Coming off a two-game winning streak, the Edgemont boys lacrosse team sought to bring home a win against league foe Pelham. Despite Pelham making a big playoff run last year, Edgemont came in ready to fight on their home turf on their very own senior night.
A hot start by Pelham ultimately proved to be too much for the Panthers to come back from, and the host team fell 13-3 to fall to 6-5 on the season.
Edgemont’s defense ended up being challenged for the majority of the game. Despite the firepower from Pelham’s high caliber offense, the Panthers certainly held their own, but more importantly, they never let up.
This theme has been instilled within the team from Day 1 by the new coaching staff and it has resonated particularly well with the defense, which lost some key players from last year’s team.
“Losing our seniors affected us at the start of the season because a lot of us didn’t realize just how much we had to step up to fill those spots, but as we progressed through the season, all of us really started to understand our roles and what we had to do to make everything work,” junior defenseman Timmy Babchak said.
Babchak, who missed all of preseason and the first few games due to injury, has been on the team since freshman year as a defender and has made huge strides this season, developing into a defensive leader alongside Jack Tomkiewicz.
The duo has grown together as defenders, and has earned themselves consistent starting spots this year.
“It took time to adjust to not having Mateo [Scarselli], Justin [Gordon] and Tyler [Worobow] there to give me advice,” Tomkiewicz said. “In the long run, it’s nice to take more of a leadership role and I’ve developed more as a player as a result.”
The Panthers certainly stepped up on defense the next two games, as Edgemont topped Pawling 15-2 and Clarkstown North 15-6 to improve to 8-5.
“Some of the younger guys have stepped up and proven themselves, like [Christian] McGee, who has stepped up as a solid defender this year,” head coach Billy Locher said.
Coach David Alger also sees the chemistry between the defense improving immensely from last year. “Guys like Jack and Timmy at the forefront have led other guys like Anderson [Ng] and Logan [Gordon] and they work together all the time. They all have a sense of trust in each other.”
The Edgemont defense will be put to the test coming up in the last week of games as the Panthers face Rye, Ardsley and New Rochelle looking to build momentum heading into postseason.