All one has to do is look at the youth sprinkled throughout the Shoreham-Wading River High School boys lacrosse team’s roster to see that the Wildcats have a bright future ahead of them. And their present isn’t that bad, either.
A player who will play a big part in SWR’s future, both immediate and long term, made quite an imprint in the biggest game of his high school career Wednesday. Alec Gregorek, an eighth-grade attack, got SWR on the right path with three first-half goals and finished with four goals and two assists in a 13-6 defeat of Rye in a New York State Class C semifinal at Adelphi University’s Motamed Field.
With the victory, SWR (17-3) advances to its first state final since 2012. The Wildcats will play Jamesville-DeWitt for the state championship Saturday at St. John Fisher College in Rochester at 3 p.m. Jamesville-DeWitt won its semifinal Wednesday, 18-4, over East Aurora.
That 2012 SWR team won the program’s third state championship, to go with New York titles in 2002 and 2007.
The fact that this year’s Wildcats have advanced this far speaks volumes about the talent on hand. Of course there are well-established players like standout Xavier Arline, Dominick Visintin and Jake Meeker, but the Wildcats, who have only five seniors, have also benefitted from the contributions of younger players.
It always helps to have a helping hand or, in the case of a lacrosse player, a helping stick.
Johnny Schwarz, a sophomore midfielder, provided that stick, assisting on SWR’s first three goals. He later added two goals.
In SWR’s Long Island final triumph over Cold Spring Harbor, it was Gavin Gregorek who was the star of the day and the game’s MVP, but this time it was his younger brother stepping into the spotlight. Alec Gregorek netted the game’s first two goals to get SWR off to a good start. The Wildcats never trailed.
Alec Gregorek’s third goal made it 6-3 by halftime and his fourth expanded the lead to 8-4. That was part of a 4-0 SWR run that gave the Wildcats an 10-4 cushion.
SWR wore Rye (16-5) down. After Rye’s Liam Hurley scored, SWR ran off the next three goals for a 13-5 advantage.
Gavin Gregorek didn’t have a bad game himself. Not only did he pick up two goals and an assist, but he also won 12 of 18 faceoffs and collected nine ground balls. Visintin had two goals and one assist as well.
Arline, John Erb and Tyler Schwarz also scored for SWR. Schwarz and Jake Wilson, who was presented with a sportsmanship award after the game, each caused four turnovers. Liam Daly made two saves.
Rye’s Owen Kovacs scored four goals and Sam Poole added a goal and two assists for the Garnets, who received seven saves from Emmet Carroll.
Top photo caption: Alec Gregorek of Shoreham-Wading River prepares to take a shot. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)
— NYSPHSAA (@NYSPHSAA) June 5, 2019