MAHOPAC - Tom Casey kept looking inside the defense and stepping into seams, but he waited for his conscience to sign off before launching a shot on goal.
It's a familiar approach.
Yorktown learned a valuable lesson over the weekend. The offense is back to moving the ball and waiting for a high-percentage look. The defense is back to pressing out and making things happen. The end result was a 10-1 win yesterday at Mahopac.
"It was a matter of getting back to basics," Casey said. "We decided that we can't run so many isolations like we did against Ward Melville. We didn't fare so well in that game. So we're back to basics, getting everyone involved, moving it around."
The 'Huskers (6-1) did have their patience tested in the early going.
"At times it gets a little frustrating because they rush in and go right to the goal, but we just have to keep on them in terms of possession and getting our defense some rest," Yorktown coach Dave Marr said. "They did a good job of it."
The Indians (3-4) were extending possessions in the first half in order to protect a defense that lacks experience in these kinds of games. It was a sound plan even after Casey stole a clearing pass and made it a 1-0 game.
Mahopac was moving the ball from stick to stick despite constant defensive pressure.
"We had no problem working the ball around," Okie Bernabo said. "The few shots we got just weren't going in. I don't know why. Their sticks were always in the passing lanes. It's tough defense, especially when they're pressing out every time you get the ball."
There wasn't a lot of breathing room.
A lot was going right for the Indians, they just couldn't find the goal. Ty Schuldt found room to maneuver near the crease and made it a 2-0 lead with 2:23 to go in the first. All things considered, it wasn't a bad place for Mahopac to be, and then Casey took a pass from Matt Pappas and scored with 1:08 to go in the quarter.
The level of concern was rising.
"When we got the ball on offense in the first quarter, it looked like we knew what we were doing," Indians co-coach Dave Haddeland said. "When you have a good opportunity, you have to stick it. And when that doesn't happen, the wind goes out of the sails a little."
It's part of being a young offense.
Yorktown also looked to be a little hesitant at times. John Ranagan scored the first of his three goals 24 seconds into the second quarter, but the 'Huskers began taking penalties and Mahopac kept holding on to the ball.
They were down only 4-0 at the half.
"It's hard to stay patient," Casey said. "You want to go right to the goal and get on the board. But we had to give our defense a break and make sure they get rested because Mahopac spent a lot of time down there."
Indians goalie Johnny McGuigan kept things interesting by making a couple of tough saves in the opening minutes of the second half, but Kevin Interlicchio and Ethan Fox dumped in transition goals to make it a 6-0 cushion.
Yorktown went looking for the shutout.
John Brandofino finally got Mahopac on the board when he turned right and fired a low shot into the net with 7:14 left to play. The 'Huskers were on top 9-1, so there was no celebration.
"We did want it," Brendan Brunelle said. "A shutout would have been nice, but you can't always go for that. I thought we played much better as a team. A lot more intense. I think we're going to start coming out more focused on the one game, and go from there."