Chilly temperatures didn’t stop Dylan Sheehan and Jamie Shand from playing hot potato.
Last one with the ball scores the goal.
Sheehan, a senior, scored a career-high seven goals (four on one-timed assists from Shand) in Massapequa’s 12-7 non-league boys lacrosse win at Wantagh Wednesday.
Shand scored three goals of his own, one assisted by Sheehan. All seven of Sheehan’s goals came in the second and fourth quarters, when Massapequa outscored Wantagh 10-4.
The senior attacks worked their two-man game to perfection, with Shand often stationed behind the net, and Sheehan one-touching his passes for scores.
Playing against Wantagh’s All-American goalie Jake Gambitsky, Sheehan and Shand knew quick releases from close range would give them the best chance to score.
“We were working on [one-timers] all week at practice,” Sheehan said. “It’s really hard to save them.”
But Massapequa didn’t get the memo until the second quarter. Gambitsky made three of his nine saves in the first quarter, including a kick save with five seconds left and another off the rebound at the buzzer, to keep Massapequa (2-1) scoreless in the first 12 minutes.
After Steven Romano put the Chiefs on the board at the 9:59 mark of the second, Sheehan scored the next three to give Massapequa the lead for good at 4-2. Two came off Shand feeds, and another in transition from Andrew Tralongo.
“The transition game was working for us,” Massapequa coach Tim Radomski said. “Guys were looking up and finding the open man . . . You have to have quick sticks against [Gambitsky].”
Sheehan and Shand cracked the code with deft passing. “It comes from playing together so long,” Shand said. “I always know [Sheehan’s] going to be open back side.”
Brian Von Bargen’s lefty whip closed the lead to 9-7 with 10:04 left in the fourth quarter for Wantagh (2-2). But a one-timer, Shand-to-Sheehan, sparked a three-goal rally to end the game.
“They exploited our weakness,” Wantagh coach Gary Reh said. “When you get inside 5 yards, it’s tough for any goalie to stop shots.”
Massapequa’s first-year starting backstop, junior Joe Danaher, made a career-high 16 saves, which turned his coach’s head. Said Radomski: “Joey stood on his head. That was the best game I’ve seen him play.”
Matching an All-American impressive save-to-impressive save should do wonders for his confidence. As should the fact that Wantagh beat Farmingdale, Massapequa’s fiercest NassauConference I rival, on Saturday. Not so said Radomski.
“We play one game at a time,” he said.
Wednesday, the game happened to be hot potato.