With "DJ" always on the mind, Massapequa's boys lacrosse team is finding its groove.
The Chiefs jumped out to an early lead Friday and held on to hand Baldwin its first loss of the season, 14-9, at Field of Dreams in Massapequa.
Rob Goeren had three goals and three assists and Ian Lukaszewicz had two goals and four assists for Massapequa, which led 11-4 after three quarters.
Getting out to an early lead was important for Massapequa (6-2, 3-0 Conference I), which has struggled with slow starts.
Said Goeren: "Usually we come out flat. Today we came out and played from when we stepped off the bus."
The win is the third straight for the Chiefs, who have dedicated this season to D.J. Ebbecke, father of Danny Ebbecke, a captain on last season's team. D.J., who was a fixture at Massapequa games, passed away from cancer in February. Before each game the Chiefs scrawl the letters "DJ" on their legs.
"Every time we play he's on our minds," goalie Eric Schneider said. "It makes you realize how short life really is."
Said Goeren: "It was a loss for Massapequa more than anything."
Friday, Massapequa led 5-2 after one quarter and 6-4 at halftime. Goeren and Lukaszewicz connected on two quick goals to start the second half.
Dylan Sheehan had two goals and one assist and Luke Pellizzi and Jamie Shand had two goals each for the Chiefs. Ken Fundus, Brent Lawless, Rob Enright and Steve Roman added one goal each. Fundus and Romano each had an assist.
Troy Dennis had three goals and one assist and Patrick Dillon had three goals to lead Baldwin (7-1, 3-1). Each scored a goal during a 4-0 run in the fourth quarter that made it 12-8 with 3:55 remaining.
"We were probably thinking about not having practice tomorrow," said Schneider, who made 15 saves. "The defense got a little sloppy. I got sloppy. We'll get that worked out."
Goeren scored a wrap-around goal with 1:52 remaining to end the run.
Kyle Rebman had one goal and two assists for Baldwin. Tyler Harper, Max Malinowski, Chris Mertens and Alonzo Holcombe also scored for the Bruins. Austin Valenti had two assists and Brett Dadiego made nine saves. Baldwin will look to start a new winning streak Wednesday against Oceanside.
Massapequa will continue to honor Ebbecke as the season goes on. Danny Ebbecke was supposed to play lacrosse at Cortland this season, but is now home. Friday he was coaching Massapequa's junior varsity team. Schneider said Ebbecke's plan is to head to Cortland in the fall and play football. Said Schneider of Danny: "Unfortunately [his father's death] couldn't have happened to a nicer guy."