Moments earlier, his team had wrapped up a 12-10 win over St. John the Baptist of West Islip and its first-ever New York Catholic Class A state championship.
The celebration had now subsided and Iona Prep coach Rick Trizano called for their attention.
“Guys, are you ready now to to walk off this field?” he said.
They were. After all, their work had been completed.
“Four years ago, when we were freshmen, I remember losing to Horace Greeley 16-1,” said Trizano’s son, senior attackman Nick Trizano. “It’s amazing when you think where we are now and where we stood then.”
Led by a nucleus of five Division I-bound players, the Gaels have emerged as one of the stongest programs in the region.
The remarkable transformation was marked by a remarkable day in which two of those players the Drexel-bound Trizano and the Holy Cross-bound Myles Gillespie reached memorable milestones.
Trizano scored his 300th goal and his five points (on two goals and three assist) leave him with 511 career points good for second on the all-time state scoring list, ahead of Hamburg High School and University at Albany star Joe Resetarits (508) and behind only Carthage High School and Syracuse University legend Casey Powell (553).
“My dad showed me the list of names you had on your Web site this morning,” Trizano said. “It’s pretty unbelievable. I just shook my head. The numbers don’t mean so much to me, but that really does.”
The 300th goal came 1:47 into the third quarter on an overhand bounce shot just outside the crease that tied it at 3-3.
Gillespie reached his milestone when he scored the last of his three goals. He also had an assist.
“It was just a perfect day,” Gillespie said. “It’s like a Cinderella story to have all this happen on one day.”
After the Cougars held Iona Prep scoreless in the second quarter to take a 3-2 lead at the half, things really opened up in the third period, with Iona Prep outscoring St. John the Baptist 6-3 to go ahead 8-6. The faceoff work of Marist-bound midfielder Michael O’Hagan was key for the Gaels.
“It’s like a happy and sad feeling,” O’Hagan said. “It’s been an awesome time with Coach Rick these last few years and it’s great to go out with a win like this.”
At Marist, O’Hagan will be reunited with St. John the Baptist goaltender Brendan Price, who had nine saves today.
Iona Prep senior attackman Gus Guido, who had three goals, will join the Cougars’ Chris Dupointe at Hartford.
The Gaels will be losing four of their five Division I-bound players, with junior midfielder Pete DeSalvo (Fairfield University) the lone returnee.
“So many of us grew up playing together in Eastchester,” DeSalvo said. “That’s been so key to the chemistry we have on this team. We’re like a family.”
One that will grow stronger with time.
“Our JV was strong, and we had seven sophomores on this team,” Rick Trizano said. “We don’t rebuild, we’re going to reload.”
Gillespie said the continued success of the program will be important to all of this year’s seniors even though they will have moved on to college. His brother, Jack, a midfielder, will be a junior on next year’s time.
“Oh definitely,” Gillespie said. “We all helped to build it and I want to see the the program continue to be successful.
“I just told Coach the other day, you gotta play Yorktown next year.”
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