By Brian “Condo” Neice
The Glen Cove Junior Lacrosse “Wee Knights” program kicked off their 2015 campaign Sunday, March 29, by traveling to East Meadow on a cold morning and playing on a snow covered field. If the East Meadow lacrosse team wasn’t enough, the cold would prove another test for this team that had one outdoor practice prior to this game.
With this team loaded with experienced players and welcoming several new athletes, 2015 promises to be an exciting year. Glen Cove’s midfield, led by Rocco Rainone and Jack Spoto, began their physical play right away and established their ability to win ground balls. They were also able to move the ball to the attack led by Richie Cardali.
Cold hands and all, both sides fought a back and forth, fast paced game that saw East Meadow on top after the first quarter. Rainone and Cardali would not be denied, though, and both tallied several goals that led to leads and a tie game at the half, 8-8.
The crowd was treated to more of the same in the second half. Glen Cove’s defense, led by Matt Nystrom, began to stop some of the breaks that East Meadow converted in the first half. Goalie Matteo Cameron stuffed several point blank shots and did an outstanding job clearing out the crease. Vincent Pascucci and Leo Rainone played well on defense and received several of Cameron’s outlet passes, moving the ball to the Glen Cove midfielders.
Midfielders CJ Brown and Mark Larocca got into the scoring frenzy with tallies of their own in the second half. With Glen Cove up or tied for a majority of the half, the tough East Meadow team just wouldn’t go away and were able to tie the game at 14 in the last minute. This season is sure to be an exciting one with this group of players. Congratulations to all players for a hard fought game in very tough conditions, especially those that had the first of their career on Sunday.
The fifth-grade Knights also opened their season on the road in Floral Park, where the field conditions were also an issue. Knowing they had only three subs for the entire game, the boys fought hard from start to finish and never gave up, despite being on the losing side of a 9–5 contest.
The offense was led by Ryan Houghton scoring the first goal of the season for the Knights, with Micah Stone scoring twice and Andrew Epifania adding a goal and two assists.
Victor Scarmato put his name in the record books by scoring the first goal of his young career while also playing solid defense as a first time long-stick defenseman alongside Drew Guster and Max Von Massenbach. Christian Maiorano started the game in goal and made several saves, while Eamon Doyle spelled him in the second half recording some great saves of his own.
Other key players were ground ball gobblers Charlie Benazzi and Ciaran Greene and solid play by Joseph and Jaden Thom and Nick Kodis kept the game from getting away.
Coach Houghton was extremely proud of his team knowing that with a full squad they’ll be a team to be reckoned with down the road.
The seventh- and eighth-grade “Late Knights” played Franklin Square at Sewanhaka High School. It was a cold and blustery day with winds gusts that ripped through the field leaving faces red and frozen. The Knights came out of the opening huddle with enthusiasm and bravado, and while they lost 1-11, they never gave up. Nick Morrocu did a fine job at the face-off circle while Sal Guastella and Bobby Kaier contributed greatly on offense. Kaier scored the lone goal, but Mayan Letellier, Dylan Anucik and Tyler Kaffl all got good opportunities in the open field with shots on goal.
Jesse Mayreis proved more than formidable in his first game as goalie. His two saves were great ones. Jack Coyle, Szymon Frye and Tyler Buehre all played solid defense, especially given the fact that the ball was in the Knights’ defensive end most of the game.
The Knights begin their home campaign on Sunday, April 12 with the fifth-grade boys playing Hewlett at 10 a.m., followed by the seventh- and eighth-graders taking on Seaford at 11:30 a.m. at Glen Cove High School.