After appearing in the Class B County Finals last season the Smithtown West Bulls sit at No. 17 in our preseason rankings. They finished with a 13-5 record overall with a narrow defeat at the hands of Comsewogue one game short of the Long Island Championship. This year there will be some new faces in their starting lineup with half of them graduating in the class of 2022. Longtime Head Coach Bobby Moltisanti shared what will make this a successful season. “Strength down the middle will be our key to success. We return our FOGO Necco Cottage (Towson Commit) and two goalies as well as St. John’s commit Dylan Rail at LSM.”
The return of Cottage gives them an advantage at the face-off X more often than not as he enters his third year as a starter and is one of the island’s elite FOGO’s in the class of 2024. They are also returning veteran midfielders Carmelo Pace the Hopkins commit and John Savino the Merrimack commit, who will once again see big minutes. As a sophomore Pace was second on the team in assists with 20. Coach Moltisanti also says that senior Will Fitzsimmons will provide veteran leadership at attack. Fitzsimmons was a featured offensive player last season, posting 27 goals along with 17 assists.
As for the players that they will be without this year, Ryan and Ronnie Trebing along with Colin Hansen were a lethal trio that provided a major offensive punch, combining for 175 points between the three of them. It’s without question their presence will be missed, but like every team that loses key players, it presents a chance for younger players to gain minutes and showcase their abilities to the coaching staff. This is exactly what lies ahead for Liam Byrne and Tom Hyland to make up their attack unit. As a team Smithtown’s 11.2 goals per game ranked fourth in the conference a season ago.
Turning the attention to the defensive end, the last line of defense will be held by junior goaltender Dylan Bonasera who will look to follow up a 105 save season. Backing him up will be the sophomore Ray Sherwood who also saw action as a freshman. In a small sample size he made 48 saves and had a save percentage north of 60%. As a team they had a very stout defensive unit that only allowed a shade over seven goals per game in 2022, a number they would surely sign up for again this season if the offense keeps pace.
Looking at the schedule as the season approaches, they open things up with their first real game on March 22nd on their home turf against crosstown rival Smithtown East in a non-league showdown. March 28th marks their first league game when they travel to Islip to take on the Buccaneers. Some of the notable Class B teams on the schedule that they will likely be fighting with for playoff positioning include East Islip (4/26), West Islip (5/2), and Comsewogue (5/8).