Miller Place dominated over visiting Elwood-John Glenn amid light rain Tuesday afternoon. The Panthers outscored their opponent 9-1 after 25 minutes of play in Division II girls’ lacrosse action, and despite the Knights scoring six goals in the second half, Miller Place was able to extinguish the rally and put the game away 17-7 to improve to 8-3 in the league and secure a solid playoff position.
The Panthers spread the scoring around in the first half, but senior Kristin Roberto led the way, as the midfielder and captain scored twice. Attacks Olivia Angelo, Julia Burns, Loren Librizzi and Allison Turturro each found the cage, as did midfielder Danielle Plunkett. The two other co-captains, junior midfielder Arianna Esposito and senior midfielder Alyssa Parrella, also split the pipes to dominate the game early.
Senior captain Amelia Biancardi scored the lone goal of the first half for the Knights 12 minutes into the contest.
To combat the deficit, Elwood-John Glenn head coach Janine Bright made a change in her team’s strategy for the second half. Bright said she knew Miller Place was a formidable opponent and that her team would have to fight from whistle to whistle for any chance of winning.
“We have to play a full 25 minute half — not just show up for six minutes in the first half, seven minutes in the second half — we have to play the entire game with full intensity from start to finish,” Bright said. “If we did that, today’s score could’ve been very different.”
Parrella opened the second half by lighting up the scoreboard with two quick goals — the first off an assist by Plunkett and then a solo shot for her hat trick goal, putting her team out front 11-1.
Miller Place head coach Thomas Carro said the leadership from his team’s captains is the reason for the team’s success this season.
“I think we’re peaking at the right time, and the girls are firing on all cylinders right now,” Carro said. “Their positive attitude on and off the field is just contagious. The girls are starting to believe in themselves and as a result of that, they can play with anybody this season.”
Biancardi, from a free position shot, scored again to make it a nine-point game with 16:03 left to play, but Parrella, unassisted, buried another one two minutes later to reopen the gap. Biancardi answered back at the 11:45 mark with a hat trick goal of her own, to bring the score to 12-3.
“In previous years, we’ve played them closer, but they played amazing today,” Biancardi said. “They have so much speed on that team and you could see the difference.”
After another Panthers goal, Biancardi struck again after circling the cage and slipping an underhand shot in for the score. On the Knights’ next possession, Biancardi fed the ball to Madisyn Hausch, who found the net as momentum began to shift.
“[The Knights] have a couple of really good players who are not afraid to take it to cage,” Roberto said. “We had to step up and put pressure on them because they can score. We couldn’t take them lightly at all.”
Victoria Tsangaris drove one home from the free position, followed by Hausch’s second goal a minute later, to shave the Panthers’ lead to 13-7, but the Panthers capped off the game by scoring four more goals.
“Early on they were beating us to the ball, so we had to step it up — they came at us strong,” Parrella said. “Everyone’s fighting to make playoffs and we knew that if we played our game we’d come out on top.”
Rocking out is the name of the game for a Huntington-based band of driven twentysomethings who are preparing for their biggest show yet.
On Saturday, Jan. 23, they’ll be headlining The Bitter End, a Manhattan music venue that has hosted the likes of Stevie Wonder, Lady Gaga and Bob Dylan.
“It’s awesome,” Jarrod Beyer, the band Gnarly Karma’s drummer, said in an interview Tuesday. “We’re all ready for the task. This is what we’ve been working for, big shows in the city.”
Initially, Beyer said the Greenwich Village venue only offered the band a weeknight spot. However, just a few weeks later, the person in charge of The Bitter End’s booking called Beyer to tell him he had heard some of their music and felt that they were weekend quality, and would have the opportunity to headline a Saturday night show.
“It’s definitely a lot of excitement,” bassist Ryan McAdam said about the gig. “I always get a little nervous a couple of minutes before, just waiting to go on stage. We put a lot of work in, so we always feel pretty comfortable going into the shows. I’m pretty confident we’re going to bang out a great set.”
It turns out the Huntington community set the perfect stage for this band to come together.
Beyer, 25, graduated from John Glenn High School in Elwood in 2008, and first met Mike Renert, the band’s 29-year-old lead singer and guitarist, through a mutual friend about four years ago.
“When you play music with someone, you know in the first 30 seconds if it’s going to work, and that just happened,” Renert said about the first time he and Beyer got together to jam. “It was one of the first times in my life that I … was just like, ‘Hey, I have this song,’ and I started playing, and he played, and it was like, ‘Whoa, that’s the first song and that was exactly what I wanted to hear.’ And it just went from there.”
Renert and Beyer’s natural chemistry inspired them to expand. Beyer had been in another band as a teenager — he called 24-year-old McAdam, another John Glenn graduate from Huntington whom he had experience with.
“He came through, and he gelled with us perfectly,” Beyer said of McAdam.
The band was still missing a little something, so when Beyer heard that Billy Hanley, 25, a saxophone player who Beyer had played with in the John Glenn High School jazz band, was running a record studio in the area, suddenly there were four bandmates.
Gnarly Karma released their first studio album, “Classic Breeze,” via iTunes in September 2015. The group has a familiar but unique sound — they could be described as a distant cousin of The Dave Matthews Band, with a punk edge.
The guys credited their small-town upbringing as a vital ingredient in their success.
“It’s very small, so you know everybody, even if you don’t want to know everybody,” Beyer said. “So it’s kind of cool that, as we got more progressive into music, people who we haven’t talked to in a long time are coming to our shows and supporting us.”
Following a 2014 season that began in tragedy and ended with the program’s first Long Island Championship, the Shoreham-Wading River football program returns to the field well-prepared to contend for another title.
The Wildcats persevered to complete a perfect 12-0 season while coping with the loss of teammate Tom Cutinella, who died following a collision during a game at John Glenn High School on Oct. 1.
“It is an incredible story, but one I’d never want to live through again,” Shoreham-Wading River head coach Matt Millheiser said. “In the end, we lost Tom, and although the season ended miraculously and kind of storybook, it’s something we wish we didn’t have to go through.”
Millheiser said it was difficult for everyone following the loss of Cutinella, but from a coaching perspective, it was particularly hard to handle.
“It’s not something that you can even find anybody to ask advice on how to handle that as a coach or as a person or a friend,” he said. “So we kind of did our best to be there for each other and get through it.”
To keep his memory alive, Shoreham-Wading River will name its new multipurpose athletic field after Cutinella. While construction takes place, the Wildcats will play home games at Rocky Point High School. Millheiser said he wants future Shoreham-Wading River athletes to know who Cutinella was.
“He lived his life in a certain way that we want our players and our team to live up to that and remember that always,” he said. “And naming the field after him is a constant reminder of how we want to do things and how we want to act. His name and his legacy will carry on.”
The Wildcats picked up right where they left off last year in their season opener Friday night in Riverhead against McGann-Mercy, besting the Monarchs in a 35-0 rout. Cutinella’s brother, Kevin, scored a touchdown in the first quarter.
“They play with a lot of enthusiasm and our kids matched that and were able to make some big plays early then stay in the lead,” Millheiser said. “It was a good game between two good teams, and fortunately we made a few more plays than they did.”
Millheiser said his team’s hard play was a positive but would like to see some improvement on blocking.
The game was also the first test for new quarterback Jason Curran, who replaces All-County quarterback Danny Hughes. Though Hughes was a special player, according to Millheiser, he has the utmost confidence in Curran’s abilities.
“I think he has the ability to do the things that Danny did, but he’s gaining experience,” he said. “He’s still going to have to learn the football side of it. You don’t just walk into a huddle and have the kids follow you. You got to kind of earn that from them. There’s no doubt in my mind that he will, but it’s going to take a little bit of time.”
Despite leading 3-0 early and 8-5 at halftime, the Rocky Point boys’ lacrosse team let Elwood-John Glenn battle back to tie the game at 9-9 and force a four-minute overtime period, where the Knights managed to sneak one in past the Eagles to win 10-9.
Rocky Point hit the scoreboard first when junior midfielder Tim Yannucci’s shot found the cage off an assist by senior midfielder Alex Borja, and on Rocky Point’s next possession, Borja drove one home from 20 yards out unassisted, to jump out to a 2-0 lead.
With the game just over three minutes old, Rocky Point senior attack Brendan Cain fed a cross to freshman attack Jake Wandle, who fired between the pipes to break out to a 3-0 advantage.
The Knights responded with four unanswered goals to take their first lead of the game with 5:46 left in the half, but the Eagles didn’t let that lead last for long and swooped into the Knights’ territory with just over four minutes left in the half score two goals to tie, and then take the lead.
First, Rocky Point senior attack Christopher Vaden dished one to Yannucci. and senior midfielder Jack Sullivan served one to Wandle, who drove his shot home to retake the lead, 5-4.
“We came out hot, we went up 3-0 and then they started coming back — we got to half time up by three,” Yannucci said. “We just didn’t come out as good as they did and they ended up with the win.”
A minute later, John Glenn shot back to tie the game 5-5, but Wandle and Cain paired up again, this time, with Wandle feeding to Cain, who buried his shot to retake the lead, 6-5.
With 21 seconds left before the halftime break, the Eagles scored twice more.
Cain flipped one out to junior midfielder Anthony DeVito, and five seconds later, Borja’s shot found its mark off another assist by Cain, to take an 8-5 lead into the third quarter.
“We led 8-5 at the half, but we let them right back in,” Rocky Point head coach Mike Bowler said. “Mistake after mistake — little things and not converting when we should’ve converted [hurt us].”
John Glenn wouldn’t go quietly, and found the scoreboard twice in the third to trail 8-7 to begin the final quarter. Momentum continued to shift the Knights’ way with two more unanswered goals, and the team took a 9-8 lead with just over six minutes left.
Vaden said his team wasn’t expecting a zone defense and added a penalty at the end of regulation hurt his Eagles.
“We moved the ball well from behind with Jake Wandle quarterbacking,” he said. “And eventually we slipped up and let it get away from us.”
From behind the cage, Cain looking for the cutter, jumped out front like he was going to pass, but spun around and air gaited the ball — jumping from behind the goal crease and scoring mid-air by dunking the ball over the crossbar — just inside the pipe.
“They came in a lot hotter and they came ready to play in that second half,” Cain said. “We went on a run, but then they took their run on us and tied the game, so they outplayed us in the second half.”
Rocky Point was penalized in the final seconds of regulation and started the first minute of the four-minute overtime period a man down. The Eagles survived the penalty, but the Knights ended up the victors after scoring a goal with 1:04 left to play.
With the loss, Rocky Point dropped to 2-3, the middle of the League III standings. The Eagles will look to break a three-game losing streak when they travel to Westhampton Beach Wednesday. The opening faceoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
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