Lynbrook's defense, led by Lehigh-bound Eddie Bouhall, sparkled Friday night, which was hardly surprising.
"Eddie is a diamond," Owls coach Bill Leighley said after a 10-3 victory over Wantagh at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium advanced Lynbrook into Wednesday's Nassau Class B semifinal against South Side. "He's a superstar. We can match him up on the other team's best player and know he'll shut him down. And he's so good on ground balls."
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Lynbrook was oh-so-good in all aspects Friday night in improving to 17-0.
Zach LoCicero scored four goals. Ryan Candel and Gordie Purdie scored two goals apiece. Owen Daly scored a goal with two assists and dominated on faceoffs. Goalie Brendan McDougal made 11 saves. "Our defense has 100 percent trust in our offense, and vice versa," Bouhall said. "If we shut the other team down we know the offense will eventually kick in."
It kicked in early against the Warriors (11-6), who totaled 31 goals in the previous two games. Defenseman Quintin Herrmann scooped up a loose ball and scored in the first minute; LoCicero converted a backhander in the third minute and LoCicero took a feed from Daly to make it 3-0 halfway through the first quarter. Wantagh had few scoring opportunities and a tone was set.
"We were moving the ball," LoCicero said. "It's pretty easy when you've got guys like Purdie and Daly with you on offense and guys like Eddie on defense. You know they have your back. When the defense is playing like it did, there's no pressure on the offense."
Leighley called having Bouhall & Co.'s lockdown defense "a real comfortable feeling. There's no fear when the ball is in our defensive end. They're experienced and they trust each other."
That's true of the potent offense as well. When Wantagh's Dylan Beckwith scored to cut the deficit to 6-2 with 7:36 left in the fourth, the Owls' offense wised up. It dazzled with four goals in 1:24: Purdie on a feed from Daly; Candel with a strong dodge from behind the cage; Purdie again with fancy stickwork in front; and Daly solo after his own faceoff win.
"We focus on the brotherhood and we just pick each other up," Bouhall said.
And the Owls, the defending Long Island champions, seem to love playing night games at Shuart. "I was in a groove. It must be the Hofstra lights," LoCicero said.
It was the Lynbrook players that glittered the most.