There aren’t too many seniors on the Eastport South Manor boys lacrosse team, but the ones on the squad have been coming up huge lately.
In the team’s only game last week, seniors Brendan Hayes, Rich Parez and Tom Guido lead the Sharks (6-5) to an 8-7 overtime win against Elwood/John Glenn at home on May 6. Hayes scored both the tying goal and the game-winner, putting in the equalizer with 45 seconds left in the fourth quarter before tallying the winner 2:16 into the extra session.
The Sharks had to make a big surge to force overtime, outscoring Glenn 5-1 in the final 15 minutes of the game. During that stretch, Guido had a goal and three assists and Hayes had his pair of goals. Goalie Parez also made several crucial stops to keep his team alive.
In the earlier part of the fourth quarter, ESM had to rally from three goals down to tie the score at 6-6 before the Knights took the lead again at 7-6. Hayes then scored the final two goals of the contest.
ESM head coach Kevin Huff said he was pleased to see his team continue to battle in the final stretch of the game.
“We very easily could have folded because we were playing catch-up the whole game,” he said. “But we didn’t, and to me this shows improvement. We overcame adversity and really believed in ourselves.”
It was the second one-goal win in a row for the Sharks, who are on the cusp of earning a playoff spot in Class B. Although it is difficult to predict where teams will finish in the standings because of the power ranking system, ESM will likely play in the postseason as long as it can take care of business against Southampton and Mercy—the bottom two teams in the division—and prevail in the regular season finale against Huntington, a middle of the pack team that is trying to keep its playoff hopes alive.
If the way the Sharks are playing lately is any indication of things to come, it’s a pretty good bet that they can finish the season on a winning streak.
“In the early part of the year, we weren’t getting those one-goal wins,” Huff said. “Now, we’ve been on the better side of it. In the last two games, the few seniors we have have really been contributing. They’ve been stepping up in those situations. We call on them in those situations because they have the most experience, not only in lacrosse but in other sports as well, so they handle it better.”
ESM was scheduled to host Mercy on May 14 and will host Southampton tomorrow, May 16, at 4 p.m. The Sharks will close out the regular season at home against Huntington on Tuesday at 4 p.m.
The Hurricanes (3-8) split a pair of games last week, cruising past winless Southampton 13-2 in an away game on May 6 before falling 14-10 at Huntington on Saturday.
Against the Mariners, the Hurricanes took an 8-1 halftime lead that they extended to a 12-1 advantage entering the fourth quarter. Ralph Pepe finished with four goals and two assists while Mike Barrie scored twice. Joe Lenihan, who missed most of the season due to a broken collarbone, finished with a goal and two assists.
Westhampton Beach got off to a bad start in its loss to Huntington, falling behind 6-0 after the first quarter and facing an 11-2 deficit at halftime. The Canes made a comeback in the third quarter, outscoring the Blue Devils 5-0 to close the gap to 11-7, but could not get over the hump in the fourth.
Lenihan had four goals to lead the Canes while Pepe had two goals and three assists. Cory Hubbard and Tom Sanna split time in goal, with Hubbard making 13 saves and Sanna making nine saves.
Westhampton Beach was scheduled to host Kings Park on May 14 and will close out the regular season at home against Babylon on Tuesday, May 20, at 4 p.m.