Kennedy caps perfect league season
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SOMERS, N.Y. — In three short years, Kennedy Catholic co-coaches Nick and Vin Savastano have guided the boys lacrosse program into rarified air.
The Savastano brothers, who arrived at Kennedy Catholic after a decorated stint at perennial powerhouse John Jay-Cross River, led the Gaels to their first league title in school history in 2012.
"That's big for us," Nick Savastano said. "That's something (the players) will remember for a long time."
Wait, it gets even sweeter.
With Thursday's 13-5 win over visiting North Salem on Senior Day, Kennedy Catholic capped off a perfect 8-0 season in Conference I-League C play. The Gaels, who improved to 13-2 overall, have won nine straight since falling to Putnam Valley back on April 19. Their other loss came against Hen Hud on March 29.
"Coach always wanted us to be undefeated," standout freshman attackman Nick Garofano said. "That was our goal for the whole season, so it feels great to accomplish that."
And Garofano's a big reason that it has became a reality. Heading into Thursday's matchup vs. North Salem, the Yorktown transfer had already totaled a team-high 57 points (27G, 30A).
Against the Tigers, it was more of the same.
Garofano notched three goals and three assists to pace the Gaels' offense. Teammate Joey Molfetta, a sophomore attackman, also added three goals and three assists. Patrick Gleason (3G), Dylan Trodden (2G, 2A), Andrew Rodriguez (1G, 1A) and Brett Trodden (1G, 1A) rounded out the offensive production.
North Salem (7-5) started out the game strong, burying two quick goals to grab an early first-quarter lead. Scott Martin paced the Tigers with a team-high two goals. John Marchese, Jesse Urban and Mike Palotta notched one goal apiece.
Trailing 3-2 in the second quarter, Kennedy Catholic's offense came to life. The Gaels scored the final four goals of the half and led 6-3 at the break. Another four-goal run in the third quarter boosted the lead to 10-4. Kennedy Catholic then closed out the game on a 3-0 run.
Gaels faceoff specialist Rino Galente was the engine behind it all, going a staggering 19-for-20 at the dot.
"That's something we work at all the time," Nick Savastano said. "Anytime you do that you are probably going to win the game."
Wins have been the overriding theme of the Savastano-era. He has racked up 28 of them since taking over the program in 2010. In contrast, Kennedy Catholic won a combined 15 games total from 2005-09.
Now, Gaels will look to make their mark in the postseason. They have hopes of winning a game in the upcoming Section 1 Class C playoffs.
"Hopefully, we get a pretty good seed," Nick Savastano said. "If you look at Class C, there are a lot of good teams out there so you don't know who you are going to play in the first round. But we are looking forward to hopefully getting a home game. Our goal would be to win a game, move on and make some noise."