The Commack Boy’s lacrosse team rebounded from a slow start in the first quarter
to tie Smithtown East at five late in the third but it was not enough as the Bulls
pulled away for a 12-5 victory over the Cougars. The loss drops Commack to 1-2 in
league play and 3-2 overall.
After trailing 4-1 after the first quarter the Cougars rallied back to 4-3 just before
halftime behind a pair of goals from Brandon Cook. When Smithtown’s Garry
Watson—who finished the game with four goals and three assists—scored with just
six seconds remaining in the first half to restore the Bulls two goal lead, the Cougars
did not give in.
David Murphy scored off a great individual effort in the third after he dodged and
spun around two defenders to bring the Cougars back within one. Just 12 seconds
later—after Smithtown turned the ball over on an illegal procedure during the face
off—Cook scored his fourth goal of the game to tie it at five.
But Commack was not able to garner any momentum and the mistakes that they
made earlier in the game finally created an avalanche that buried them by the time
the fourth quarter ended.
“The turning point in the entire game was that we couldn’t win a faceoff and we
couldn’t clear the ball consistently,” Head Coach Charlie Rizzuto said after he noted
the team did not win a single face off in the first half. “In the second half our clearing game killed us. There were many times I was trying to get a time out while we were clearing the ball just to save a possession. You can’t do that.”
The result of not winning any face offs and many failed clearing attempts were that
goaltender Billy Sampson was under fire nearly the entire game. He played well,
making numerous point blank stops and finishing the game with 16 saves.
Although his team tied its season low with five goals, Rizzuto was pleased with the
efficiency of his offense. “The offense played well for the possessions we had and the
amount of goals we scored,” he said. “We scored a good percentage of the time but
we played too much defense. We have to clear the ball better.”
When Commack did have the ball Cook did his best to keep his team in the
game. “Brandon Cook is a workhorse for us everyday,” Rizztuo said. “Some of the
goals we scored were things we do offensively that we drew up that’s part of our
game plan. But a couple of those plays were just Brandon Cook being Brandon Cook.
He’s a ball player.”
Cook’s four goals were a season high for him and gave him 12 on the season. He has
also contributed three assists.
Through the strong play of Cook and Sampson the fact remained that Commack is
going to need to be more disciplined as league play rolls on.
“We have to clean up the clearing game,” Rizzuto said. “We have to take better care
of the ball on offense.”
The Cougars will get a chance to improve upon those facets of their game when the
face off against Walt Whitman on April 9.