The East Hampton boys lacrosse team picked up its first win of the season in dramatic fashion last week, getting past Greenport/Southold/Mattituck, 7-6, in overtime on April 2 on the North Fork.
Two days later, the Bonackers dropped a 9-0 contest at home against Kings Park.
Prior to a matchup with rival Westhampton Beach, set for Monday, April 8, East Hampton was 1-4 overall and 1-2 in Division II play, putting the team in 16th place out of 22 teams in the division.
East Hampton head coach Mike Vitulli said his team needed overtime to beat Mattituck—a program that is less than five years old—for two reasons. Mattituck (2-3 overall, 20th in Division II play) has improved since starting up a lacrosse program in the district just a few years ago, Vitulli said, and his team also did not play particularly well.
“[Mattituck] got a little better, and we did not shoot the ball well at all,” he said, adding that he is trying to get his young team to learn how to play a zone defense with efficiency, and that while switching to a man-to-man format may have benefitted his team in that particular game, he decided to stick with the zone defense so his team could learn it.
“[Mattituck’s] kids shot the ball pretty well, and we made some mistakes and they capitalized on them,” Vitulli said.
East Hampton was holding on to a slim 6-5 lead when Mattituck’s Pat Robbins scored the tying goal early in the fourth quarter. Mattituck had possession with 40 seconds left in regulation, but East Hampton was able to make a stop on defense, leading to overtime.
In the extra session, Mattituck won the opening faceoff, but quickly turned the ball over. The Bonackers got the ball into their offense, and Cortland Heneveld was able to dodge a defender and dish a pass to Drew Harvey, who scored the gamewinner.
“I think it was a combination of Mattituck playing very well, and us not shooting the ball well, and as the game went on, Mattituck gained confidence,” Vitulli said. “And we’re lacking a little confidence right now, so I think those things played a factor. To [our team’s] credit, they found a way to win.”
Harvey led all scorers with three goals and two assists, while Heneveld had a goal and the game-winning assist. Regis O’Neil, Jamie Wolf and Seamus McLoughlin each had a goal, while Jack Schleicher had two assists. Mike Jara made 11 saves in goal for East Hampton.
Despite getting shut out in the loss to Kings Park (4-1 overall, fifth in Division II play), Vitulli said he wasn’t totally disappointed with his team’s effort in that game. The Bonackers gave up four quick goals early on in the first quarter but settled down on defense after that and allowed Kings Park only two more goals at halftime.
“The Kings Park game wasn’t terrible,” Vitulli said. “We got blanked offensively, but after the early part of the first quarter, we kind of hung around a bit. But we just couldn’t generate any offense.”
Vitulli said he was happier with the performance of the team’s zone defense, but added that his team did not win a single faceoff.
“They were very athletic,” Vitulli said of Kings Park. “But we did hit the post twice and had guys open on the creases. It wasn’t like the looks weren’t there—we just weren’t able to convert.”
East Hampton’s next best chance for a win is Saturday, when it hosts Center Moriches (2-2 overall, 18th in Division II), another young and still developing program.
Girls Drop Pair
The East Hampton girls lacrosse team is still looking for its first win of the season after dropping to 0-5 with two tough losses last week. The Lady Bonackers lost, 16-7, at home against Sayville (5-0 overall, fifth in Division II) on Friday, two days after dropping a 17-11 game at Rocky Point (3-1 overall, seventh in Division II). East Hampton sat in 13th place out of the 21 teams in the division as of Monday.
In the loss to Sayville, East Hampton faced a manageable 8-5 halftime deficit, but the Lady Golden Flashes pulled away with eight goals in the second half while holding East Hampton to just two. Maggie Pizzo had four goals and an assist to lead the Lady Bonackers.
Against Rocky Point, East Hampton played the Lady Eagles evenly in the second half, with each team scoring seven goals, but it was not enough to overcome a 10-4 halftime deficit. Cassidy Walsh led East Hampton with four goals in that game, while Pizzo and Carley Seekamp each scored three times.ON THE SCHEDULE: Boys—Wednesday, 4/10, at Comsewogue, 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 4/13, vs. Center Moriches, 10 a.m.; Tuesday, 4/16, vs. Deer Park, 4:30 p.m. Girls—Tuesday, 4/9, at Huntington, 4:30 p.m.; Friday, 4/12, vs. Eastport South Manor, 4:30 p.m.; Monday, 4/15, at Miller Place, 4:30 p.m.