Comeback win evens Hewlett's record


Last Friday’s huge 11-9 home victory over Mineola has the Hewlett boys ‘lacrosse team feeling good about its playoff hopes. 

After trailing 6-4 at halftime, Hewlett avenged last season’s overtime heartbreaker at the hands of the Mustangs by rallying late to even its record at 5-5. The most significant element to the victory – in addition to the continued emergence of sophomore goalie star Daniel Lankri - was contributions from unlikely sources.

That will be key for the Bulldogs to continue their special spring. Their top two guns, seniors Ryan Goodman and Max Mariasch, need assistance.

At 3-1 in Conference C and upstart Clarke on tap Wednesday, Hewlett hasn’t locked up a playoff berth. But a recent giant win over Floral Park, 7-4, bodes well for the senior-laden squad.

“We need additional players besides Max and Ryan,’’ Hewlett coach Dale Pescitelli said. “They’re going to get most of the points. But we had a couple of guys step up versus Mineola. We need secondary role players to step up to help our top two guys.’’

Against Mineola, freshman Stephano Borsellino scored his first goal of the season, John Cusumano added two goals and Ryan Rovner and Trevor Auerbach also scored. Meanwhile, Goodman-Mariasch are on a mission after both felt slighted in the awards department last season. Goodman made All-Conference but felt he had an All-County season. Mariasch netted Honorable Mention for All-County. 

They certainly will get top accolades this season. In his last five games, Goodman, committed to Quinnipiac, has 21 goals and 5 assists.

“He wants to show what he can do,’’ Pescitelli said. 

Against Mineola, Mariasch recorded 3 goals with 5 assists. He has 15 goals and 18 assists – a total that would be larger had he not missed two games with a hamstring injury.  

The Bulldogs’ backbone, though, is in goal with Lankri, who made 10 saves against Mineola.  He’s had 25 saves in the past two games – some of them spectacular. 

“He has been outstanding,’’ Pescitelli said. “He’s only a sophomore. His stopping ability is tremendous.’’

The young goalie sill is learning the craft. Lankri only started playing goalie two years ago as an 8th grader. The coach said he needs to “be better at clearing the ball and making better decisions when he has the ball on his stick. But his stopping ability is second to none.’’

Hewlett’s defense features a tight-packing zone that protects close-in areas and allows long shots. It has worked with Hewlett giving up double-digit goals just once. 

The central defender is senior Ian Fleurant, who plays at the top of the zone as defensive anchor. Senior Matteo Peziosi has also been invaluable on D. “They do a fantastic job of keeping guys at bay,’’ Pescitelli said.  

There’s been another fabulous performer who flies under the radar because he’s not a goal-scorer. That is junior faceoff man Luke Rochler, who won 17 of 21 faceoffs against Mineola. Some teams employ a “FOGO’’ specialist who takes faceoffs, then goes off the field.

“I call him my FOSO,’’ Pescitelli said. “He takes faceoffs and stays on.’’ 

Rochler also plays basketball and football, making him a rare three-sport performer. “He’s huge for us, doing a fantastic job,’’ Pescitelli said. “He doesn’t score a lot of goals but does everything between the lines. He’s a great athlete. He’ll l be huffing, puffing. I’ll say “take a break’’ and he says, “Coach, I’m good.’’

Hewlett’s season seems to only be growing. “We started off in a way not as a family,’’ Pescitelli said. “The more things we do together is good for team bonding and team building. We’re starting to believe in each other and trusting one another, trusting the coaches and what we have to say. In one word, I’d say it’s “trust”.’’