A 15-12 win at Elwood-John Glenn last Thursday enabled the East Hampton High School girls lacrosse team to make the playoffs for the first time in the program’s 12-year history.
The win, however, didn’t come easily. “We didn’t play our best, but we did play well down the stretch,” said the team’s head coach, Matt Maloney. “We scored three goals in the final five minutes and stopped them twice, which gave us the victory. Allison Charde, our goalie, had 12 big saves to prevent an upset.”
“John Glenn has three sisters, numbers 7, 8, and 9, who broke our zone defense down a bit,” added Maloney’s assistant, Kathy McGeehan, during a conversation at Friday’s practice session. “It was tied at 12-12 with seven minutes left. They had gone up 12-11, then we tied it. Maggie Pizzo made it 13-12, Jenna Budd made it 14-12, and Amanda Seekamp, on a free position shot, made it 15-12. . . . That was nice — we had to win that one to get into the playoffs.”
As a result, East Hampton was seeded seventh in Division II’s Class B tournament, drawing second-seeded Eastport-South Manor as its first-round opponent this Saturday. The tournament Web site on Monday had the game, to be played at Eastport-South Manor, starting at noon, though McGeehan said that because East Hampton’s junior prom will be that night, she and Maloney would try to get it moved up to 10 a.m.
“We love the postseason,” McGeehan added. “We’re getting a second chance. We’re excited.”
East Hampton finished in 10th place among the division’s 21 teams with an 8-6 (10-6) record and 111.620 power points. The last time the Bonackers played Eastport, away on May 2, the Sharks won 11-5.
“We’re trying not just to be happy we’ve made the playoffs,” said Maloney. “We want to make some noise. Eastport-South Manor is a very strong, athletic team. We’re looking to see if we’ve improved in the last couple of weeks.”
As for the boys team, which wound up at 4-10 (4-12) and well out of the running for a playoff spot, the coach, Mike Vitulli, said, when asked to sum up, “We couldn’t overcome our penalties — we’d get tired and make mistakes, which cost us.”
The Bonackers were pretty much routed in their last two games, with Bayport-Blue Point and Babylon. The Phantoms, who boasted three Division I-bound senior attackmen, won 20-5 and Babylon overcame a 4-2 halftime deficit to defeat East Hampton 13-4.
Asked what had happened in the second half, Vitulli said, “We took seven penalties in the third quarter. They scored on four of those man-up situations and three or four more in transition. We weren’t able to come back.”
Vitulli’s assistant, Owen McCormack, had said the day before Friday’s game with Babylon that he and Vitulli thought East Hampton had a decent chance — Babylon went into the game with a 5-8 record. Certainly it looked so in the second quarter, during which goals by Drew Griffiths, Jamie Wolf, and Drew Harvey increased East Hampton’s lead to 4-1 before the visitors got one back in the final minute.
The game with Bayport-Blue Point, played here May 9, got out of hand early as the Phantoms, who took a 15-4 lead into the halftime break, scored repeatedly in transition as outmaneuvered defenders looked on.
Vitulli said later that he’d love it if his dozen varsity returnees and the 28 players on this year’s junior varsity played more in the off-season. “We only had 20 on the varsity this spring — I’d like to have 25 to 30 next year. I think we’ll be able to do that. . . . Hopefully, we’ll come around.”