Deficits have been rare for the Smithtown West boys lacrosse team this year, but dominant scoring performances from Danny Caddigan have been anything but.
The Bulls had to face the former Wednesday afternoon, but a strong effort led by Caddigan ensured they would continue their winning ways.
Caddigan scored five goals to lead Smithtown West to a 10-7 win over visiting West Islip in a Suffolk I boys lacrosse game, improving the Bulls’ league record to 9-0 and moving them into first place. West Islip led 3-0 early in the second quarter, before Caddigan scored three times during a 4-0 run that put Smithtown West ahead for good.
“We had some adversity and we just had to battle through it,” said Caddigan, who now has 48 goals this season, the most for a player on Long Island. “I think in the playoffs when we face adversity, we’re just going to think back to this game and know we’re going to be fine.”
Caddigan’s fifth goal of the game gave Smithtown West (10-1 overall) a 6-4 lead midway through the third quarter and his brother Matt made it 7-4 with 4:14 left in the period. Tyler Shook responded with a goal for West Islip (6-2, 8-2 overall), before Spencer Frank and John Hoffman scored for Smithtown West to close the period.
“We have a lot of middies dodging and they have great eyes,” Caddigan said of the Bulls’ offense. “The ball just seems to find my stick and I just try to my job and bury the ball.”
West Islip’s defense settled back down, helped by 15 saves from Jared Paquette. The visitors then threatened late in the game after Chris Sparks scored with 6:13 left and Ryan Behrens scored his third goal of the game to make the score 9-7 with about four minutes left. That was as close it would get, as after a few stops from goalie Michael Simone (nine saves) and the Smithtown West defense, Hoffman scored again with 1:28 left to put the game away.
“This was a good lesson,” said Conor Calderone, one of the Island’s top faceoff specialists, who went 19-for-21 on faceoffs. “If you come out and beat teams badly every week, you’re not going to learn what it’s like to be down. We showed the kind of heart this team has to be able to fight back.”
Said Caddigan: “We just tried to get back to playing our brand of lacrosse and when we play the way we can play, I don’t think anyone can stop us.”