The combination of a soft spot in the zone about 12 feet to the right of the cage and the hard shot of Port Washington's John Crawley achieved the desired effect: plenty of heat, plenty of goals.
"That was the hot spot against the zone and we found it," Crawley said after scoring four goals and adding an assist to lead No. 3 seed Port Washington to an 11-2 victory over No. 6 Plainview JFK Wednesday night in a Nassau boys lacrosse Class A quarterfinal at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium.
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The first two of Crawley's tallies came from the spot that coach Tom Rooney called "an area to attack'' after looking at tape of an early season meeting also won by Port Washington.
"The first time, we solved it late in the game," Rooney said. "Sometimes when teams play a zone, you're not as aggressive as you should be. Tonight we were aggressive early."
Crawley ripped one home on a low-to-high blast with 8:23 left in the first quarter and, 33 seconds later, he took a pass from Joey Froccaro and repeated the process. Luke Cummings scored from the same area and the same angle with 3:14 left and Crawley capped a dominant first quarter for the Vikings (12-5) with a dazzling dash nearly the length of the field for an unassisted goal that made it 4-0. Plainview JFK (9-7) never recovered.
"We have so many weapons," said Crawley, who scored the game's final goal on a blast from the left side of the net. "Last year we had one of the best players in the country, Jake Froccaro . This year we are deeper and we find opportunities for everyone."
Froccaro's brother Joey, a sophomore who hopes to play with his brother in college, played a key role Wednesday night, winning 12 of 16 faceoffs. He also had a goal and an assist. Daniel Grossman added two goals.
"Joey's not your average sophomore," Rooney said. "When he wins those draws, it helps control the pace of the game."
Crawley, a senior, said Froccaro "was the biggest thing in every one of our wins. Once we have possession, we have such good ball movement that we can dissect a defense."
The Vikings are hard to beat when they find those soft spots.