Manhasset’s goal this week in practice was for the defense to get out on the Lynbrook attackers’ hands. Their execution was nearly flawless.
Manhasset rode its lockdown defense to an impressive 10-3 win over Lynbrook at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium Wednesday in a Nassau Class B boys lacrosse semifinal, and the duo of Chris Battaglia and Tommy Clejan were the principal cause of Lynbrook’s troubles.
“Those guys standing over there, they played great,” said junior Kevin Mack, pointing to Battaglia and Clejan. “They worked hard all week in practice, and they were on everyone’s hands today.”
The senior tandem helped the Manhasset jump out to a 6-0 advantage before the break.
Their slides were crisp, their communication was strong and their pressures were both well-timed and well-executed. As a result, Lynbrook struggled to find an inch of breathing room.
“I think we really put the pressure on them,” Clejan said. “We had a lot of forced turnovers.”
Battaglia added that Manhasset (15-3) was able to play fast.
“Today the offense really wasn’t slinging the ball around fast, and we were faster than them,” he said. “We kept pressure on them the whole time.”
Lynbrook (14-4) came out strong in the third, scoring the period’s first two goals on strikes from Zach LoCicero and Matt Renz. But Manhasset responded with three straight after its defense forced turnovers.
Matt Gavin scored an unassisted goal, which Mack followed with his third of the game. Then Gavin tallied another off an assist from Steven Schneider, making the score 9-2.
Both sides traded goals midway through the fourth.
“They just played with a purpose today,” coach Bill Cherry said of his defense. “They wanted to get back to the county championship game.”
Manhasset will play in the Nassau B final at Hofstra at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday against Thursday night’s Garden City-South Side winner.