Panthers running on all cylinders

By Mike Zummo
Posted 5/19/21


The Wallkill boys’ lacrosse team got off to such a fast start that they had command of Friday night’s game before the Highland Huskies had a chance to adjust.

The Panthers …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Panthers running on all cylinders


The Wallkill boys’ lacrosse team got off to such a fast start that they had command of Friday night’s game before the Highland Huskies had a chance to adjust.

The Panthers scored six goals in the first quarter and rode that momentum to a 14-5 win over the Huskies at Robinson Field.

“That was the first game all year we’ve played start to finish,” Wallkill coach Alex Danon said. “We got a good effort by everybody in the entire lineup. Everybody got in and everybody played pretty well. We’re a good team and overall, we have a lot of depth. So, we can run a bunch of guys out. I don’t know that other teams are as deep so that gives us a lot of matchup advantages.”

The Panthers’ biggest matchup advantage came in the goal with senior goalkeeper Dylan Jowell, who made 14 saves against the Huskies’ offense, which had opportunities to score.

They didn’t get a shot past him until the third quarter, when Logan Zehr scored with 4:03 remaining in the third quarter. By then the Panthers had an 11-1 lead.

“Dylan’s a four-year starter,” Danon said. “He started as a freshman and he started every game in his career. He’s amazing. He’s the best goalie in the section and has been for a few years. And everybody’s seen it now. We haven’t given up a lot of goals to anybody and he’s a big reason for that. Our defense is solid, overall, and they do a good job in front of him, but when everything else breaks down, he’s there to clean up the mess.”
Overall, Chad Castle led the Panthers with four goals and two assists, while Ritchie Martinez scored three goals. Colin McCastney had two goals and an assist, and Ty Crowley scored once, and assisted on three other goals. Mat Shea scored a goal and had two assists. James Albanese, Robert James and Liam Nafey also scored. David Goll and R.J. DeSantis also had an assist each.

Mickey Locicero went into the cage late in the game and made two saves.

“In every facet, we’re pretty strong,” Danon said. “We don’t really have any glaring weaknesses. On offense, we can possess the ball, or we have six good middies that we can run through. Our D middies have been fantastic.”

The Panthers’ win on Friday night keeps their undefeated mark after five games in this shortened and compressed 2021 season. They’re 5-0 overall and 3-0 in league play. Earlier in the week the Panthers defeated Goshen 16-1 on goals by Chad Castle 3, Robert James 3, Richie Martinez 2, Austin Palen 2, Colin McCartney 2, Zach Maruca, Ty Crowley, RJ DeSantis, David Goll. Assists were provided by Crowley 6, Castle 3, Palen 3, Maruca, Mat Shea, Goll, Dominic Pelella, Aaron Rubinstein, Brian Cross.

They weren’t phased by the short preparation at the beginning of the preseason, which only began about a month ago, on April 19. They’ve relied on senior leadership and hard work to propel them forward.
They were scheduled to continue league play this week with a home game against New Paltz and two road games against Saugerties and Valley Central.

“It’s definitely been a challenge,” Danon said. “We had six practices before first game, so we were putting in a lot of stuff early, but we as coaches, we just make adjustments. We don’t put in things that are as complicated, but again, it certainly helps to have so many returners and seniors that they know the terminology. They know the sets, they know the slide packages, so it’s been easier for us than I think it has been for some other teams.”