By WILL SAMMON firstname.lastname@example.org
Christian Zawadzki knows how he and Ryan Keenan can become even better this season.
Opposing teams should be worried, considering how good the senior duo has played already for Smithtown West over the years.
"We're both lefthanded, so we've been working on our righthanded shot," Zawadzki said. "We shot together every single day heading into the season. We've been best friends since we were 5 so we have a really good, unique connection on the field."
Zawadzki attempted one righthanded shot Wednesday, but did not connect. He didn't need to. While the ambidexterity is still a work in progress, the chemistry between him and Keenan is still a work of art.
Zawadzki scored three goals and Keenan added two goals and two assists to lead Smithtown West over host Cold Spring Harbor, 8-5, in a non-league opener for both teams.
"This is definitely the way we wanted to start the season," Keenan said. "We came in well prepared because we knew we were playing a good program. I just wanted to come out here with a win, so that's awesome."
Alex DiSalvo contributed two goals and Sean Adler had two assists for Smithtown West. Jordan Walter led CSH with two goals and Ian Laviano added one goal and one assist.
After trailing early, Matt Heldberg's goal midway through the second quarter gave the Bulls a 4-3 lead and put them ahead for good.
CSH got to within 7-5 with 5:50 left in the third quarter behind a goal from Walter, but Smithtown West's defense, led by Logan Greco and Kyle Mathie, prevented the Seahawks from making a run by forcing turnovers and scooping loose balls.
"They're beasts," Keenan said. "It's tough to go against them in practice because they're all so much taller than everyone and they hack away at everything. They're really good."
Smithtown West goalie Matt Smidt made eight saves, including two pretty ones in the fourth.
Zawadzki scored the fourth quarter's lone goal to seal it.
Many expect Smithtown West, with a roster dotted with Division I recruits, to contend for a county title this season, and both Zawadzki, who's bound for Maryland, and Keenan, who is headed to Penn State, said they want nothing more.
"We don't plan to get ahead of ourselves, though," Zawadzki said. "We know how good we can be based on talent, but we still have to prepare and play for every single game just like we did for this first one."