The South Fork boys lacrosse team is still searching for its first victory after six games this season, but head coach Matt Babb said the streak is not a result of the team’s move up to Division I, which hosts the largest programs in the county.
The Islanders’ starting goalie, Pierson sophomore Hudson Brindle, broke his hand just before the start of the season and hasn’t been able to suit up yet, and without another goalie on the roster, Babb said he had to convert a pair of players in East Hampton, senior Cody Bezubek and Southampton junior Chris Cardel, into goalies.
“They both have done a great job, considering they have only been playing goalie for a few weeks now, and have seen some of the better teams in Suffolk,” he said. “It’s truly a tough position to play, and the inexperience is visible at times.”
Playing against some of the perennially tough Division I teams in Connetquot, Smithtown East and Half Hollow Hills East hasn’t helped things either, Babb said. South Fork (0-4 Division I, 0-6 overall, 83.20 power points) suffered losses by about 10 goals to those three teams, but a 9-6 loss, at home, to North Babylon on March 26 was a head-scratcher for Babb.
“We feel [that] game was just a bad day for us, collectively,” he said. “We couldn’t execute on offense or defense. We are not sure what the reasoning was, but by the time we started putting it together and playing the way we are capable of, we were already in too big of a hole.”
Southampton senior Connor Rozzi scored a pair of goals in the loss and East Hampton seniors Cole Shaw and Brian Damm, East Hampton junior Logan Gurney and Southampton sophomore Luke Marro each scored a goal, with Marro assisting on three others. Cardel made nine saves and looked solid in what was his debut in goal. The Islanders were also without Southampton sophomore midfielder Cooper Brindle that game, due to injury.
Babb feels that his team should be more competitive in its next few games, which began on Wednesday against Walt Whitman. The Islanders play at Lindenhurst on Friday at 5 p.m. and then play at Copiague on Tuesday, April 9, at 4:30 p.m.
“We hope to build on our offensive improvements and finish possessions with goals, as well as play complete team defense,” he said.
The East Hampton/Pierson/Bridgehampton/Ross girls lacrosse team ran into a couple of perennial powerhouses last week in Sayville and Islip, which led to a pair of lopsided losses, 18-0, at Sayville, on March 27, then an 18-1 loss at home to Islip the very next day.
Pierson sophomore Grace Perello had scored eight goals combined over the previous two games before facing Sayville and Islip, but she was held scoreless against both of those teams in what proved to be a difficult time for any of the Lady Bonackers to find the back of the net. East Hampton sophomore Stella McCormack was the only goal scorer against Islip and East Hampton sophomore Rorey Murphy made seven saves in goal.
“Islip was a little more physical than Sayville, and had great stick skills,” East Hampton head coach Jessica Sanna said. “They controlled the draw from the beginning of the game, and we had a difficult time getting possession. They double- and triple-teamed the ball in the midfield. We had a difficult time clearing the ball. We grew stagnant in our zone defense, but were able to effectively run our man-to-man defense.
“We are taking these experiences and practicing and preparing for the next few weeks where we will have some games that we will be more competitive in,” she added.
The Lady Bonackers play five games in the span of nine days, which started on Tuesday when they hosted Babylon. They’re also hosting Miller Place on Thursday, April 4, at 4:30 p.m. and Port Jefferson on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. East Hampton will be at Center Moriches this Monday, April 8, at 5:45 p.m. and Bellport two days later at 4:30 p.m.