One word could sum up the effort of the Sachem North Flaming Arrows boys lacrosse team on Saturday night: cohesive.
Cody Petillo, Eric Talbot, Kyle Rhatigan, Shawn Murphy, and Jack Gannon led the unit. That’s right. Five different players on the Flaming Arrows (4-0) had outstanding performances during Sachem’s 13-8 victory under the lights versus the Islanders of Mercer Island of Washington state.
Petillo scored a game-high four goals, Talbot had himself the hat trick, Rhatigan assisted on four goals not to mention scoring two himself, Murphy netted two, and Gannon contributed a goal and three assists. Major production from these five seniors ensured the Flaming Arrows of their fourth consecutive win to start the season.
Petillo really led his team, especially in the very important first quarter. The senior midfielder was able to set the tone early only 51 seconds into the first period of play. Petillo received the pass deep inside the Islander defensive zone from Rhatigan and used a strong backhand off a catch and shoot to beat the keeper.
Later in the period, Petillo was at it again with the score 2-1 in favor of the Sachem. This time, the Arrows used terrific passing to get Petillo into prime shooting range as he rifled a shot past Carlos Barrios to extend the lead to 3-1.
The importance for the Flaming Arrows to come out big and strong was present. With these two squads not having much knowledge of each other’s styles of play, Sachem kept letting the ball fly and behind crisp passing continued to put their scorers in prime position to do the most important thing, put the ball in the back of the net.
However, the Islanders would not go quietly into the night. Mercer Island had traveled over 2,900 miles from the state of Washington and they made sure that they had come to play. After Petillo had notched his third goal of the game with 9:05 remaining in the second quarter, the Islanders went on a run of their own. Michael Schwartz scored off a pass from Alexander Robbs to cut it to 7-3, and then two straight goals by senior standout Connor Bernal cut the deficit to just two goals, with the momentum clearly in the hands of the Islanders.
However, Talbot would have the answer for Sachem North. The Arrows once again worked the ball around, and when it got into the hands of Talbot, he reeled off a shot on the run that stood no chance for the keeper. That goal at the end of the end of the first half gave his team an insurmountable 8-5 lead.
The second half turned out to be all Sachem as they outscored the Islanders 7-3 en route to the 13-8 victory.
From here, Sachem North gets ready to play Lindenhurst on Tuesday, while Mercer Island continues their Long Island tour against Ward Melville and Comsewogue respectively before heading home.
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