BLUE WAVES 10, LIONS 5
An unusual sight occurred at Thursday’s boys lacrosse game at Riverhead, one the Blue Waves hope becomes a regular occurrence. In the stands, a coach from Half Hollow Hills West — the team Riverhead plays next week — watched to scout the Blue Waves.
In years past, most teams wouldn’t bother preparing any scouting report.
“You get some wins and people want to know what you’re doing,” said Riverhead coach Victor Guadagnino. “It’s a good thing.”
The Blue Waves continued their ascent with a 10-5 victory against Longwood on a soggy field at home for their fourth division win in their last five games.
At 5-4 in Division I, the Blue Waves find themselves in the hunt for one of the final playoff spots with five games remaining. The Blue Waves came into the day 15th in power points. The top 12 receive a bid in Class A.
“I said in the beginning of the year, we want to get better,” Guadagnino said. “Nine games in we’re on the positive side above .500. We’re getting better. We’re getting competitive.”
The Blue Waves came into Thursday’s game in another strange position: the favorite. Longwood had only one win on the season, but the Lions quickly struck for the first goal only 32 seconds into the game.
After a sloppy first half where the Lions committed too many penalties and never got into any offensive rhythm, both teams were tied at 4.
The turning point came with 7:56 left in the third quarter when sophomore Ryan Hubbard wrapped around from behind the cage and scored to break a 5-5 tie.
The Blue Waves secured the ensuing face-off — a rare feat — and suddenly the momentum was in their favor.
“We really stepped it up,” Hubbard said. “You could feel the momentum going our way.”
Hubbard added two more goals before the quarter ended, both on assists by midfielder Dan Czelatka.
“We started to get a rhythm going,” Guadagnino said. “Once you get the rhythm going, and then you get the offensive possessions and the whole game changes.”
The Blue Waves scored twice in the fourth. Their defense held Longwood without a goal for the final 23 minutes.
“We played like a team,” Hubbard said. “We played good defense.”
At this point in the season, every game is crucial for the Blue Waves. They return to action Saturday morning at William Floyd, where Guadagnino used to coach.
The Colonials are 3-6 in Division I.