Uniondale completes busy stretch


Uniondale’s boys’ lacrosse program completed a busy weeklong stretch Monday morning with a 12-5 non-league defeat at Malverne/East Rockaway.

It was the fourth game in six days for the Knights, who also scrimmaged Great Neck South as coach Hugo Charles worked on sharpening fundamentals and building chemistry.

“We have a lot of kids who have reinvented themselves and contributing in areas of the field that’s not their natural positions,” Charles said. “We have some seniors with experience and some seniors playing for the first time in a long time. Our junior class is big and we have six underclassmen which is a very high number for us.”

After celebrating just one victory in 2023, Uniondale is already in the win column twice. It traveled to Suffolk County April 11 and defeated the Stony Brook School, 10-4, behind four goals from sophomore Adrian Ayala and two apiece from senior Ikenna Okoye and junior Oneil Webb Jr.  

“It was a really good game for confidence,” Charles said. “We started strong and led 3-0. They came back to tie it 3-3, but then we battled back. We held them to one goal in the second half.”

Senior Tristan Greenwood added a goal and won 9 of 14 faceoffs, and sophomore Andy Sorto also found the back of the net. Senior goaltender Dennis Argueta made 7 saves.

“Dennis started four games last year and was the JV starter for two years before that,” Charles said of Argueta. “He’s faced a lot of shots. His save percentage has been pretty good, but we have to do a better job of limiting how many shots he sees. His vision and clearing game have improved and he’s not allowing too many rebounds.”

A vital piece to the defense in front of Argueta is long pole Micheley Aurelien, a senior who typically gets the toughest assignment. “He’s one of our best groundball guys and plays a physical game,” Charles noted. Senior Jesus Torres plays an important role on defense, which also features seniors Jonmar Diaz and Dameek Hortan.

Ayala and Greenwood hardly come off the field and are key two-way contributors. Greenwood started the season on fire in the faceoff X, winning better than 60 percent, but has faced some topnotch opponents in recent weeks. Both, along with Torres, bring important leadership to a young core, Charles said.

Ayala, who scored once against Malverne/East Rockaway, brings crafty stickwork and leads the team in goals so far with 10 in 10 games. Greenwood found the back of the net twice in Monday’s loss which saw the Rockin Mules’ Christian Page score five times.

Okoye is a natural left attacker who moves to midfield on occasion. He was joined up front by Ortega and Webb Jr., both of whom made the jump from JV. Senior DJ Alfred is also chipping in offensively.

The Knights have five games remaining, two at home (East Meadow on May 4 at 3 p.m., and Valley Stream District in the finale May 9 at 5 p.m.)