By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/14/13
Brendan Donnelly (Comsewogue) scored two goals as Team Long Island defeated Sweetlax (NY), 6-3, today to win the 2014 Division championship at the inaugural NXT Philly Summer Invitational at United Sports.
Meanwhile, in the 2015 final, the host team, NXT 2015 defeated Laker Future (N.J.), 6-4.
In the 2016 championship at nearby Downingtown High School. Laxachusetts claimed a 7-3 win over the New Hampshire Tomahawks Also, Team 91 (NY) won the 2017 crown with a 7-5 win over CT Chargers.
Team Long Island struggled last week at the National Invitational Best of the Best Team Showcase in Uniondale, N.Y. But this weekend the team made a “pact” according to co-coach Mike Gongas.
“We didn’t play as a team last weekend we made a pact we were going to work hard this week to play as a team,” he said. “So we put it together and for stronger and better and did the right things to win the tournament.”
Sweetlax scored first, but Team Long Island tallied the next five goals. Liam Walsh (Miller Place), Tyler O’Brien (Chagrin Falls, Ohio), Jake Buonaiuto (Miller Place) and Nick Annitto (St. John the Baptist) each scored once.
Still, it was the Team Long Island defense and goaltending, along with standout face-off work by rising sophomore Gerard Arceri (Smithtown East), that did not go unnoticed.
“It was a team effort,” said defenseman and Albany commit Troy Reh (Rocky Point). “We were sliding and we all had each other’s back.
“We wanted to win the whole thing and we played as well as we can play. Last week we had a hiccup and didn’t do so well. Today everything was clicking.”
The Team Long Island goaltenders included Patrick Dallon (Rocky Point, St. Joseph’s University commit) and freshman Jake McGregor (Comsewogue). The defense featured Reh, Ryan Baker, Anthony Cesario, Andrew Seheres and defensive middies Brendan McGovern and Thomas Liantonio.
Gangas also praised the work of Arceri.
“We pride ourselves on our defense to win games and the other part was our face-off kid,” he said. “He just turned 15 and he’s a 2016 kid playing in a 2014 division. When you have someone like that getting possession after possession it’s lights out.”