With a sour taste of last season's overtime defeat in their mouth, West Islip got the best of Sachem North, 12-9, Tuesday afternoon in a Suffolk County Division I boy’s lacrosse battle at West Islip High School.
The contest was a tale of two halves, with West Islip outplaying Sachem defensively for the first two quarters and both teams buckling down in the second half.
West Islip (4-0 Division I, 4-0 overall), ranked No. 6 in New York’s Class A by LaxPower.com, led 9-4 at halftime and piled on three unanswered goals in the final two minutes of the second quarter, including two by Mike Sagl, who played for Sachem coach Jay Mauro on the Long Island lacrosse gold medal winning Empire State Games team.
Sachem (3-1, 5-1), ranked No. 9 by LaxPower, made an about face turn in the second half, shutting down the Lions in the third quarter and outscoring them 5-3 in the final 30 minutes.
The Arrows opened the half with goals from Dalton Crossan and Eric Talbot to bring the score to 9-6 with 9:05 left in the third quarter.
West Islip, however, had no plans of allowing a total Sachem comeback. Colgate-bound Conor Braddish scored two insurance goals for the Lions in the fourth quarter.
“In that second half I think we got a little complacent with the scoreboard and fell behind a little bit,” said West Islip's Drew Federico, who scored two goals and added two assists and has verbally committed to Penn State, “but it was another test for us when they started coming back. We didn’t just fall over and let them take the lead. We stayed on it and got the job done.”
Crossan scored twice and assisted on a goal by Jack Gannon in the fourth, but Sachem couldn’t muster enough firepower to overcome the large first-half deficit.
West Islip, who hasn't lost a game since last year's defeat to Sachem, has played tough contests against Bay Shore and Connetquot so far this season and made a point to fix mistakes that could hinder their success as the season expands.
“We have not come out and really competed the way I know we’re capable of competing the last two games,” West Islip coach Scott Craig said. “Even though we won both games, we haven’t shot the ball the way we’re supposed to, we haven’t attacked the ground ball the way we’re supposed to, and that was the biggest thing. I wanted to see if my guys would come out against the team that was probably considered one of the tops on the island.”
For Sachem, the loss provides early-season adversity.
“We’re going to see what type of guys we have,” Mauro said. "We'll see how they respond in practice this week. This is humble pie for us and we need that."
Both teams are in action again Thursday as Sachem hosts Smithtown East, and West Islip welcomes Sachem East.
1 2 3 4 F West Islip 2 7 0 3 12 Sachem 1 3 2 3 9
West Islip: Mike Sagl (2g, 2a), Drew Federico (2g, 2a), Tom Moore (2g, 1a), Conor Braddish (2g), James Tucci (1g), Nick Aponte (1g, 1a), Anthony Santo (1g), and Anthony DeLuca (1g). Saves: Kyle Turri 8.
Sachem North: Dalton Crossan (3g, 1a), Michael Andreassi (1g), Eric Talbot (1g), Jean Lucero (1g), Jack Gannon (1g), Brandon Gamblin (1g), Jesse Scanna (1g), Tim Lang (1a) and Cody Petillo (1a). Saves: Timmy Matos 5, and Gerald Logan 4.