Shoreham-Wading River found treasure in its Island X offensive alignment on Thursday.
The Wildcats, utilizing a ball-movement attack that often went through freshman Xavier Arline stationed on an angle just off the crease, defeated host Bayport-Blue Point, 12-7, in a Suffolk II game played on the Phantoms’ new turf field.
While most offenses run through an attack at “X” — behind the cage — or through a midfielder at the top of the slot, SWR put in a wrinkle to make use of its athleticism. “We call it Island X and Xavier did a good job off the island,” coach Mike Taylor said. “It makes it hard for the goalie to cover the crease.”
Arline, who already has committed to North Carolina, had two goals and four assists, and senior Chris Gray raised his Long Island-leading goal total to 34 with four tallies, plus two assists.
“Our chemistry is there. We talk to each other all the time about angles,” Arline said. “Since they were in a zone, the best way to beat it was to move the ball fast.”
Arline and Gray, who has committed to Boston University, were in synch early, with Gray scoring the first goal and assisting on the next two by Arline. Gray had two more in the third quarter as SWR built a 12-5 lead. Sean Halpin added three goals and two assists and Kevin Cutinella had a goal and three assists for the Wildcats (6-2). Jack Ringer rang up six unassisted goals for Bayport-Blue Point (3-4).
“This was better ball movement than we’ve had in a long time,” Taylor said. “In our offense, I’m big on stressing that the goal is to get an assist. Stopping one kid is easy. Stopping a whole team is hard.
The Phantoms found that out as they were outshot 42-15 and the winning margin would’ve been much greater if not for goalie Derek Strine’s 17 saves.
“You have to be patient and move the ball, especially against a zone,” said Gray, an All-Long Island football player for the three-time Long Island champions. “We’re not about who scores the goals. We have a team of unselfish players.”