Quick starting, physical Poly powers past Midwood

Poly Prep is a welcoming bunch. The Blue Devils are physical, aggressive and skilled with their sticks at every part of the field and they make sure opponents are aware of it right from the start.

“We like to let teams know that we are present,” senior takeaway defender Theo Kalogerakis said. “We like to throw them a slap on their hand and let them know that we are there.”

Kalogerakis, Graham Hill and Will O’Hearn made it difficult for Midwood, the best team in the PSAL, to clear the ball with double team checks and kept the Hornets from getting quality shots off as it dominated first-half possession.

It allowed Poly’s balanced offense to take things from there. Hugo Francis had two goals and one assist and Max Goupit had a hat trick in the Ivy League power’s 9-3 win over the visiting Hornets in non-league boys lacrosse on May 7.

“I think we definitely by far have the best defense in the league,” said Goupit, who has 32 goals this season.”We have the best attack in the league. It really shows at certain points in the game.”

The Blue Devils depth has allowed them to wear down teams and take control of the game in the second half, but they got out fast against Midwood, scoring five straight times to take a 6-1 lead into the half. Goupit broke a 1-all tie and Shane Thomas scored to make it 3-1 after one.

Francis, a sparkplug two-way middie, took over from there. He scored on a blast from 15 yards, penetrated the middle and fee Goupit on the crease and scored off a quick behind-the-head pass from St. Andrews (Del.) transfer Greg Pietroforte, who had a goal and three assists. Senior Chris Moser, back from a severely sprained ankle, won nine face offs.

“When you keep the ball moving that’s what our offense is about,” Poly coach Brooks Sweet said. “We are doing it pretty will right now. That’s a good sign for the regular season and the playoffs.”

Midwood had chances to get back into the game, but Kalogerakis kept All-American Artur Zych away from the cage and freshman goalie Dylan Moser, Chris’ brother, gobbled up a few key shots. He stopped Zych from point-blank range wheeling around the side of the cage and made a low stick save on his shot right before the half.

“I was seeing the ball pretty well today,” said Dylan Moser, who had 13 saves. “I felt like I was making some pretty good stops.”

Zych scored on a rebound to open the third quarter, but Kyle Vogel and Brian Ingrassia answered for Poly to make it 8-2. Goupit scored behind his back to cap the scoring. Nicholas Dopyera and Joe Madrazo added goals for Midwood.

“Right when [Pietroforte] got here the offense started clicking,” Goupit said of the team’s leader in points with 49.

The Blue Devils are preparing for the stretch run and the NYSAISAA playoffs. They have not won the Ivy League title since 2006 and have just lost to defending champion Hackley with four games left to play. They are looking forward to their rematch with the Hornets on Saturday after blowing a lead in an 11-10 defeat the first time.

“We have led against them the last two years and we’ve lost by a goal,” Sweets said. “We are hoping it doesn’t happen this next time.”

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