Fourth-seeded Hewlett got the early jump on No. 5 MacArthur in Monday’s Nassau Class B boys’ lacrosse quarterfinal with two goals in the opening minute and rode big efforts from Sam Rovner (five goals), Alex Vadaro (one goal, six assists), Rob Levitz (11 faceoff wins) and Ryan May (three goals) to a convincing 11-3 victory.
May, a sophomore, scored 27 seconds into the game and Vardaro found the net 13 seconds later and the Bulldogs (8-7) were off and running to set up a date with top-seeded Manhasset in the semifinals at Hofstra on Thursday at 8 p.m. The Generals, who were coming off a convincing 16-6 first-round win over Herricks a week earlier, finished 6-9.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better start to set the tone,” Hewlett coach Jesse Corben said. “Levitz controlled the faceoff X and we moved the ball great and shot great. We try to play a team offense and get everyone involved. Defensively, we prepared all week to take away their strengths. We beat them a couple of weeks ago [9-5 on May 8] and we know they’ve got some guys who can put the ball in the net.”
Liam McAllister got MacArthur on the board at 2:14, but the Bulldogs answered with a pair from Rovner and one from fellow junior Vincent Morello to lead 5-1 after the first quarter. The latter two goals came 11 seconds apart.
“We didn’t do a good job of getting the ball into the sticks of our offensive guys today,” MacArthur coach John Nessler said. “Hewlett is a ball-control team and put us in a bad spot. It’s tough to gain any momentum when you’re not winning faceoffs and they possess the ball as long as they do.
“We had a great season,” he added. “Last year we were in Conference B2 and ended up making the playoffs as the 12-seed. This year, behind our seniors, we were in the top conference and finished fifth. It’s a result of all the hard work everyone put in.”
Eighth-grader Michael Leo brought the Generals within 5-2 early in the second quarter, but once again the Bulldogs responded. Defender Gavin Adler carried the ball 40 yards and scored unassisted at 4:37, then fellow senior Vardaro assisted on Rovner’s third goal of the half for a 7-2 cushion.
“We watched a lot of film from the first time we played them and we scouted their playoff win over Herricks,” Corben said. “We got to see a lot of their guys be successful against Herricks and we focused on what we needed to do to contain them.”
One of MacArthur’s many senior leaders, AJ Lohmuller, scored 16 seconds into the second half but it was the last time the Generals could solve Hewlett junior goalie Max May, who made 14 saves behind a defense led by Adler, Josh Dana and Matt Weiss. Rovner and Ryan May added two goals apiece down the stretch.
The Bulldogs lost 8-3 at Manhasset on May 11. They allowed only one goal in three of four quarters.