A regulation lacrosse field is 110 yards long by 60 wide. Yet the season opener between the Rye Garnets and non-league Horace Greeley was decided in two little circles.
By Mitch Silver
A regulation lacrosse field is 110 yards long by 60 wide. Yet the season opener between the Rye Garnets and non-league Horace Greeley was decided in two little circles. One was the center face-off spot, and the other was whichever crease Rye goalie Elliot Meister happened to be occupying.
Chris Santangelo scored five of Rye’s eight goals on 15 shots, but that wasn’t the real story on offense. The real story was Santangelo’s total domination of everyone the Quakers threw against him on face-offs. More than once he won the ball cleanly, raced downfield and scored — especially when Rye needed it most.
After jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the first quarter and a 6-3 margin at halftime, the Garnets were running out of steam in the final period. With 2:37 left in the game, a Quaker shot hit the right pipe and pinged out of bounds. Five seconds after the inbounds it was in the net, edging Greeley to within 6-5 and invigorating the visitors.
Amidst the hubbub, Santangelo calmly took the ensuing faceoff and sprinted for the Greeley goal. His solo score, just eight seconds after Greeley’s, completely deflated the visitors, so that Billy Haynes could score with a whipped in right-handed shot just 11 seconds after that. Game over.
But it was Meister’s work in the Garnet crease that made the Santangelo’s heroics possible. He faced 25 Quaker shots, keeping all but five out of his cage. Time and again, he’d make the save and send a pinpoint half-field clearance to a teammate, sending the game in the other direction.
After the game, Coach Brian Dooley was relieved more than anything. “The great thing about finally playing a game after weeks of practice and scrimmages is that you can see what you need to work on. We have work to do all over the field. Still, it’s nice to have the win.”
Mike Dugan and Cal Hynson also scored for the Garnets, who next travel to Mamaroneck to face the Tigers April 5.