Slow start for East Meadow


The East Meadow boys’ lacrosse team has shown a lot of fight through the first four games of the season, but unfortunately it has yet to translate into a win.

The Jets are off to their second slow start in as many seasons by dropping their first four games of the 2019 campaign, but the average margin of defeat has been a little over four goals a game. By comparison, their opponents were winning at a 10.6 clip during last year’s 0-5 start.

Putting together a complete four-quarter game has been problematic for East Meadow thus far. Floral Park outscored the Jets 4-1 in the second quarter of the season opener on March 19 and Long Beach held a 5-1 advantage after the opening stanza four days later. The Jets had a brief lead at Calhoun on March 27 before losing 8-5 and allowed seven goals to Mineola in the second quarter of last Saturday’s 11-6 defeat.

The listless start at Long Beach frustrated coach Steve D’Argenio, who made some roster changes despite already missing a few kids due to injury. “We still have a ways to go,” he said. “We still self destruct [and] we have these periods where we are doing things to not create positive outcomes for us.”

Offensively, the Jets’ 1-2 punch of sophomore Chris Barry and junior Frank Falco have provided a bulk of the offense thus far. Barry, an All-Conference player last year, is leading the team with eight goals and 14 points, while Falco has tallied in all four contests this spring, totaling seven to go with 12 points.

“[Chris] is the real deal,” D’Argenio said. “He’s a legitimate, big-time player. [Frank] is a really solid player who brings a lot to the table.”

Sophomores James Saragossi (4 goals) and Joe Giambald (3 goals) are also off to solid starts. Sophomore goaltender Brendan Pedisich has done everything he could to keep the Jets in games this season with 49 saves in four games, including two 18-save efforts against Floral Park and Calhoun.

“He sees the ball really well,” D’Argenio said. “He’s locked in and the defense is helping him out a little, but he’s helping the defense too. He just makes miraculous saves.”

On the back end, D’Argenio said that sophomore Billy Christoforatos has “really stepped up his game” this season and is hoping that senior Jarrett Piccione has finally put his injury woes from past seasons behind him.

The Jets went 5-5 after last year’s season-opening slump and D’Argenio is hoping that trend could at least repeat itself, if not, improve further. The top eight teams in Conference A qualify for the playoffs, but the East Meadow bench boss believes all is not lost.

“We’ve got to beat Freeport, Valley Stream, Hicksville and Uniondale,” he said. “That could get us sixth place, [but] Oceanside is the game we’re looking to get.”

The Jets will host Seaford on Thursday in another non-league contest at 4:45 p.m.