Following Yesterday’s prime time matchup between Hills East and Ward Melville it is safe to say that Hills East is most definitely legit. In a triple OT thriller that contained back and forth action with great goalie play and tons of physicality. Even the fans were going crazy, at one point it looked as if the parents of Hills East wanted to get into a little skirmish with the Ward Melville high school kids. I guess that’s what happens when two big-time schools face-off for the game of the week, tempers begin to flare.
After just barely getting by Hills East, Ward Melville managed to remain a perfect 12-0 in conference. Sophomore Dylan Pallonetti, UMass Commit, scored 4 goals showing excellent skills, great awareness, and an incredible lefty shot. Pallonetti has a tremendous lax IQ and is one of the Patriots threats on the offensive side of the ball. Another stud on the offensive side of the ball for the Patriots yesterday was two-way middie Eddie Munoz who netted 3 goals including the game winner in triple OT. Munoz is a strong tough middie that also possesses great stick skills and has a knack for the back of the net. Stony Brook might just have a superstar coming there way next year. On top of all that Perry Cassidy was outstanding in goal with 11 saves including a couple in OT to keep the Patriots alive along with Andrew Mckenna (Navy Commit) who played great lockdown defense of East’s best player, Sean Lulley.
Overall the Patriots proved why they are one of the top public school programs in the nation as they were able to handle the adversity of being in a back and forth game with a school in Hills East that was very underrated. The Patriots loved to possess the ball on offense and stick to their game plan of Pass, Pass, Dodge to break down the stellar Hills East defense. On defense the Patriots were compact and smart with their sticks and timing their checks, leading to a bunch of caused TOs. Ultimately, their style of play allowed them to be successful even in this tough grudge match type of game.
Hills East, on the other hand, proved to be a force to be reckoned with even though they couldn’t capture the win. Coming into this game no one believed Hills East even had a shot at competing with a powerhouse like Ward Melville, never less take them into a triple OT thriller. But Hills East did just that, their defense was absolutely outstanding. They looked like lions stalking their prey as they were causing TOs left and right and grabbed every ground ball in site. Led by Junior Mike Gomez who is a BEAST. This kid almost single-handedly won the game for East, you name it he does it, faceoff, get GBs, lock down the oppositions best player, and even score goals. Yes, this kid can score, in yesterday’s matchup Gomez netted 3 goals, two coming straight off faceoff wins. On defense he was just as good, picking up GBs like it was nothing and sticking to kids like clue when he was matching up. Johns Hopkins might just get one of the best defensemen in the County in the next year.
On the offensive side of ball, Sean Lulley was the main threat. The UPenn Commit has great skills and confidence along with a great physical frame. Netting two goals in yesterday’s loss he showed off his aggressive style of play and willingness to dodge hard at the cage and even take some big hits. Hills East proved to everyone that this team has the making to go all the way this year. This year’s Cinderella squad is definitely Hills East so stay tuned because we are in for one crazy last month of lacrosse.