By Andrew Wroblewski
After a streaky season filled with ups and downs, the Wildcats of Walt Whitman’s boys lacrosse team needed just one win in their last four league games to clinch a spot in the 2015 Suffolk Division I playoffs.
That win came in the form of a 14-6 triumph on May 6 where Matt Stockfeder led Whitman with 5 points – on 3 goals and 2 assists – and goalkeeper Shane Brennan preserved the Wildcats’ lead with 15 saves.
Whitman (6-6) jumped out to an early lead and never looked back; the Wildcats opened up the first half with an 8-3 advantage. From there, the Wildcats cruised with 6 goals to North Babylon’s 3 goals in the second half as Whitman clinched its second straight season with a postseason appearance.
Jaron Batts, a senior middie, backed up Stockfeder’s offensive supply with 4 points of his own; he scored 2 goals and recorded 2 assists. The Wildcats’ points-leader through the League II season, Scott Manning produced 3 points on 1 goal and 2 assists while Anthony Palazzolo added 3 goals of his own. Ryan Glidden and Colin O’Hara each supplied 2 points as they combined for 2 goals and 2 assists. Joseph Neumann, Willie Petro and Addison Bermudez rounded out the Wildcats’ offense as they combined for 3 goals.
Dropping its final game of the League II season – a 6-5 setback to East Islip – Whitman finishes the regular season in eighth place and should claim a seed between nos. 13-16 when the playoff bracket is released. In order to keep up with the bracket and where the Wildcats land, visit www.sectionxi.org.
Looking back at regular season play, the Wildcats were led by Manning in points as the junior produced 37 over Whitman’s 12 games; he scored 16 goals and racked up 21 assists. Another junior, O’Hara, was second in points with 33 on 20 goals and 13 assists. Stockfeder matched O’Hara’s 20 goals as the two led the Wildcats in scoring, but O’Hara had the edge on points as Stockfeder produced 32 points with his 12 assists.
As of press time on Wednesday, the 2015 Suffolk Division I playoffs were tentatively expected to begin on Friday. In all likelihood, Whitman will be on the road through, at least, the opening round of the postseason.