Longwood midfield Alexa Preston stick handles away from three Patchogue-Medford...

Longwood midfield Alexa Preston stick handles away from three Patchogue-Medford defenders in a Suffolk Division I lacrosse game, Tuesday, April 5, 2022 at Patchogue. Credit: George A Faella

The Longwood girls lacrosse team consistently has finished around even in the win/loss column each of the last four seasons. But this year with the right combination of experience, youth and playmakers all over the field, the Lions are looking to prove they are more than just an average team.

Longwood demonstrated that in its 11-3 victory over host Patchogue-Medford in Suffolk Division I Tuesday.

“We feel like we are a lot better than other people give us credit for,” coach Randall Grossman said. “And I think a game like this shows that today.”

The Lions (3-3) dominated from the opening whistle, scoring two goals in the opening four minutes and taking a 6-1 lead into halftime. They scored the first four goals of the second half, taking a 10-1 lead with 15:41 left in the game.

“This is a confidence booster because it shows us we definitely aren’t a lower-end team,” Grossman said. “We believe we are in the top end of the middle pack and I think coming out here and dominating today kind of gives us that boost.”

Longwood utilized a group scoring effort – as it does the majority of contests. Ava Franco had three goals and three assists and Alexa Preston had three goals and two assists. Rebecca Reinhard and Ava Rivera each added two goals and two assists.

“We are a team offense,” Preston said. “We work together and we don’t really go for 1-on-1s. We like to share the wealth around here.”

The Longwood defense, led by Taydra Simpson and Arianna Tribble, rarely provided Patchogue-Medford quality scoring chances. Abigail Warner had six saves to stonewall those few opportunities.

“I can’t stress enough how much our defense has grown over the last few years,” said Madison Ratchford, a midfielder who added a goal. “We have such chemistry … I know if I go out to a ball and get beat, they are going to have my back. It’s all a trust thing.”

Mackenzie Carita had two goals and an assist for Patchogue-Medford (0-4).

Ten of Longwood’s 11 goals came off assists – executing the game plan the coaching staff was looking for with ball movement.

“I’d say 85 to 90% of our goals are assisted,” Grossman said. “We don’t try to force it, we look for the open girl and the extra pass and they understand what it’s like playing as a team.”

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