Matassa
1988
Joe Matassa
Middie
Ward Melville
Coached By: Joe Cuozzo

H.S. All-American

Later played at:
Duke University
Honorable mention All-American twice
TOBAY Lx Club, Suffolk


1988

Joe Matassa
Ward Melville

Coached By: Joe Cuozzo

Joe Matassa started playing lacrosse with the Sachem youth league at 11-years old and remembers scoring plenty of goals against Ward Melville - his hometown team.

Eventually, he rose thorough the ranks and was a two-year varsity player for Joe Cuozzo and the Patriots. He was an All-American and the winner of the 1988 Ray Enners Award.

"He was just a great all around athlete," said Mike Hoppey, the current coach at Ward Melville, who coached Matassa in football in 1988 when they won the Rutger's Trophy. "He was a prolific scorer, tough and did everything right."

Ward Melville won a state title in 1988, the same year he scored 135 points (63 g, 72 a) to lead the county. He also had 43 points (24 g, 19 a) his junior year.

Cuozzo pulled him off the field during practice to tell him he was an All-American, and winning the Enners put an exclamation point on his career.

He chose to attend Duke University instead of Brown and Navy and started every game of his career. During his senior season he was a team captain and helped lead the Blue Devils to the NCAA Tournament for the first time. Duke lost to Maryland in the first round, but it was still a joy making it to the big dance.

Matassa said his fondest memory in college was scoring five goals against Virginia his senior year.

"I was playing against a pretty good defenseman, who was an All-American," he says. "I showed that this guy can't cover me."

Matassa, who was an honorable mention All-American and All-ACC selection, played for various club teams after college. He was part of the Town of Oyster Bay and Suffolk County Lacrosse Clubs and played in a handful of tournaments throughout the year.

He and a friend from college started Vastech, a software company, which was eventually acquire by Lawson Software. He lives in Maryland and is the head of sales for Lawson.

Profile by: Chris R. Vaccaro