By Gavin Menu
Following a difficult stretch to start the season, the East Hampton boys lacrosse team, which features key players from Pierson High School, picked up a 10-6 win over visiting Center Moriches on Saturday, providing a much-needed boost of confidence to the program.
“We’re a young group,” head coach Mike Vitulli said after the game. “We play three or four freshman and four or five sophomores, so as a young group it takes time, but we’re getting better.”
Pierson junior Drew Harvey continued his strong season, scoring three goals to go with two assists. He continuously orchestrated the Bonackers’ offense from behind the net, setting up teammates when he was not scoring himself.
“When we get the ball through, push it back and look for cutters, good things happen,” Harvey said after the game, which improved East Hampton’s record to 2-4 in Division II play and 2-6 overall.
Pierson’s Jack Schliecher also scored a goal and picked up an assist for the Bonackers, who had lost their previous two games to Comsewogue and Westhampton by large margins. The difference on Saturday, Vitulli said, was the team was patient with its offense and ran set plays that delivered results.
“To their credit, they’ve taken the challenge and we were able to be productive today,” Vitulli said about his players. “At times we’ve come along a little slower than I would like, but a lot of these guys should be killing it on JV right now and they’re playing varsity.”
East Hampton was tied with Center Moriches (2-4) after the first quarter and led by just two goals going into halftime. But Harvey helped set up two quick goals early in the third quarter and scored one himself late to give East Hampton a commanding 8-3 lead going into the final quarter, where Vitulli was able to go deep into his bench.
The Bonackers took on Deer Park on Tuesday and are scheduled to face Bellport at home today, April 18, at 3:30 p.m. Both those teams currently reside toward the bottom or middle of the pack in Division II, much like the Bonackers, so the games should be close.
“A lot of these teams in the middle of the road are close,” Vitulli said. “They’re just like us.”