Matchup: No. 2 Chaminade (2-0) vs. No. 17 West Islip (1-0)
Game time: Saturday, noon, West Islip
It's as big a matchup as a non-league boys lacrosse game in March can be, and West Islip, according to its head coach, will be without its best player.
Senior midfielder Nick Aponte re-aggravated an upper-body injury during the third quarter of West Islip's 14-6 win over Connetquot on Wednesday and will miss the game, coach Scott Craig said Friday. Craig said he expects to know more after next Tuesday's follow-up medical appointment. It is possible Aponte could be available for West Islip's next game.
With Aponte out, others will have to step up in order for West Islip to come out of the weekend with a win over Chaminade, a team with speed on both ends of the field and lethal scoring ability.
Without its "offensive quarterback," Delaware-bound midfielder Ryan Wieczorek and junior Mike Moynihan will have to help fill that void to keep West Islip's 20-game winning streak going.
"Both of them perform well in big games, so they are guys we can put a bit more of a burden on," Craig said.
Chaminade has had two convincing wins — 9-5 over Massapequa, 8-0 over Fordham Prep, 8-0 — by receiving contributions from many of its players. Tommy Zenker, Ryan Lukacovic and James Roberts have all already had hat tricks and Duke-bound goalie Danny Fowler has a shutout already under his belt.
The Flyers rely heavily on capable juniors like Sam Bonafede to blow by defenses with speed.
West Islip's goalie Jared Currino won the job during the team's third scrimmage of the season and has proved worthy of the job by recording eight saves in the win over Connetquot. Chaminade's a tough matchup for a goalie who just earned a starting position, but it's also an opportunity for him to cement his status further.
"Jared has been the most consistent with saving and clearing the ball for us on defense," Craig said.
Saturday, they'll need him to do a lot of both.