Smithtown West's explosive second downs Huskers
SMITHTOWN, NY -- Matt Schultz had possession behind the goal following a restart when the play came in from the Smithtown West sideline.
"14 quick," Bulls coach Bobby Moltisanti Jr. and his staff shouted to the Bulls offense.
There was little doubt Schultz was going to look to find best friend James Pannell.
Pannell started off in the middle and cut to the right side of the field, using a screen to get open. Schultz ran toward Pannell and found the Virginia-bound attack, who fired it into the net to tie the game at 2 early in the second quarter.
"I came off a screen and got it," Pannell said. "Matt hit me and I just put it in the net."
Pannell had three goals and an assist and Schultz had two goals and four assists as host Smithtown West romped past Yorktown, 14-4, in non-league boys lacrosse Saturday afternoon.
The Bulls (7-0) scored a second goal running "14 quick" but Yorktown was ready and cut off Pannell. It made no difference as Schultz found a wide open Pat O'Brien (two goals, one assist) on the left side of the cage late in the first half.
"James is an awesome player and he always draws so much attention so the second time they all looked at James," said the Stony Brook-bound Schultz, who leads Smithtown West with 39 points. "I just looked at the back side and found Pat O'Brien wide open so he stuck it."
Yorktown (4-2) took a 2-1 lead after the first quarter as Smithtown West could not connect on several scoring opportunities.
The Bulls took control midway through the second quarter as six different players scored during a 7-0 run in the last 8:07 of the second, including four goals in a span of only 1:15, to take a 10-3 lead at halftime.
"I think we came out a little flat," said Pannell, who sat out an uneventful fourth quarter to ice his right wrist. "We got a lot of shots in the first quarter we just weren't hitting them. Goalie was playing well. Then the second quarter we started putting them in. We were putting our shots in good places and the flood gates opened from then on."
Smithtown West kept the momentum going into the second half, scoring three more in a row to make it a 13-3 game with 5:13 left in the third quarter.
Craig Madaresz (one goal, one assist) was 14-for-16 at faceoffs, giving the Bulls a major possessions advantage.
Frank Fusco had two goals for Yorktown, which lost to Garden City in the state semifinals last year.
Moltisanti Jr. said the win will give his players confidence as they shift their attention back to league play and keeping focused on the big picture will be key.
"We got the number 1 up on the board inside," he said. "It's just taking things one day at a time, one game at a time and not looking ahead. That's been our theme and our motto and we're sticking to it."