East Islip's Drew Walendowski follows the play in the third quarter...

East Islip's Drew Walendowski follows the play in the third quarter during a Suffolk boys lacrosse game against Smithtown East on Friday at East Islip. Credit: Bob Sorensen

Drew Walendowski is always confident in net, but when his offense scores five goals in the first quarter, it gives him quite the boost.

“We got a great group of guys on offense,” Walendowski said. “Knowing that we can possess the ball, spin it around and score, it makes you really confident."

The sophomore goalkeeper made six saves for host East Islip in a 9-8 non-league win over Smithtown East on Friday night.

"Knowing you have a defense that can pressure and take the ball away, it just really makes you confident that you can go through the rest of the game keeping the lead,” Walendowski added.

East Islip (1-0) wasted no time giving their keeper a lead as Ryan Parker (four goals) scored just 45 seconds in. Ethan Benardos and Parker scored to give East Islip a 3-0 lead before the eight-minute mark in the opening quarter.

“You just got to trust your teammates, trust you," Parker said. "And just go to the cage, pass the ball when you need to.”

Along with the early scoring that led to a 7-0 lead at halftime, East Islip’s midfielders won multiple ground balls. It kept Smithtown East’s offense from getting much time on attack.

“All the hustle that we bring,” Parker said on what made the midfield so successful. “Ground balls are one of the biggest parts of the game. Possession is the biggest thing. If you have possession, that’s how you score goals. When you’re scoring goals, the other team can’t keep up.”

Smithtown East came alive in the third quarter, scoring four straight goals. However, East Islip answered with two straight and had a 9-4 lead heading into the final quarter.

The Bulls (0-2) netted four more in the fourth, including two with less than 30 seconds remaining. Cameron James had three goals and two assists and Ryan Rooney (three assists) and Michael Devlin had two goals apiece.

Matt McIntee and Matt Baldino each had one goal and one assist for East Islip, which will begin its Suffolk Division II season on March 29 at Eastport-South Manor.


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