Despite Lindenhurst getting on the scoreboard first with a goal four minutes into the first quarter, the West offense was too much as the Bulls defeated the Bulldogs Tuesday afternoon 20-5.
With the win, West advances Smithtown to a showdown Friday afternoon at Ward Melville.
West coach Sean Keenan said the first-round bye gave the Bulls much-needed rest, which prepared them for Tuesday’s matchup.
“We had some rest and they looked like a tired team,” Keenan said. “The bye really helps you. When you get that week off to heal some bruises from the season and come out fresh and have that week to prepare it makes a major difference.”
The West offense was clicking on all cylinders. James Pannell had a hat trick in the first quarter and finished the game with four goals and an assist, and Matt Schultz scored five goals in the Bulls’ offensive onslaught.
“They’re very good, they’re athletic, it’s hard for us to cover them,” said Lindenhurst coach Tom McCandless. “It’s hard for us to hold the ball … they’re good, they’re good. Our guys played hard to the very end and I was happy with that. The effort was there, we’re just not at that caliber yet."
But the Bulls know, and McCandless noted, that Friday’s Suffolk semi-final matchup with Ward Melville would be a different game.
“It’s a different caliber, their philosophy will change,” McCandless said. “Against us you can come after us because we’re going to drop the ball. Melville’s not going to drop the ball.”
Ward Melville advanced with a 12-9 victory over Northport Tuesday afternoon. The two teams will meet with a spot in the Suffolk County championship on the line.
“They’re kind of our nemesis the last few years,” Keenan said. “It’s going to be a great game. Anyone can win it, both teams are evenly matched. We had an overtime game earlier this year with them; hopefully we can win it in overtime this time.”