Although the Westhampton Beach girls lacrosse team lost, 13-10, at home to Huntington on Thursday, May 8, it still has a shot at hosting its first-ever playoff game on Saturday at noon.
The Lady Hurricanes need Islip to lose its final two games of the season this week—that would give them the fourth seed and the home playoff game that the girls have set out to secure since the beginning of the season.
If Islip wins one of its two games, though, it would most likely host Westhampton Beach (7-6 Division II, 9-6 overall, 120.88 power points). The two teams haven’t faced each other this season, since the Lady Buccaneers were seeded low and therefore played teams in the lower half of the standings for much of the spring.
Go to www.sectionxi.org for up-to-date playoff brackets and log on to www.27east.com for the latest playoff results.
Westhampton Beach head coach Mary Bergmann thinks it’s a favorable matchup for her team, since, like her own team, Islip doesn’t have much playoff experience. “Teams that are used to being in the playoffs usually tend to be tough teams to beat,” she explained. “It’ll be one of [Islip’s] first times in the playoffs, or they haven’t been there in a quite some time, so it’s a good matchup for us.”
Westhampton Beach continued to show last week that it deserves to be in the playoffs with a tough game against a strong Huntington team that had won four straight coming into the contest, including a 14-7 victory at third-place Sayville just two days prior. The Lady Blue Devils held a 6-3 lead at halftime, but Westhampton Beach went on a 3-1 run to tie the game early in the second half.
A few yellow cards put the Lady Hurricanes down a player for a good portion of the second half, making it tough for them to sustain any type of rhythm. Huntington took a commanding 13-8 lead before winning by three goals.
“I thought the yellow card situation was unwarranted,” Bergmann said. “For six minutes of the second half, we played a man down. I think had we played at more even play, it would have helped. The calls were inconsistent. One way or the other, we can’t blame the outcome of the game on the officials.
“We started off too slow,” she added. “I could tell in warm-ups that we were a little scared and nervous. But I think they realized, when the game was just 2-1 with 15 minutes left in the first half, that we could run with them, and they got progressively better.”
Zoe Recchion scored three goals for Westhampton Beach while Alexa Smith, Caitlin Smith and Bella Recchion each scored twice. Sarah Culver also scored a goal. Bergmann said she’s been trying to make it so teams have to worry about more than just one attacker, and it’s a work in progress.
“We’ve been struggling a little bit scoring against some of the higher-level teams,” she said. “We’ve been slowly trying to get into an offense where we feed the ball into someone different.
“But this team has high expectations, and to change anything major at this point would be tough to do,” Bergmann continued. “We have to work with what we have right now, continue to work together and find those connections.”
The Westhampton Beach boys lacrosse team split its two games last week, and while nothing is official, it appears the Hurricanes will lock up a Class B playoff spot this week. With a number of games still to be played this week, it was still up in the air as to what seed Westhampton Beach could receive.
As of Monday morning, the Hurricanes (8-4 in Division II, 10-4 overall) were tied for sixth place with Comsewogue with 122.36 power points. Two other teams, Islip and Elwood/John Glenn, were both 7-5 and remained in the playoff picture as well. The playoffs are slated to start on Saturday.
Part of the reason the standings are so close is because of the Hurricanes’ 6-4 loss at Comsewogue on May 7. The Hurricanes did pick up a 12-1 victory at home over Hampton Bays on Friday night, but the loss to Comsewogue was far more impactful in terms of the power rankings, since the Canes and Warriors were closer to each other in the division standings, while Hampton Bays is ranked at the bottom.
Westhampton Beach was down, 4-1, at halftime at Comsewogue, but scored two goals in the third to make it a one-goal game. The Warriors scored the next two goals to take a 6-3 lead. The Canes scored the final goal of the game but couldn’t get any more and wound up taking the loss.
“The beginning of the game was a playoff-type game, with two of the top teams in the league fighting it out, but we started off a little slow,” Westhampton Beach head coach Drew Peters said. “We played hard, it just wasn’t our cleanest game. We turned the ball over a little too much. I think as we got into the game a little more we played well. Overall, though, it was not our best.”
Peters thought his defense played well, limiting Comsewogue to just six goals. Zak Jones scored two goals for the Canes, Evan Gagne had two assists, and Henry Moreta scored a goal and had two assists. Pat Dean made eight saves in goal.
Against Hampton Bays, Westhampton Beach had an 8-0 lead by halftime, and a 10-1 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Ryan Duncan scored a goal and Justin Smith, Max Pastor and Devin Cumisky each had assists. Joe Arnau made six saves.
ON THE SCHEDULE: Girls—Tuesday, 5/13, at Mercy; Boys—Wednesday, 5/14, at Islip