Boys lacrosse fights for a championship as the postseason progresses


Yefei Yao

Senior John Athanasian looks to beat a defender around the net during a home game on April 12 against Kellenberg. The Vikings went on to lose the match by a score of 12-16.

Zach Gitlin, Staff Writer

Expectation were already high when the Vikings hit the field for the first day of lacrosse in early March.  Coming off a playoff loss last season at Hofstra, the Vikings were ready to bounce back and start the season strong.  The players began to reunite with their teammates as they restored the strong bonds–both on and off the field–which were established last year.  Chemistry proved to be a huge contributor to the Vikings’ success last season, and has already been an essential component of the success this season.

The 2018 campaign started off well for the Vikings, as they opened the season with a 13-9 win at an away game against Hewlett.  The success was followed by a quick “W” only three days later against Locust Valley in the home opener.

“As a team, we have been pushing each other harder and harder each and every day, knowing that it’s going to give us the edge that we need in order to compete to win the county championship,” said two-year varsity sophomore Zander Stapleton. 

Clearly, being tough on the field has been a trademark for the boys, as they continued their early success with two more wins against Long Beach and North Shore to jump out to an early 4-0 record.

Unfortunately for the Vikings, after their 4-0 start they dropped three tough games in a row, placing them back into a respectable 4-3 in the beginning half of the season.  However, Port would later go on to capture wins in three of the next four, taking big games against Freeport, Oceanside, and Baldwin.  A tough loss came in that stretch against rival Syosset, which ended in an 8-9 defeat for the Vikings.  However, the strong stretch that led the Vikings from 4-3 to 7-4 in just a few weeks was not only spurred from on-field play.  Team chemistry has also proved to be an extremely important factor with regard to Port’s latest success.

“Over the course of the season, our team has built an extremely strong bond off the field which has helped us to build a really good team chemistry on the field as well,” said Stapleton.

Following the hard loss to Syosset, Port quickly rebounded with a decisive victory over Baldwin, winning 11-5.

The latest game for Port came on May 12 against the Farmingdale Dalers, which was a hard loss by a score of 8-9. Port was down early, but rallied in the end to close the gap, and just fell short. Though it did not go the way they had liked, games like this against top talent will prepare Port for the playoffs as they rapidly approach. Though Port has shared highs and lows, they are beginning to turn the corner of maximum potential. 

“At this point in the season with playoffs just around the corner, we’ve had our share of highs and lows. But, we all feel we have much more left to prove. I’d say I’m happy with how we’ve done so far, but our best is definitely coming” said two year Varsity sophomore Mikey Beil.

With the playoffs just around the corner, two of the most important things for Port besides clean play on the field have been team chemistry, and leadership. Seniors James Dalimonte, Tommy Dover, Garrett Ressa, and Drew Turner have all become important leaders for the club.  With Dalimonte’s whopping 35 goals already, he has been one of the teams most important members throughout the season. 

“The upperclassman this year have been excellent in setting a high standard for our program and pushing everyone on the team to be the best player that they could be,” said Stapleton.

Clearly, the heavy presence of seniors and juniors has affected Port in a positive way, as they close in on the playoffs.

In addition to the upperclassmen, Port has relied on other plays to “step up.” Breakout games have proved to be important to the success of the team, and whoever may break out one game is not known until the Vikings hit the field. 

“Over the course of the season, we have had a lot of guys step up and make big plays when we needed it.  As the playoffs start to approach the most important thing for us as a team is to play together and do whatever we need to do in order to win,” said Stapleton. 

The possibility of any player needing to step up at any time is one of the factors that has separated Port from the rest of the pack, bringing them to an 8-6 record as of May 13.  With a win on May 17 against Planview, Port clinched a homefield playoff game.  If they can win in the first round, a likely matchup with the number one seed Massapequa will be set up.  Port has turned the corner just at the right time, and are looking to make a deep and successful playoff run.