Seeded second in Nassau Conference B-II boys’ lacrosse, Lynbrook enjoyed a fast start to 2014 with wins in each of its first three non-conference games out of the gate.
The Owls, who concluded last season with a loss to Long Beach in the quarterfinal round of the Class B playoffs, prepped for the opening of the conference schedule this week with victories over MacArthur, Oceanside and Farmingdale.
“We have work to do, but we’re more experienced in key spots on offense and have some young talent on defense,” Lynbrook coach Bill Leighley said. “We always play a lot of kids and want to be playing our best come playoff time.”
Despite blustery conditions in March, the Owls were hot. Their starting attack of Gordon Purdie (four), Joe Grossi (three) and Austin Fabel combined for eight goals against Farmingdale, six against Oceanside, and five against MacArthur. “All three can create from behind the cage,” Leighley said.
Grossi, a senior bound for Binghamton, has moved to attack after spending the past two seasons in the midfield. “We’re experimenting with him,” Leighley said. “Joe’s got a motor that never slows down. He puts constant pressure on the cage.”
Purdie, a junior, also earned All-County recognition in 2013 after scoring 30 goals and dishing out 12 assists. “Gordon’s a talented lacrosse player and he got better and better as last year went on,” Leighley said. “He’s starting to light it up this year already.”
Fabel, a first-year starter, brings blazing speed to the front line. Senior Frankey Cavassa and sophomore Zach LoCicero, who picked up his first varsity goal against Farmingdale, will also contribute on attack.
There’s no shortage of midfield depth, Leighley said, led by senior three-year starter Michael McVeigh and junior Owen Daly, an Honorable Mention All-County performer. McVeigh is a leader and smooth distributor who gets the Owls moving in transition, Leighley said. He had two goals and one assist in the win over MacArthur. Daly, who takes the majority of faceoffs and is a physical presence, is being asked to take a little pressure off the attack by getting more involved in the offense. Junior Michael Toy steps into a bigger role after getting his feet wet last spring, and a host of others including seniors Harrison Conn and Joe LaBarbera, junior Mike Traumiller, and sophomore Joey Virgona, will be part of the regular rotation.
Defensively, it all starts with junior Eddie Bouhall. “He’s the complete package,” Leighley said of the All-County honoree. “He can lock on anyone we ask him to and isn’t afraid to scoop and ground ball and take it to the other end.” Other keys to the defense are senior Jake Handel, junior Stephen Rossetti, and sophomores Zach Barrett and Quentin Herrmann.
In goal, junior Brendan McDougal started and played well in each of the first three games, Leighley said. “He’s a fantastic athlete who makes a lot of plays outside of the cage,” he noted. Sophomore JD Gebbia, the JV starter in 2013, is another quality netminder.