East Islip starts the party after winning the Suffolk Class...

East Islip starts the party after winning the Suffolk Class B final against Smithtown West on Thursday, May 23, 2024. Credit: Bob Sorensen

To see the East Islip boys lacrosse team operate in transition is to behold a thing of beauty. The midfielders are speedy athletes with great field vision and crisp passing abilities. And though the whole team is moving fast, the players really execute at a high level.

Smithtown West had the misfortune of catching more than eyeful of East Islip’s fast-paced creativity on Thursday evening.

East Islip scored the game’s first nine goals and rolled to a 12-5 Suffolk Class B boys lacrosse championship game victory over the Bulls at Longwood. It is East Islip’s first county title in the sport.

“This team lost in the championship game a year ago (to West Islip) and it has been on a mission to win this ever since,” EI coach Tom Zummo said. “We really wanted to play fast and that’s exactly what we did.”

“It was hard watching West Islip celebrate last year because we’d thought we were the better team all season,” Matthew Baldino said. “We’ve been thinking about playing in this game and winning it every day since then.”

Added Matthew McIntee, “For the seniors its been four years of talking about the big stage and the (bright) lights. Everyone on this team — and all our coaches — believed this was something we’d do.”

East Islip will face the winner of Friday’s Nassau Class B title game between South Side and Manhasset for the Long Island crown next Wednesday at Longwood.

The offensive tour de force included three goals apiece by Ryan Parker and Baldino and two goals each by McIntee and Ethan Bernandos. Jack Kalinkowski had three assists and goalie Drew Walendowski made 14 saves for East Islip.

John Savino scored three goals for Smithtown West (15-3).

East Islip scored four times in the first quarter and five times in the second for a 9-0 halftime lead. The strangest part of the first quarter was that Smithtown West was actually executing its game plan of riding the exceptional faceoff abilities of Necco Cottage to get possessions. The issue was that any time EI got a turnover it struck rattlesnake fast.

“We use our speed to our advantage,” Parker said. “Transition is the easiest way to way to score goals.”

Cottage won all five first-quarter faceoffs, but Smithtown West didn’t capitalize on any of them. East Islip’s Charlie Kalinowski won all five second-quarter faceoffs and EI converted on all of them.

“The turnovers hurt us and we didn’t want to fall into a hole,” Bulls coach Matt Schultz said. “We were a little inexperienced in the moment. Hats off to East Islip — they played a phenomenal game.”

East Islip now finds itself in uncharted territory. It is one win away from a Long Island crown but also three wins from a state championship.

“Look at all the people who came out to support us,” McIntee said, gesturing toward the considerable turnout of spectators in red and white. “This is a community that wants us to take things to the next level.”


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