Wildcats Hang Tough Against National Powerhouse

Sophomore Matt Stockfeder (15) uses a pick set by teammate Keith Morrissey (6) to get by his opponent for a goal.
Sophomore Matt Stockfeder (15) uses a pick set by teammate Keith Morrissey (6) to get by his opponent for a goal.
Whitman senior Liam Brennan (7) is on the attack and winds-up a shot.
Whitman senior Liam Brennan (7) is on the attack and winds-up a shot.
Sophomore Addison Bermudez (13), a long-pole midfielder clears the ball to his offense.
Sophomore Addison Bermudez (13), a long-pole midfielder clears the ball to his offense.
Patric Harrington (3) works his magic for a shot, but will be denied a goal by Smithtown’s goalie Matt Smidt.
Patric Harrington (3) works his magic for a shot, but will be denied a goal by Smithtown’s goalie Matt Smidt.
Whitman senior Sam Esposito (29) had a busy day and played strong keeping the Bulls to one of their lowest scoring games of the year. Whitman Goalie Shane Brennan, who posted 15 saves on the day also played well against the high-scoring Bulls.
Whitman senior Sam Esposito (29) had a busy day and played strong keeping the Bulls to one of their lowest scoring games of the year. Whitman Goalie Shane Brennan, who posted 15 saves on the day also played well against the high-scoring Bulls.

Going up against one of the top ranked teams in the Nation gave the Wildcats of Whitman an opportunity to test their game, and the team did well considering the strength of Smithtown West. “West is the cream of the crop, and I’m proud how my guys played,” said Varsity Head Coach Bob Howell.  The Bulls are ranked number one in Suffolk County and currently ranked fourth in the Nation and second in the East according to LaxPower Magazine. 

But the Whitman team put all that aside going goal-for-goal, keeping the score knotted 2-2 at the end of the first period. “We kept it close for most of the game,” said Coach Howell. “When you play one of the nation’s top teams, you just can’t make any mistakes, great teams capitalize on mistakes.”

The Bulls defense stiffened and their offense took control of the clock, not allowing a Wildcat score for the next 2 periods. Both teams added one score each for the fourth and final period and the Wildcats took the loss 7-3. Smithtown West continues their unbeaten streak. Scoring for Whitman were Matt Stockfeder with one goal and 2 assists, and Jaron Batts and Scott Manning who scored one goal each. 

The Wildcat defense kept the Bulls high scoring offense to their fewest goals in division play this year. “Our defense played incredibly well,” said Coach Howell.  “Esposito, Keane, Morrissey, Bermudez all had terrific games, and Shane Brennan played great in the goal with 15 saves.”