Boys lacross fails to capitalize on Froccaro’s senior season

Boys lacross fails to capitalize on Froccaro's senior season

Senior Jake Froccaro and junior John Crawley celebrate after a goal against Syosset. Senior Jon Obadia (center) rushes to join them.

Aaron Brezel, Assistant Sports Editor

Three months after their season began with a hard fought 12-11 win over Locust Valley, the boys varsity lacrosse team’s season ended with a devastating defeat to Massapequa in the Nassau Class-A semi-finals on May 22. While the final score was 14-5, the game was much closer than the score indicated. After hanging with the number one ranked team in the conference for three quarters, Massapequa pulled ahead in the final quarter, stifling Port’s playoff aspirations.

Overall, Port finished with a record of 9-8, identical to their record last year. However, the Vikings bettered their playoff performance from the quarterfinal loss they suffered a season ago. This can be considered a success considering the roller coaster ride the team has been on all season. Port started with an underwhelming 5-7 record through the first 12 games. The most difficult aspect of the stretch was that most of the games were lost by two goals or less, including a tough loss to number two ranked Syosset in the final minutes of double overtime.

Despite their initial troubles, Port turned their season around in dominating fashion, winning their next three games by an average of 13 goals. With an overall record of 8-7, Port advanced to the playoffs ranked as the fifth seed. Their first matchup came against fourth seeded Farmingdale in the quarterfinals on May 14 at Hofstra University. The team continued their hot play, beating the higher seeded Farmingdale by a score of 13-9 to advance to the semifinals for the first time since 1999. Unfortunately, their success would end there.

Despite falling short of their ultimate goal, which was to win a county championship, the players and their coaches have a lot to be proud of. Under new head coach Tom Rooney, who had spent the previous 14 years as Syosset’s defensive coordinator, the offense turned into a well-oiled machine, frequently scoring double-digit goals.

Most of the offensive production is due to two of the captains, senior Jake Froccaro and junior John Crawley. Froccaro has committed to Princeton University for the fall, which is listed as the number three lacrosse program in the country. He ranked 12 in all of Long Island in total output (goals and assists) with 83 points and led all of Long Island with 67 goals on the season. His impressive season earned him All-American Honors.

Another integral component to the offense’s success was sophomore Luke Rizzo and freshman Joey Froccaro. Rizzo ranked 37 in Long Island with 29 assists, leading the team, while Joey Froccaro finished the season with 26 goals, placing him second on the team behind his brother, Jake. While the team was capable of scoring goals, the wins did not come without strong efforts by the defense. Senior captain Joe Mele led a defense whose overall goal was to limit the opposition to nine goals or less. They succeeded a respectable 10 times out to the 17 games. Particularly impressive were the skills of eighth-grade talent Nick Ferrero, who earned the starting goalie position. Despite his youth, he has proven his skill in the net, racking up 171 saves on the season. His play has even earned himself respect from the veterans from the team.

“There is an extra responsibility that comes with being a goalie. Nick has proved he is capable of learning quickly,” said Mele.

Rizzo, Joey Froccaro, and Ferrero are not the only underclassmen to step up and perform this season. Demonstrating the depth of the 29 man roster, sophomores Sam Littman, Aaron Mevorah, and Dan Grossman, as well as freshman Ryan Garry, all contributed to the team. These players will be looked upon to contribute next season as the team will have to deal with the loss of many crucial seniors, including Jake Froccaro and Mele.

Next season will surely hold difficult challenges for Port Lacrosse, but Coach Rooney remains confident in his players.

“These are great kids who have laid the ground work for future success, while we may have not accomplished it this year, I believe that we have all the talent we need to win a County Championship.”