His collarbone was broken, but not his spirit.
Bay Shore junior midfielder Tom Naslonski suffered the injury in August and could not play any lacrosse until December. “I spent the winter in the weight room,” Naslonski said.
He is spending the spring unleashing all that pent-up lacrosse energy. Naslonski, who didn’t play much as a sophomore on varsity, has had a breakout season for the Marauders. It all came together for him last week when Naslonski scored eight goals against Sachem East on April 12 and two days later scored four goals, including the tying and winning tallies, against Northport.
For those achievements, Naslonski is Newsday’s Athlete of the Week. He scored 23 goals in Bay Shore’s first 10 games and has his team making noise as it contends for a playoff spot in always-tough Suffolk I.
That’s why the victory over Northport was particularly big, as that’s one of the teams Bay Shore is battling for a playoff spot. “It was so exciting to win that game for my team,” Naslonski said. “I was really pumped up.”
He tied the score with just 41 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, then made it a sudden victory by scoring with 2:11 left in the first overtime period. “Last year he was a little light. But he’s put on weight and he’s hitting his stride now,” Bay Shore coach Tim Cox said. “He’s pretty slick inside when he catches the ball. He has a great release and can shoot low-to-low or low-to-high, and it’s tough on a goalie when you change direction like that.”
His tying goal against Northport was particularly rewarding because Naslonski used his off hand, something he worked on all summer before his injury. “I dodged from the top and shot it lefty, a bounce shot,” he said. “I’ve been wanting to do that all year.”
In overtime, he was Tommy on the spot. Teammate Will Button came from behind the cage and fed Ryan Scully at the crease, but the ball deflected off Scully’s stick. “I caught it and underhanded a skip shot into the bottom corner,” Naslonski said. “There wasn’t a lot of time to aim. I just put it low.”
Naslonski was hitting from all angles in a 15-6 victory over Sachem East in which he scored his team’s first six goals and assisted on the seventh. “One of the refs came by the bench and kidded me,” Cox related. “He said, ‘Doesn’t anyone else on this team score?’ He’s definitely playing with more confidence. We were counting on him to be on our first midfield, but he’s exceeded expectations. He’s a quiet kid, on and off the field, but he’s growing into it.”
He’s made a breakthrough.