You can’t blink when you’re defending Kian McCoy. However, since it’s impossible to stare for all 48 minutes of game time, all opponents can hope to do is contain him.

The senior was a blur Friday afternoon for host Island Trees, tallying five goals and an assist in an 11-7 win over Hewlett in Nassau Conference C/D.

Coming off an 9-8 overtime loss on Tuesday against Bethpage, Island Trees found itself trailing by one against Hewlett in the second quarter after initially leading 3-0.

“It’s kind of like boxers; they get clipped a couple times and they started throwing haymakers all over the place,” Island Trees coach Brendan Keesee said. “You have to stick to the game plan.”

Sure enough, Island Trees responded with five unanswered goals. Senior attack JC Echezuria (two goals, three assists) displayed incredible vision with a nifty behind-the-back pass off of a give-and-go with McCoy for Island Trees’ sixth goal.

Keesee supported Echezuria's flair, adding that “it’s one more weapon to have in the toolbox.”

“If I see the field and I see gaps, I trust my teammates to find me open,” McCoy added.

Hewlett (7-3) did not score again until the final two minutes, tallying three goals. Cristopher Maiorano (three goals, two assists) accounted for two of them.

Island Trees' long-stick midfielder Joe Mainente forced seven turnovers, had six ground balls and also tallied a goal and three assists. Fellow midfielder Joe Filocamo provided a similar two-way toughness, adding three assists in the win.

“Coming after a tough loss a few days ago, it’s just great to see everyone bond together, itching to get a [win],” Mainente said.

Mainente also went 4-for-9 on faceoffs against Hewlett's points leader Luke Rochler, who went 18-for-22 faceoffs. Luke Forde usually holds that role for Island Trees, but he hasn’t played since April 5 due to injury. Keesee said having a long pole like Mainente on faceoffs allows for a quick defensive transition if he misses the early clamp.

Island Trees (5-4) has been through a gauntlet. Three of its losses came by just one score, with two coming in overtime. But Friday’s win was an important reminder of just how good this team can be when the ball bounces the right way.

“We grew up together, playing this sport together,” McCoy said. “It starts to show when it really matters.”

By Michael Sicoli

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