The Westhampton Beach boys lacrosse team is consistently in the playoff picture year in and year out. The question, however, is always whether the Hurricanes actually clinch a postseason berth.
It’s more of the same this season.
The Canes, looking to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2016, have played well. After a much needed 10-7 victory over Islip and a 6-3 victory over Bellport last week, the Canes have a very respectable 8-4 Division II record (9-5 overall) with 136.36 power points, as of Wednesday morning. Even with that success, though, Mount Sinai, Shoreham/Wading River, Bayport/Blue Point and Islip are still ahead of Westhampton Beach when it comes to Class C seeding, leaving the Canes in the fifth and final playoff spot.
A loss in their final two regular season games of the season could leave Westhampton Beach on the outside looking in when it comes to the postseason for the third straight season, and the Canes also have Elwood/John Glenn right behind them in the standings as well. Westhampton Beach head coach Drew Peters said if Glenn wins its final two games against Mattituck and Port Jefferson, it could overtake his team in the power points standings.
“For us, it will depend on what Glenn does,” he said. “They play Mattituck and Port Jeff in their final two games and we play East Islip and Port Jeff. If Glenn loses a game, we could win one of our last two and I believe still get in.
“We are taking it one game at a time and might need to win our next two if Glenn wins both … as I said, one game at a time,” Peters reiterated. “Both East Islip and Port Jeff are good teams, and we have a very important week ahead of us. Our division is very tough and we have certainly been in this position before.”
Westhampton Beach most likely would have taken a big hit to its playoff chances, and even been eliminated altogether, had it not defeated Islip at home on April 30. Trailing 4-2 at the half, the Canes turned things around and Peter Traina scored his third goal of the game to give his team a 9-7 lead with 6:36 remaining in the game. Rob Moore scored two goals and had two assists and Andrew Arcuri made 11 saves in goal.
Two days later, Westhampton Beach hosted Bellport, and Peters admitted that he figured his team would come out a little sluggish after playing such a physically and mentally challenging game with Islip. And, to Bellport’s credit, it came out and gave the Canes a hard-fought game.
Trailing by as many as three goals, the Canes scored six goals in the second half to take the win. Moore and Jaden AlfanoStJohn scored two goals apiece, and Arcuri made seven saves.
Despite the slow starts in both games, Peters likes the way his team has been playing overall.
“We are getting better each time out, and defensively, we have really settled in and have been playing well as a unit,” he said. “Our goal offensively is to be more consistent and play at a faster pace.”