Jack Bruckner, Christian Mazzone score 4 goals each to boost Patriots
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From his spot between the pipes, with the play unfolding before him, Ward Melville goalie Daniel Nemirov had an excellent view of just how dominant the Patriots were Monday. "They made life a lot easier for me,'' Nemirov said.
Nemirov's offense dominated time of possession and his defense prevented any running of the Bulls as host Ward Melville crushed Smithtown West, 13-4, in a battle of Suffolk League I powers who had entered the game undefeated.
"They came in and beat us here the last two years,'' said Nemirov, who made 11 saves. "We were very motivated.''
A crowd of more than 700, many of them standing along the fence that surrounds the field, was thrilled to see yet another offensive show by the Patriots (7-0, 5-0 league), who average 15 goals. They built a 7-1 halftime lead and closed out the game by scoring the last four goals.
Jack Bruckner and Christian Mazzone, close friends since the fifth grade who will go their separate ways in college, scored four goals each and Danny Bucaro and Brendan Hegarty added two each.
"All our guys can beat all their guys on dodges,'' said the Rutgers-bound Mazzone, who opened the scoring in the first minute. "When we get going like that, it's like no one can stop us.''
Bruckner, one of the top midfielders in the nation and headed to Duke, said the Patriots had a solid game plan.
"We were well-prepared. Our offense knew what their defense was doing,'' Bruckner said. "When I drew the slide, Christian was open. When Christian drew the slide, I was open.''
The Patriots' defense did not allow the Bulls to find any openings. Ryan Keenan of Smithtown West (7-1, 5-1), the No. 2 scorer on Long Island, was held scoreless, thanks to the defensive work of Daniel Decker and company.
"We kept the pressure on and concentrated on containing Keenan,'' said Decker, who joined the offensive party with a nice clear that resulted in him finding Bruckner open on the wing for a man-down goal in the third quarter.
"I picked off a pass and ran down the field. I saw Jack open at the last minute,'' Decker said. "When he scored, I just ran over and gave him a big hug.''
There was a lot of that going around for the Patriots Monday.