There’s no shortage of seniors or expectations for South Side’s boys’ lacrosse team a year after it won 10 games and reached the Nassau Class B quarterfinals. The Cyclones boast 17 seniors, including 11 set to play at the collegiate level, and had an extraordinary turnout for offseason workouts.
“Class B is really strong and there’s not going to be an easy road for anyone,” South Side coach Steve DiPietro said. “This is the most seniors I’ve had in any season, and they certainly know what to expect. The way we’ve started is a little frustrating, but I’m confident we’ll get going.”
The Cyclones, seeded fourth in Conference B-I behind defending county champion Garden City, Long Beach and Wantagh, always play a grueling non-league schedule out of the gate. This spring was no different with defending Class C champion Cold Spring Harbor, Port Washington and defending Class A champion Syosset over a seven-day span.
“We started out against a very tough group of opponents,” DiPietro said. “At the same time, we played too much defense and committed too many turnovers. We have to execute better moving forward.”
The attack features three senior returning starters, but only one played there in 2012. Cole Considine, who will attend Hofstra, is an All-Conference playmaker and quarterback of the offense from behind the cage. “Cole has good vision and stick sills, and works hard,” DiPietro said. Former midfielders Eddie Gennari and Gerard Mahoney switched positions to bolster an attack that lost two starters. Mahoney, a smooth lefty headed to Lafayette, had seven goals in the first three games. Senior Ryan Crossan and sophomore Dylan Crossan will also contribute up front.
A healthy Stephen Tita would go a long way in helping the Cyclones win battles in the midfield. A senior speedster bound for St. John’s, Tita missed a chunk of time in 2012 but is primed for a big finish to his high school career. “Stephen’s the most experienced midfielder we’ve got and very strong at both ends,” DiPietro said.
Senior Hunter Rainis is a big, athletic and technically sound midfielder who often draws double coverage. He’ll bring an array of tools to Monmouth. Junior transfer Alex Pickett has been a welcomed addition and filled a void in the faceoff circle, winning 10 draws in his first game in a South Side uniform. Seniors Ryan Culley, Jon Firestone and Jordan Titus, and juniors Brian Hurwitz and Kieran O’Hagan are offensive middies, while junior Jake Lucas and sophomores Luke Scaduto and Stephen Parker head the defensive midfield.
On defense, senior All-County honoree Matt Berry moves to the back row after working primarily as a long pole midfielder. He’ll get the toughest assignments and anchor a unit that includes seniors Dan Cecere and Edward Seganti, as well as sophomore Steven DiMare. Both goaltenders returned — seniors Chandler Baylis and Kieran Clark — and will rotate for at least a few more games, if not longer. “We’re confident with either goalie playing,” DiPietro said.