Westhampton Beach boys lacrosse head coach Ralph Pepe knew that his team would have its work cut out in the early part of the season with a schedule that featured several of the best teams in Division II right off the bat. Losing top scorer Joe Linehan to a broken collarbone in the first game of the season only exacerbated the situation and, as a result, the Hurricanes are off to an 0-4 start in Division II. They are 1-5 overall.
The Canes lost 14-7 at home to Elwood/John Glenn on April 8 and were downed 10-3 by defending New York State Champion Shoreham/Wading River on the road on April 10.
Pepe said that he believed his team was suffering from fatigue in the loss to Glenn, having played against Comsewogue, another tough team, a day earlier. The Knights got off to a 6-0 lead after the first quarter and the Hurricanes never recovered.
“I think we were a little worn out from playing the day before,” Pepe said. “Glenn was very good. We had a hard time getting the ball and we couldn’t win faceoffs. Everything seemed to bounce their way, but you have to make your own bounces.”
Pepe’s son, Ralph Pepe, led Westhampton Beach with six goals while Mike Barrie tallied one goal.
The Hurricanes did a decent job on defense in the first half against Shoreham/Wading River, holding the Wildcats to six goals, but they could only muster one goal of their own in the first two quarters. The Wildcats took control for good by outscoring the Canes 4-0 in the third quarter. Kevin Sabo, Marco Pizzo and Pepe each scored for Westhampton Beach in the loss.
Coach Pepe said that despite the rough start, he’s trying to keep his players positive.
“I didn’t think Glenn would be as powerful as they were,” he said. “We’ve played some unbelievably tough games to start the season. We were hoping to win one or two of those, but it didn’t happen. If we don’t turn it around, our season will be in dire straits. But we’ll continue to work hard and try to get some wins and see if we can turn it around.”
The Hurricanes were scheduled to face local rival East Hampton on Tuesday and will visit Mercy, one of the traditionally weaker teams, tomorrow at 4 p.m. They will host Eastport South Manor on April 22 at 10 a.m.