The determined and talented J. Taylor Finley Middle School boys’ lacrosse “blue” team finished the spring season with a 5-4 record against some stiff competition.
The 27-player team was coached by Matthew Bilello and Travis Smith. The squad included seven seventh graders and 20 eighth graders. The Falcons were competitive in virtually every game.
“After a tough first game of the year, the kids refocused and made every game afterwards a battle,” Bilello said. The Falcons dropped a 16-6 verdict to West Islip-Udall before rebounding with a 10-4 victory over West Hollow. A 6-5 win over Bay Shore followed.
Finley also defeated Oldfield (7-5), Candlewood (8-2) and Commack-Gold (13-7). The Falcons dropped contests to Finley-White (8-4), Northport (10-7) and Stimson (9-7).
Skilled eighth graders Aedan McDonald, Sam Kimmelman, Matt Stolfa and Matt Youngwall paced Finley. The roster also included Alexander Berg, Vincent Caravetto, Nate Coulter, Daniel Danziger, Renato Erek, Ethan Evans, Sean Flick, Charles Forte, Brandon Ireland, Robert Kasprzak, Jack Kurathowski, Patrick Langton, Michael Lynch, Joseph Mead, Aidan Mrotzek, Charles O’Rourke, Steven Queen, Michael Quinn, Patrick Sclafani, Tazadon Smith, Joseph Striano, Javier Vias and Ryan Williams.
McDonald was the team’s top goalie, recording 43 saves in nine games and achieving a 95 percent clears rate. Kimmelman led in goals while Stolfa had the most assists and ground balls. Youngwall paced the defense in takeaways and clears.
The highlight of the season came when Finley overcame a fourth quarter deficit and rallied to topple nearby rival Oldfield, 7-5.