Boys lacrosse coasting through regular season


Sean Lui

Junior Garrett Ressa cradles the ball midfield at a home game against Oceanside on April 21. The Vikings won the game 19-7.

Daniel Dash, Staff Writer

Have you seen those royal blue jackets and parachute pants roaming the halls of Schreiber lately?  The jacket’s Viking logo, filled by the American flag, has become emblematic of the boys lacrosse team’s early season success.

After a quick stumble out of the gates, it didn’t take long for the Vikings to find their footing and catch fire in April.  Under the leadership of senior captains Brian Crawley, Joey Manno, Crew Weingard, and Justin Masi, the Vikings are currently sitting comfortably at second place in Nassau Conference One with a record of 6-2.

“We try to make the most out of every rep in every drill we do, and we compete hard against each other in everything we do,” said senior captain Crew Weingard.  “On the practice field, we act like it’s a real game when we scrimmage each other so that we’re ready to play when we take the field on game days.”

The season started off on a bad foot when the boys dropped their home opener on March 21 against South Side by a score of 14-8.  However, the Vikings used that game as a learning experience to fix the issues at hand.  On that Tuesday afternoon, the score was knotted up at 6-6 at halftime prior to a poor second half that saw the Vikings get outscored 4-1 in each of the final two quarters.

“After that game, we bonded as a team and got to know each other much better. In addition, we started to push ourselves much harder,” said freshman Brian Pohoreckyj.

Senior Brian Crawley (4 assists), junior John Athanasian (1 goal, 3 assists), and junior Harry Basham (3 goals) did everything they could to keep Port Washington in the game, but the Vikings fell short when it was all said and done.

Despite the loss, there were plenty of positives to take away from the game against South Side.  One of those positives was a strong performance by the Vikings’ freshman class of Mikey Beil, Zander Stapleton, Brandon Caslow, and Brian Pohoreckyj.  This year’s group of freshmen is special, and so far they’ve all contributed in one way or another.  Beil scored his first career goal in the loss against South Side, Stapleton has already announced his verbal commitment to play college lacrosse at Boston University, Caslow is ready to go after rehabbing his way back from a torn ACL, and Pohoreckyj tallied his first career point with an assist against Seaford.

“Being on varsity this year is a pretty big step up from where we were playing last year, but the upperclassmen do a great job at making us part of the team,” said freshman Mikey Beil.  “The captains’ leadership has been excellent so far and we really appreciate the way they try their best to make us better as a team.”

In addition to being contributors on the field, the freshmen provide a different vibe within the locker room.

“Having four freshmen is great because it gives the team a different dynamic,” said senior Crew Weingard.  “We want to give them as much advice as we can to make sure the program continues to head in the right direction.”

After losing their first game, the Vikings responded with an 8-7 victory in a thriller against Locust Valley.  Sophomore goalie AJ Galassi (16 saves) turned in an excellent performance between the pipes.  On the offensive end of the spectrum, Crawley (2 goals, 2 assists), Athanasian (1 goal, 2 assists), and  Dalimonte (2 goals) paved the way for the Vikings’ first victory of the spring.  Beil also contributed his second career goal.  The boys took a 5-2 lead into halftime, but Locust Valley came storming back.  In the fourth quarter, the Vikings protected their lead during a man down play with just over two minutes remaining.  Then, with about a minute to play, Port forced a turnover to seal the deal and cap off win number one.

A week after squeaking out a win in nail-biting fashion at Locust Valley, the Vikings absolutely steamrolled a winless Freeport team.  Freeport, currently sitting on a 0-5 record, had no idea what was coming on April Fool’s Day.  Despite the fact that it was April 1, the Vikings’ 15-0 halftime lead and 18-1 final score was no joking matter.  Nine different Vikings tallied at least one goal, and the leading scorers were Crawley (2 goals, 5 assists) and Dalimonte (career high 5 goals).  Other key contributors in this dominant victory were Athanasian (4 points), Basham (4 points), junior Drew Turner (3 points), and Stapleton (first 2 career goals).  Everything was clicking on the Vikings’ home turf during one of their largest margins of victory in program history.

Following the demolition of Freeport, the Vikings extended their win streak to three games with a 13-8 win over Baldwin.  Dalimonte (5 points), senior Robbie Connors (4 points), Crawley (3 points), and Athanasian (3 points) paced Port’s offensive attack.  Connors’ trio of goals marked the senior’s first game back after a one-game absence, and he made sure his presence was felt.  Galassi (10 saves) turned in yet another spectacular effort in net by recording another game with double digit saves.  The victory was a statement win for the Vikings, who continue to prove that they’re now a different team than the one that melted in the second half against South Side.

When the 0-7 Seaford Vikings came to town for a battle of Vikings, Port Washington decimated them by a score of 15-3.  Port’s 10-1 halftime lead allowed them to cruise through the second half and to see some of the younger guys on the team in action.  Sophomore Steven Betsch, Caslow, and Carillo all scored their first goals of the season.  In addition, junior goalie George Moschos (12 saves) had his first career varsity game with double digit saves in goal.  Connors (4 goals, 1 assist) and Turner (2 goals, 2 assists) sparked the Port Washington offense. Another notable feat from the game against Seaford was Beil’s (3 goals) first career hat trick.  Beil scored 7 goals in the first 5 games for the Vikings.  The offensive clinic against Seaford marked the second time in three games where Port exploded for at least 15 goals in a game.

You can bet that all these crooked numbers have caught the eyes of other coaches across the county.  During the three game homestand, Port finished 3-0 and saw elite offensive performances from Crawley (11 points), Dalimonte (10 points), Athanasian (10 points), Connors (9 points), and Turner (9 points).

On April 12, the Vikings extended their win streak to five games by way of an 18-1 thrashing of Hempstead.  Hempstead, known for its athletic prowess, was no match for Port Washington when it came to skill.  At the conclusion of the third quarter, Port Washington held a commanding 18-0 lead.  Pohoreckyj posted a career best 7 points (4 goals, 3 assists) to pace Port Washington’s lethal attack.  Pohoreckyj, one of the four highly touted freshmen, was one of nine different Vikings to net a goal in the win.  Another notable feat of the game was senior Rhys Jackson’s first goal of the year.  Once again, the junior class played a vital role in the Vikings’ potent offense.  Under the leadership of Athanasian, Dalimonte, and Turner, the juniors combined for 12 points in the victory. With the win, the Vikings advanced to 3-0 in conference play while Hempstead fell to 0-3.

Just a day after annihilating Hempstead, Port Washington hit the road once again.  This time, the Vikings’ destination was North Shore High School for a non-league game.  North Shore entered the game with a record of 7-0, but the Vikings weren’t intimidated by their undefeated record.  After entering the fourth quarter deadlocked in a 5-5 tie, North Shore pulled away and defeated Port by a score of 8-6.  Turner (2 goals, 2 assists) did everything in his power to keep the Vikings in the game, but Port Washington ultimately fell short. However, the good news is that non-league games bear less weight in playoff seeding than conference play does.  Unfortunately, the loss snapped the team’s five game winning streak and dropped their record to 5-2 at the time.

Following the loss to North Shore, Port Washington bounced back with a big win on April 15 against Hewlett.  Once again, Crawley (5 goals, 2 assists) and Connors (3 goals) proved that they’re among Long Island’s top senior tandems.  These two have made a habit of displaying their offensive firepower every time they take the field.  The Vikings’ win, which came by a score of 14-9, improved their record to 6-2, while it dropped Hewlett’s to 5-2.

Port trails only Farmingdale who is 4-0 in conference play, but teams like Massapequa and Syosset, both with conference records of 2-0, are hot on their trail.