WEST POINT – Each time he got a running start on a ground ball or hauled in a looping outlet from a teammate, Jose Boyer showed off the legs.
It’s part of the game plan.
Yorktown has an entire cast of shifty characters with long poles who go from defense to offense without hesitation. They created a number of scoring chances Saturday, helping the Huskers post a 9-3 win over Cathedral Catholic in the season-opener at Shea Stadium.
“Our defense is very athletic,” junior attackman Justin Cavallo said. “They can beat guys, and that leaves us open to score.”
He took full advantage, scoring three goals.
Yorktown graduated the bulk of its scoring and is relying on Cavallo and Kyle Casey to provide the offense early on.
“We like to push the ball,” Huskers coach Dave Marr said. “Our poles are very skilled with the ball and they have an offensive mindset. We only have the two guys with any real experience right now, so that will sometimes be the best chance we have to score.”
Casey was the playmaker in the early going, setting up Cavallo and Hunter Embury in the first six minutes. It was 4-0 when the first quarter came to a close. A buzzing defense overwhelmed the Dons, who left the warmth of San Diego to get a taste of lacrosse on this coast.
Yorktown goalie Liam Donnelly was not challenged often, but he was making impressive stops when Cathedral Catholic did get a good look.
Another goal by Cavallo made it a 5-0 lead at the half, and the concerns were few. There were some pass-and-catch issues. It’s an issue that likely had more to do with the early opening date and the absence of two midfielders who are dealing with illness and injury.
“It’s a new bunch, and they are talented,” Marr said. “They can pass and catch. When you look at today, it looked like they couldn’t, but I promise you, they can.”
Player of the game: Cavallo is a lethal finisher even when he’s forcing the issue, spinning through a double team. Getting a couple of early goals helped the Huskers settle down.
“It’s ridiculous,” Donnelly said of his fellow captain. “He can score on any play, at any time, with anyone on him.”
Turning point: The Dons probably should’ve gotten a few goals back in the second and third quarters, but Donnelly kept raising the level of frustration by making timely stops. The fifth-year varsity netminder finished with 10 saves.
Stat line: Casey finished with a goal and three assists. … Hunter Embury had two goals and one assist for Yorktown and Jamison Embury had one goal and one assist. … Steven Veteri and Nick Sanferdino also scored for the Huskers. … Ryan Fazio had two goals for Cathedral Catholic, which is heading to Pennsylvania to face Haverford and Germantown.
Quotable: “It’s amazing to play a team from San Diego,” Marr said. “When I was growing up, playing a team from Pennsylvania was out of the ordinary, so this is pretty awesome.”