FREEDOM PLAINS – The Arlington High School boys lacrosse team is bracing for a schedule filled with some of the top competition in Section 1.
Still, the Admirals can hope Tuesday’s season-opening 12-2 victory over visiting Putnam Valley is a sign of things to come.
“We’re looking to build on this win, bring it throughout the season and see what we can do,” said midfielder Kevin Litchauer, who scored five goals to lead Arlington. “We want to approach every game just like we did this game.”
Coach Don Connolly described himself as “mellow” after the game — not overly excited, as he understands the season is in its early stages. Despite a rash of injuries last year, Arlington reached the Section 1 Class A semifinals. However, the Admirals lost to Mahopac by six goals.
“This is just one game. We have a tough schedule, a tough league,” Connolly said. “I think we have a very balanced league.”
The players understand that, too. Goalie Jacob Azukas expects his younger teammates to help take the lead this year. While Litchauer is one of seven seniors on the squad and Azukas is one of nine juniors, there are 10 sophomores and a freshman behind them.
“Being that we have a pretty tough schedule and a lot of young players, I think that young talent is going to have to step up and show their actual skill,” Azukas said. “Hopefully we’ll do really well, if we play the same way.”
If Arlington plays with the resiliency it did against Putnam Valley, it will likely have little trouble.
Down 2-0 with 5:49 to play in the first quarter, Litchauer got the Admirals on the board. The goal ignited Arlington on a run of six unanswered goals, and the Admirals took a 6-2 lead at halftime.
It only got better for Arlington from there, as it scored four unanswered goals in the third quarter, and ultimately finished the game on a 12-0 run.
And the Admirals did it with balance on both offense and defense.
Riley Carroll scored two goals and added an assist while Matt Lopez contributed two goals. Matt Hart scored one goal and distributed an assist while Javon Jackson (one goal), Jack Schenker (one goal, two assists) and Mike Genualdo (one assist) chipped in.
Azukas (eight saves) kept the Tigers off the board after the first quarter, and Arlington outdid Putnam Valley on draws, 14-4.
“This is not anything new to us,” Connolly said. “We’ve been handling business pretty well with these power league teams the last four years or five years. I think we’re 5-1 against Putnam Valley since I’ve been here. But more importantly it’s to get that ‘W,’ get in the kids’ head to build their confidence up, that they can compete.”
Arlington (1-0) visits Horace Greeley at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
A.J. Martelli: firstname.lastname@example.org, 845-437-4836, Twitter: @AJM_PoJoSports