Andrew Shipman was hoping for a better showing. Instead, the first-year Midwood coach will have to settle for lessons learned and a feeling he wants his team to remember with the PSAL playoffs fast approaching.
“I think after having such a good start to the season that when you go up against a good team maybe it’s good to taste a little bit of defeat,” Shipman said.
The Hornets were on the wrong end of the score for the first time this season, dropping a 9-3 decision to host Poly Prep in non-league boys lacrosse last Saturday. The Blue Devils are one of the premier teams in the city, not to mention the competitive Ivy League, and were the type of test Midwood was looking for with one game left in its league season.
“It’s really crucial,” All-American attack Artur Zych said. “It’s a learning experience.”
Zych felt his team was too stagnant on offense and on clearing attempts. Poly’s aggressive and physical approach, along with the Hornets’ lack of execution, left Midwood without the ball for most of the first half. Clearing was an issue and so was poor shot selection.
“When you are playing a good team you can’t have individual players,” Zych said. “It’s a team effort.”
The Blue Devils, who got three goals from Max Goupit, two goals and an assist from Hugo Francis and three helpers from Greg Pietroforte, scored five straight times to take a 6-1 lead into the half. Midwood got a goal off a rebound to start the third quarter from Zych, who had three quality scoring chances saved by Poly goalie Dylan Moser (13 saves). Poly responded with two more goals to up the lead to 8-2 with 5:12 left in the quarter. Nicholas Dopyera and Joseph Madrazo each added goals for the Hornets.
“We didn’t do the things we were capable of,” Shipman said, ‘that we do every other game.”
His team, along with Tottenville, has been the class of the PSAL Championship division. The Hornets are unbeaten and have played just two league games decided by one goal. But the Hornets know regular season success doesn’t always translate in the playoffs as they have lost in the title game the last two seasons.
“We are not satisfied just playing the lesser teams in our division,” Shipman said. “We want to play top teams outside of the division. I think it was a good test for us. Unfortunately for us we were outplayed.”