No matter the sport, no matter the season, whenever teams from Westhampton Beach and Eastport South Manor face off, it’s competitive and intense. The meeting between the two schools’ boys lacrosse teams on April 30 was no different as the visiting Hurricanes pulled out an 11-6 come-from-behind victory over the Sharks.
“This is probably the most meaningful game of the year,” Westhampton Beach’s Pat Yager said. “They’ve been our rivals since elementary school so it’s a really good feeling to get the win.”
Yager scored what turned out to be the most critical goals of the game in a span of two minutes, one during a man-up situation. With 8:37 to go in the game and the score tied at 5-5, Frankie Denicola was called for a slash and less than 20 seconds later, Yager found the back of the net for his first goal of the game. Yager scored what would turn out to be the game-winner with 6:37 to go in the game.
“I put it low on the first one so I figured the next time, he’d be biting low so I should put it high to get it in,” Yager said. “I feel like the team played really well, it was a good team effort today, a bunch of people put the ball in the goal.”
Shark Tyler Weiss scored his team’s only goal of the second half with 5:51 left in the game.
The Hurricanes added some breathing room on goals from Evan Gagne and Casey Hickey and then made the final 11-6 with two empty-net goals during the final two minutes of the game.
“Last year against them, we were down at half and then pulled out a 6-5 win and it was kind of the same scenario this year,” Hurricane keeper Brian Corrigan said. “We were down 5-3 at the half and we knew, since we had a little momentum going into the half, if we came out strong in second half, the same could happen. We did that and held them to one goal in the second half. I think the defense got the kinks out after the first half. That was the big difference in the game.”
ESM opened the game’s scoring less than three minutes in as Justin Pugal carried the ball the entire length of the field, from behind his team’s goal, and found the back of the net on the other end.
Hickey evened things up with 7:52 to go in the first quarter and Shark Pat Kenneally gave his team a lead it would hold on to for the remainder of the half two minutes later.
In the second quarter, Sharks Kenneally, Weiss and Dan Happe both scored while Hurricanes Gagne and Brian Corrigan netted a goal for a 5-3 halftime score.
ESM was held scoreless by the Hurricanes defense in the third quarter while the offense evened things up on goals from Jack Murphy and Hickey.
Then came the back-to-back Yager goals to lift the visitors to their first lead of the game and the eventual win.
Following the game against the Sharks, the Hurricanes dominated Deer Park, 14-1, on Friday. Westhampton Beach led 7-0 at the half and never looked back. Deer Park’s only goal came in the third.
Hickey led the offense with a hat trick to go along with three assists while Yager and Wyatt Foglia each also put three in the back of the net. Zach Rignola scored a pair to go with an assist, Tyler Phillips and Gagne each had a goal and an assist while Alex Apote scored once.
The Sharks bounced back from the loss to Westhampton Beach with a 10-6 victory over Bayport/Blue Point on Saturday. Tyler Weiss had three goals while Dan Dawsett scored twice with an assist. Kenneally had two goals and Mike Bianco, Happe and Prokesch each scored once.
As of May 6, among Class B teams, Comsewogue was first with an 11-1 record with 165.54 points followed by Huntington (10-2, 157.8) and ESM (8-4, 139.48). Westhampton Beach sits in sixth place among Class B teams with a 7-4 mark and 128.88 points.
The top seven Class B teams qualify for the postseason.
Shoreham/Wading River leads all teams in Division II with a 12-0 mark and 186.14 points, but for postseason classifications, the Wildcats are a Class C school.
The Hurricanes will wrap up the regular season with a home game against Sayville on May 9 and a road game against Kings Park on May 13. For the Sharks, the squad will finish out the season with two road games, at Huntington on May 9 and Harborfields on May 13.
The postseason is slated to begin on May 17.