmonds, who each scored three goals, third-seeded Ward Melville upset No. 2 Smithtown West, 13-9, Friday in the Suffolk Class A boys lacrosse semifinal.
The Patriots will face defending champion West Islip in the final at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Stony Brook University.
"It's a big-time rivalry between us and it's a playoff game," said Edmonds, a senior. "There was a lot of intensity."
Ward Melville's Frank Lucatuorto (two goals) tied the score at 8 with 11.4 seconds left in the first half. The Patriots went ahead for good on Michael Rastivo's goal -- off a feed from Billy Gibbs -- with 9:18 remaining in the third quarter. Rastivo scored again to make it 10-8 with 4:19 left in the third.
Alex Dodge had three goals, Christian Zawadski scored twice and Brian Masi had three assists for the Bulls (16-2).
Ward Melville trailed 5-4 when Danny Nemirov was subbed in for Ryan Simpson in goal with 1:41 left in the first quarter. Nemirov had lost his starting job after a 12-6 loss to Smithtown West on April 11.
"Ryan had stepped in and played very well, but Danny was doing well in practice," Hoppey said. "We thought if Ryan struggled a little, Danny would be an option."
Nemirov made several spectacular saves, including one off a sidearm rifle shot from 9 yards with seven minutes left and Ward Melville (15-3) protecting an 11-8 lead. The Patriots, utilizing a zone defense, didn't allow a second-half goal until Zawadski scored with 2:06 remaining in the fourth.
"It feels great to win at ," said Nemirov, who made nine saves. "We knew what we had to do get the 'W' and we executed it."
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