Lynbrook peaking at right time


Playoffs are just a breath away for the Lynbrook boys’ lacrosse team, and while it might be in good shape now, winning its last two contests, the Owls didn’t start out the season so hot.

“We have improved significantly over the course of the season,” said coach Bill Luzzi “We started off a little slow, up and down, we lost some games that we felt like we were in and didn’t perform our best and the group in total has grown a lot, learned from mistakes and we feel like we’re starting to hit our stride as we’re starting to head into our last league game and into playoffs.”

Graduating a bunch of attackers last year created a challenge for the offense because there wasn’t a clear go-to shooter, because this year, everyone gets a slice of the cake. It’s just a different way to run the show, but there’s still an adjustment period.

“We graduated a couple of guys that were heroes on the offense last year,” Luzzi said. “When you take out some big fish, you end up having to rely on all the little fish. We have a lot of very solid players no one majorly standing out.”

The offensive unit was one of the first squads to adjust how it plays and to reap benefits from it including Michael Hendrickson (31 goals), Patrick O’Doherty (12), Jack LaBarbera (16), Luke Dantona (11), Derek Sandorfi (20), Bennett Votano (14), Eddie Stradowski and a bit from Colin Grimes.

LaBarbera had a hat trick and Hendrickson, Dantona and Sandorfi two goals apiece in an 11-8 victory over Floral Park April 30. The win put the Owls over the .500 mark at 9-8 overall.

“Our core offensive unit, consisting of our six starters and one [substitution], have all progressed in the team concept of moving the ball, sharing the ball and creating opportunities to dodge one-on-ones with no backup against defense,” Luzzi explained. “We improved on possessing the ball offensively, being smarter, taking better quality shots, sharing the ball with teammates more.”

Defensively, Lynbrook has been rock solid according to Luzzi.

“The defense, we’ve seen outstanding play by our senior goalie Caiden Lung and we have seen a tremendous step up to the plate in Jack Greenfeld,” coach explained. “Defensively we’ve, little by little, locked things up and learned how to play together as a team.”

The unique thing about Greenfeld was that he was a short stick midfielder last year, but he was put on defense this spring, and has flourished in the back according to Luzzi.

“He had a ‘yes, coach’ mentality when asked if we could put him to long stick and he embraced it, and has been the most coachable on the defensive end,” Luzzi explained. “he learned a tremendous amount and he’s worked his way up to be out number one defender. He’s done a phenomenal job, he’s very tough to run by and very difficult to beat; very shifty picking up groundballs and moving them up the field. He’d been like a rock to our defense.”

As it happens to be, that transition is not a unique one in this program.

“We’ve had it happen almost every year where we convert short sticks to long sticks and they end up excelling and becoming our top defenders,” Luzzi explained. “Happens often.”