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Ward Melville Patriots

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It’s been a long time since the Patriots softball team has made the playoffs and it all came down to the last game of the regular season at home against Sachem East on senior day.. It would take extra innings to decide the game but Ward Melville punched their ticket to make the postseason on a passed ball in the bottom of the ninth, winning the game, 8-7.

According to head coach Joseph Burger, the Patriots last postseason appearance was back in 2002. Ward Melville senior Kristina Maggiacomo went the distance for the win, pitching nine complete innings striking out six. Maggiacomo had two RBI’s on two hits and eighth-grader Alicea Pepitone drove in two runs on three hits.

At 8-8 in Suffolk league I, the Patriots will be a low seed and have their work cut out for them as there are four out-bracket games May 18 with the opening round of the playoffs Monday, May 20.

The Ward Melville girls lacrosse team kept pace with Middle Country for the first 25 minutes of play, but the Mad Dogs went on a scoring tear outscoring the Patriots 10 goals to 4, to put the game away, 16-9, in a Division I matchup May 10.

Jennifer Barry and Sophie Alois topped the scoring chart for the Mad Dogs with Barry’s two goals and four assists along with Alois’ assist and five goals. 

With the win, Middle Country wins the division with a record of 13-1, 14-2 overall. The Patriot loss is only their second of the season. They finished third with a 12-2 record one game behind Northport.

Both teams earned a bye in the opening round of the playoffs and are back in action May 20 where Middle Country will host the winner of the May 17 Sachem East vs. Bay Shore game, and the Patriots will be at home to take on either Sachem North or Smithtown West. Game times have yet to be determined.

By Bill Landon

The Ward Melville Patriots boys lacrosse team led Commack from the opening faceoff taking a 10-4 lead at the half. The Cougars drew within three late in the third quarter before Ward Melville slammed the door outdistancing their opponents to take a 14-8 victory at home May 3.

Seniors Trey Berry and Dylan Pallonetti topped the scoring chart for the Patriots with Berry’s three goals and two assists, and Pallonetti finished with an assist and four goals.

Blake Behlen sat atop the leaderboard for the Cougars providing three assists and two goals, and teammate Joey Kim split the pipes three times.

On May 7, the Patriots beat William Floyd, 14-6. The win puts Ward Melville at 11-2, one game behind Smithtown West.

By Bill Landon

The Ward Melville girls golf team had a strong showing on the links at Heatherwood Golf Club in South Setauket against the Wildcats of Shoreham-Wading River as the Patriots won the League IV match play, 9-0, April 29.

The Wildcat golf program, formed just three years ago, struggles to find its first match win of the season after six rounds. The Patriots were 2-9 in the league May 1.

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The Ward Melville baseball team let its bats do the talking in a League I matchup against the Central Islip Musketeers where the Patriots cruised to a 12-2 victory April 15.

The Patriots scored two runs in the opening inning, four in the second and two more in the third before plating four more in the fourth to put the game away.

Third baseman Brady Doran was 2-2 at the plate with a pair of doubles and scored three times. Second baseman Matt Maurer was 2-4 and batted in four. Pitcher Chris Vivenzio got the win fanning 10 batters, allowing one hit.

The win, the first of a three-game series against the Musketeers, put the Patriots as of April 15 at 3-1 in the division and 5-1 overall for second place behind Patchogue-Medford. On April 16 the Patriots won 11-0 against Central Islip.

By Bill Landon

After the Ward Melville girls lacrosse team dominated the first half of the game outscoring Smithtown East by eight goals, the Bulls regrouped for the second half and drew within four goals twice before the Patriots dropped the hammer to put the game away, 17-12, at home March 29.

Ward Melville senior Courtney Carollo led the way with four goals and three assists, 10th grader Summer Agostino, followed with three goals and two assists, and senior Lexi Reinhardt had an assist and found the cage four times. Also pictured above center, two Patriots celebrate a score against the Bulls.

Smithtown East senior midfielder Gabrielle Schneider topped the charts for the Bulls with three assists and two goals, sophomore Alayna Costa split the pipes four times, and her older sister Isabella Costa had two assists and two goals.

As of April 1, the win puts the Patriots at 1-1, and the loss drops Smithtown East 2-1 in Division I.

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By Bill Landon

The Ward Melville boys varsity lacrosse team hosted Sachem East March 22.

Neither team trailed by more than one goal in the Patriots’ league opener as Sachem East traded goals with Ward Melville from the opening faceoff. With the game tied at 5-5, with just under five minutes left in regulation, Rocco Barbero buried his shot for the goal in what turned out to be the game winner as the Patriots edged Sachem East, 6-5.

It was Barbero’s second goal in the game where teammates Dylan Pallonetti, Steven Germain, Brandon Aviles and Robert Kratochvil each scored one goal apiece. Junior goalkeeper Collin Krieg had a busy day at net grabbing 12 saves in the day.

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By Bill Landon

Ward Melville was the class of the field in fencing Feb. 9 where both the boys and girls teams won the Suffolk County fencing championship at Newfield High School.

Brandeis University recruit and Patriot standout Ben Rogak, who is a four-time all-county fencer, clinched his third consecutive Suffolk title notching a 24-2 season and has amassed a 101-16 career record.

According to head coach Jeff Salmon, Rogak is the best épéeist in Ward Melville history.

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By Bill Landon

Ward Melville girls basketball hosted the Commack Cougars where the Patriots led from opening tipoff and never looked back, winning, 59-40, in a League I matchup on senior night, Feb. 5.

The Patriots led by five points after 16 minutes of play before they turned up the heat and outscored the Cougars, 22-10, in the third quarter.

Ward Melville senior Lauren Hansen sat atop the Patriot scoring charts swishing three from the foul line, nine field goals and a triple along with seven rebounds for 24 points. Junior Jamie Agostino followed with four triples and two field goals good for 16. Junior Morgan Wenzler banked five field goals and a free throw for 11 points, and led her team in rebounds gathering 13.

With the win, Ward Melville improves to 13-2 for second place in league behind undefeated Longwood with one game left Feb. 7 at Sachem East before postseason play begins.

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By Bill Landon

It was a photo finish for Ward Melville’s Harrison Bassin when the junior found some last-minute leg, clocking in at 10 minutes, 6.89 seconds just one-third of a second behind the winner Daniel Czop of Commack in the grueling 3,200-meter at the League I boys winter track and field final at Suffolk County Community College’s Brentwood campus Jan. 19.

Bassin was also a leg in the 4×400 relay event, putting the Patriots at the top of the field in crossing the line first with a time of 3:38.85. Owen Larson, who notched fourth in the 600 finals at 1:28.73, was also part of the relay effort. Caleb Wheeler along with Dave Selzer were the other two legs of the relay team. At 1,600, juniors Ethan Winter and Justin Zhang finished seventh and ninth respectively, clocking in at 4:49.80 and 4:50.33.

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