Ward Melville jumped out to a 4-1 lead to begin the second quarter in the Patriots home opener against Half Hollow Hills, but the Thunderbirds clawed their way back to tie the game at six all in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter.
Both teams traded goals to make it 7-7 two minutes later when the Patriots found the back of the net at the 5:30 mark to retake the lead. With two minutes left in regulation, senior midfielder AJ Folkman scored the insurance goal, his second of the game, to put the Patriots out front 9-7. Ward Melville lacrosse was able to stave off a Hills late-game surge for the victory.
Seniors Nik Barbero and Andrew Belli both had two goals and one assist, Brody Morgan and AJ Folkman had two goals each, and Trevor Murray scored the opening goal to break the ice.
At 1-1 in the early going, Ward Melville retakes the field with a home game Friday, March 31 at 4:15 p.m. against Sachem East and host Garden City the following day in a non-league matchup Saturday, April 1 at 1 p.m.