When Ian Laviano was a youngster, baseball was his game. “When I was in kindergarten and first grade, T-ball was too easy so I had my dad pitch to me in the backyard,” he said. “I was still good at it, but I discovered lacrosse and switched sports.”
That decision was a home run for Laviano and Cold Spring Harbor. Laviano accepted a scholarship offer from Virginia as a ninth-grader and has been a key player on the Seahawks’ back-to-back state Class C championship teams. Now a senior, the slick attack continues to lead the way for the only undefeated boys lacrosse team on Long Island.
Laviano scored four goals and added five assists as Cold Spring Harbor blitzed host North Shore, 14-3, Saturday in a Nassau CD-I game. The Seahawks, who have defeated Class A powers Syosset and Smithtown West and Class B contender South Side in non-league games, are 10-0 overall, 4-0 in league and riding a 17-game winning streak going back to last season. North Shore fell to 8-2, 2-2.
“Today we played with energy,” CSH coach Dennis Bonn said. “When we do that, we’re a special team.”
Laviano is one of three special offensive talents that make a state three-peat a distinct possibility. Laviano is second in Nassau in goals (34) and points (53). Senior midfielder Matt Licciardi had three assists and leads Nassau with 37 assists. Senior midfielder Taylor Strough had two goals and leads the county with 35 goals.
“It’s so much fun to play with those guys,” Laviano said.
The fun comes from a flashy offense that averages 12.4 goals per game and shares the wealth. Will Reed contributed three goals and Macoy Marion had two. The Seahawks scored the first four goals, and the last eight.
“Ian is a special player who makes everyone else better,” Bonn said. “The defense is always worried about those three guys.”
Laviano operated mostly from behind the cage and delivered several pinpoint passes into tight windows in front of the net for goals. “He’s got unbelievable hands,” Bonn said. “He’s quick, he catches everyone and can shoot from any angle.”
He scored from in front, from the side of the crease, from a sharp angle and from the slot against North Shore, which had opened the season with eight straight victories. “And for a guy who handles the ball so much, he commits very few turnovers,” Bonn said. Laviano turned it over only twice Saturday.
He should thrive in Virginia’s high-speed offense under new coach Lars Tiffany because of those stick skills, but also extraordinary vision. “That’s what’s improved most about my game — seeing the field,” Laviano said. “The more you see and the better you get.”
That’s true of his longtime buddies, too. “Strough is a shooter. Licciardi gets the assists. I like to do a little of both,” he said. “When we’re playing our game, it’s beautiful lacrosse.”
Licciardi to Laviano to Strough, or any combination, you could say the ball is moving around the horn.