Boys Lacrosse Coach George Searing put a pin in any enthusiasm coursing through the postgame huddle with two words: West Islip.
Yes, Northport ran wild over West Babylon in a first-round playoff Thursday at , scoring the game’s first eight goals en route to a 17-6 win.
The eighth-seeded Tigers (11-6) dominated faceoffs, looked explosive with the ball and turned away No. 9 West Babylon attacks. It was a near-perfect performance.
But the opening salvo of the Suffolk Class A playoffs leads Northport down the road to a juggernaut.
The Tigers move on to face No. 1 West Islip in a quarterfinal Tuesday 4 p.m. at West Islip. That’s a tough draw considering and winner of four of the last six state titles. Can you say dynasty?
“I just want our players to understand they have talent, they have potential,” Searing said. “There were times this year when we utilized it and other times when we didn’t play to our potential. We lost a couple of games to a goal here, a goal there. Now we can’t have that happen. Now we have to play to our full potential.”
Take heart. Northport faced the Lions earlier in the month and took a lead into the fourth quarter before West Islip pulled away late, 8-6. In other words, the Tigers will be in the hunt against the Lions. Potentially.
The win over West Babylon was a confidence builder if ever there was one.
“We played well in the first half,” said junior attack Sean Gilroy, a Binghamton commit who led the way with four goals. “We kept the ball moving, found the open guy and found the back of the net. It was definitely a confidence booster for us.”
West Babylon (10-7) had no answer for a flurry of goals from Gilroy as well as sophomore Brian Cannon, senior Ryan Napolitano and junior John Trainor, who each tallied three.
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It all began in the circle. Northport won 18 of 25 faceoffs.
Senior goalie Tom Troiano made six saves and was backed by a defense that was relentless.
“We’ve got to keep the momentum going into West Islip,” Troiano said. “I’ve got to make the saves I need to make. And I have to make some big saves I’m not supposed to make.”
It’s up to these Tigers to turn potential into a powerful statement.
Suffolk Class A Boys Lacrosse Playoffs – First Round
Teams.................1.....2.....3.....4 – F
West Babylon.....0.....4.....1.....1 – 6
Northport............7.....5.....3.....2 – 17
Goals – WB: Richardson 2, Kiel 2, Mantovani, Morgan; N: Gilroy 4, Cannon 3, Napolitano 3, Trainor 3, Glancy, Pace, Bonomi, DeCeglia. Saves – WB: Hartmann 13; N: Troiano 6.