On May 15, Harrison and Eastchester squared off for what would be the final regular season contest for both teams, hoping to get four more quarters of lacrosse in the books before severe winds and thunderstorms rolled in late in the afternoon. Although the inclement weather would eventually conspire to cut the contest short, the quick strike offense of the Huskies was enough to earn them one last win as the visitors topped the Eagles 8-1 to head into the playoffs with some much-needed momentum.
Play was initially stopped early in the second quarter, and with Harrison leading by seven goals, both teams decided to cut their losses, make the game official, and set their sights on the postseason challenges ahead.
“We talked about it with the Eastchester coaches, we both kind of saw the outcome, and we agreed that we didn’t want to have to come back and play the rest of the game on Wednesday,” Harrison coach Matt Cipolla said. “We knew we were both going to make the playoffs, so we figured it was best to move on and get ready for that.”
With stormy weather in the forecast, Cipolla said he spoke with his team prior to the game and stressed the importance of a quick start.
“I told the captains… we needed to put up as many points as we can so we don’t have to come back,” he said. “And we just went out and executed the game plan.”
Harrison’s points stemmed from its dominance in the faceoff circle, as Will Kirshner and Dan Umbro teamed up keep the Huskies on the offensive. For the 12-4 Huskies, maintaining possession has been one of the strengths of the club all season long.
“We have two great faceoff guys, and combined they have something like a 75 percent faceoff percentage this year,” Cipolla said. “We’ve got a good offense and that really sets the tone. The more possessions we have, the more we can score.”
At 8-8, the Eagles are currently ranked seventh among Class C teams, although their seeding could change based on the boys lacrosse results from May 16, after press time. The Huskies are locked into a No. 3 seed in the Class B playoffs and will play their first game on Monday, May 21, against an opponent that has yet to be determined.
“We feel we can play with anyone on any day, and we’re happy that we are going to be able to have at least one last home game in front of our home crowd,” Cipolla said. “We’ve improved week by week, and I think we are peaking at the right time.”