North Shore rallies for sixth straight win


It took some time for North Shore’s boys’ lacrosse team to learn all the intricacies of a new system under first-year coach John Savage, who likes what he sees from the Vikings more and more every day.

“I’m not a rearview mirror guy and I still think our best game is somewhere in front of us,” Savage said after North Shore’s thrilling 9-8 double overtime win over Plainedge on the first of May. “The kids have done a great job of adjusting to everything and I’m really happy with their progress.”

Junior Luca Korte scored the game-winning goal with 19 seconds left in the second OT as North Shore, which trailed 6-0 midway through the second quarter, upped its winning streak to six games and improved to 8-2 in Conference CD and 9-4 overall. Each of its previous eight victories was by eight goals or more.

“Coach got us juiced with a halftime speech and we chipped away and found a way,” said senior Matthew D’Aversa, who had three goals and two assists including his 50th goal of the season. “We were rushing our offensive sets in the first half and we just needed to settle down.”

D’Aversa continued his torrid scoring pace and ranks second in Nassau County in points with 83 and third in goals. “Watching Matt grow as a player and a leader right in front of my eyes has been awesome,” Savage said. “I couldn’t be more proud of his growth. He’s getting the most attention from opposing defenses and still doing his thing every game. He’s been receptive to instruction and doing a great job feeding when teams try to lock him down.”

Stopping North Shore senior Alex Choi in the faceoff circle has been just as difficult as keeping D’Aversa off the scoresheet. Choi is winning draws at a stunning 84 percent rate, good four fourth-best in the county. “The boat doesn’t row without Alex,” Savage said. “We expected him to have a really big season and he’s delivered. He’s worked hard at his craft for years.”

Senior Sawyer DeSeve (35 goals, 33 assists) and Korte (20, 11) are both thriving in the midfield. Savage said DeSeve, who had four goals against Plainedge, is one of the most athletic kids on the team and is an excellent shooter and feeder, while the hard-nosed Korte “does so much that doesn’t show up in the box score.”

Sophomore Angelo Anobile, who has 17 goals and 18 assists, starts on attack and is developing into a consistent playmaker, Savage said.

The vocal leader and quarterback in the defensive zone is senior Johnny Giert. He and classmate Anthanasios Alafogiannis bring toughness in front of goaltenders Griffin Pinter and Paul Pourakis. Pinter, a junior, has been the anchor in goal stopping 60 percent of shots. Pourakis, a senior, has risen to the occasion when called upon and made 26 saves in two games.

North Shore has outscored opponents by a 167-86 margin. Two of its three losses have been by one goal.