September 17, 2013 | 727 views
Veteran defense leads Baldwin
Baldwin picked up its first point of the season, in an always important Conference AA-II battle, tying East Meadow, 2-2, on Sept. 12. Led by a veteran defense, the Bruins limited the Jets to just seven shots on senior goaltender Sarbdev Singh, and East Meadow’s top scorer, Billy Walsh, a returning All-County Honorable Mention honoree with 14 goals last season, was held to just one score.
Running a three-flat defensive alignment and sending out junior outside backer Jeremy Hui to cover Walsh man-to-man proved effective for Baldwin, which previously dropped a 3-1 decision to South Side in the season opener. “We have a very solid defense,” Bruins coach Mike Palumbo said. “They’re very smart and strong enough that I can be flexible.”
Normally an outside backer on the left side when the Bruins run their four-flat alignment, Hui is joined by senior Malik White, whose only gear is fast, on the right. Senior Andy Baez is locked in as the stopper, though he will be quick to help the transition to offense with his on-the-ball skills. Sophomore Carlos Padilla, a first-year varsity player, has stepped into the starting lineup as the sweeper, and senior Josh Marin also figures into the mix for playing time.
The veterans are the anchors of a defense that featured a two-way battle for the starting goalie job between Singh — a three-year varsity player and backup for the last two seasons — and junior Jake Sabie, a former center midfielder transitioning to the position. Junior Matthew Dwyer has the size (6-3, 190 pounds) and potential and continues to develop his skills.
The engine for the offense could be captain Peter Rafferty, a big-footed senior slated to handle penalty kicks and free kicks on top of his normal duties as the go-to offensive weapon. After battling injuries the last two seasons, Rafferty returns to the frontline along with sophomore Isiah Welsh, a second-year varsity player. “He knows how to make runs and where to make runs and he’s got good foot skills,” Palumbo said. “He’s in the top five I’ve ever coached in penalty kicks. His shots are rockets.”