Throughout the season, much of West Islip’s offense has rolled through the sticks of attackmen Brendan Smith and Tom Moore.
But Tuesday, the Lions offense came from a few other sources as the eight-time defending Suffolk County Class A champions defeated Northport 9-3 at West Islip High School.
Yale-bound midfielder Jon Reese had three of West Islip’s four goals and Anthony DeLuca (C.W. Post) had four points (1G, 3A) to move the top-seeded Lions into the county semi-finals Friday at home against No. 4 Sachem North.
“It’s one of the nice things about this team; we have a lot of depth,” said Reese. “We have a first (midfield) line that can attack and DeLuca can also attack from behind the cage.”
Tuesday’s game early on appeared headed for a blowout as West Islip came out flying when early back-to-back goals by Reese and a post-ringer by junior midfielder Nick Aponte put the Lions up 3-0.
But Northport, backed by the strong play of goalie Tom Troiano (11 saves), kept the game close. The No. 8 Tigers (11-7) got first half goals by Sean Gilroy to cut West Islip’s lead to 4-2 with 9:50 remaining in the second quarter. A late goal by Brendan Smith gave West Islip a 5-2 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, West Islip took control of the game and while outscoring the Tigers only 3-1, maintained possession and gave Northport few quality looks at the goal.
When the Tigers offense was able to muster shots, Brown-bound West Islip goalie Jack Kelly (10 saves) was there to keep Northport from mounting a comeback.
Overall, West Islip head coach Scott Craig was pleased with his team’s effort.
“We had a lot of opportunities that we did not convert,” he said. “Their slide tied up Tommy (Moore) four times on the door step and their goalie stuffed DeLuca on a close-in chance.”
Up next for West Islip is Sachem North, who the Lions defeated on April 11.
Craig’s message to his team about Friday’s game is simple, “That game was way, way back. They are on a nice run, have won some tight games and will come in loose. It’s going to be a tough game.”1 2 3 4 F Northport 1 1 1 0 3 West Islip 3 2 3 1 9