After a pair of lopsided losses against powerhouses Kingston and Arlington, Red Hook boys lacrosse grabbed their first victory of 2013 against division opponent New Paltz, beating the Huguenots 12-5 on April 10 in Red Hook.
“It was a big win for us, a real confidence booster,” lacrosse head coach Rich Saulino told The Observer after the game.
Red was slow on offense coming out of the gate, and relied heavily on their strong shortfield defense, which broke up several passes, as well as on the goalie play of Austin Loeffel in the first quarter; Loeffel made a huge stop at 6:56 to halt a New Paltz breakaway and intercepted a pass at 3:35 that would have led to a one-on-one scoring opportunity. The Huguenots looked like they had scored their first goal at 6:39, but it was waved off because of a crease violation. Red Hook’s Tong Guerra and Nick Michitsch both put up goals in the quarter.
New Paltz flushed their first goal of the game at 11:51 immediately after a faceoff. Red’s intensity picked up in the second all around the field, starting with a hustle play in the 10th minute from defenseman Mike Gemmel, who busted 10 yards to keep a dropped ball in play and grabbed the resulting ground ball after a small scrum. Michitsch flushed a goal on a jumping turnaround shot at 9:16 and another 30 seconds later, which was followed in short order by Guerra, who sniped a goal from 15 yards at 7:21, and Drew Zarrella, who scored on a lay-up at 6:55. The Huguenots scored their second goal with :25 left on the clock before the quarter ended, 6-2.
Red remained in control through the third, but turned the scoring pace down, bucketing only two goals in the period. The first was a breakaway goal from Zarrella at 10:53, and the second came on an almost-full-field drive from Dennis Hare at 8:14.
Michitsch managed two goals in the fourth quarter, and Red Hook’s Ian Taylor scored on an assist over the middle from Guerra at 10:50. New Paltz scored at 8:29, and grabbed another two goals in garbage time.
With the victory, Red Hook remains undefeated against New Paltz in their playing history. But Saulino noted that the Huguenots are definitely improving.
“They’ve got a very consistent coach,” Saulino said. “And they’re building a really good program, a tradition. It’s good to see other teams in the section building up strong teams.”
He added, “The win came at the right time. It was a divisional game, in our class, and we needed it. Hopefully, we can carry the momentum on.”
Red Hook’s Guerra and New Paltz’s Avery Bells tied for the scoring lead with three goals apiece. Red Hook’s next game, against Cornwall, scheduled for April 12, was postponed. They face James I. O’Neill tonight at 5pm and Burke Catholic on April 29 at 4:30pm.