Phil Vasserman nets 100th career goal in Central lacrosse win

Brothers bicker. Brothers scold each other, occasionally yell and sometimes give each other the cold shoulder.

But when they need each other most, brothers put everything else aside and fight anyone who isn’t family.

For the Central boys’ lacrosse team, rival Northeast is the enemy, and despite a slow start, a little squabbling and an early deficit, the undefeated Lancers vanquished the host Vikings, 12-9, on Tuesday.

“It’s like a brotherhood,” said senior Phil Vasserman, who finished with five goals, including No. 100 for his career. “We’ve been through a lot together since preseason. It’s just been rough but nothing’s perfect in the family …”

The wounded defending Public League champion Lancers, who had not beaten Northeast on the road in four years, were without injured senior Soosung Whang, one of the team’s best players, and fellow senior Vinny Santos was hobbled with an injured hamstring.

In the early proceedings, a little too much one-on-one and poor passing mixed with some tenacious Northeast play led to a 2-0 Central deficit.

After the first quarter ended with Central behind, 2-1, Vasserman, didn’t mince words about what his team could do better.

“They will fight, they will yell at each other, but they try to bring out the best in each other,” coach Steve Innamarato said.

Later, he added: “One of our chants is ‘family,’ because we know we have to stay together.”

The Lancers (11-0) responded to their leader, scoring five unanswered goals in the second quarter, four of which came within 2 minutes, 10 seconds.

The go-ahead goal came after the hamstrung Santos successfully checked an attacker, retrieved the ground ball and whipped a pass to Vasserman, who ran downfield and fired past the goaltender.

Central eventually took a 7-3 lead into intermission.

Vasserman is also a standout soccer player in the fall and will attend Drexel next season, although he was not guaranteed a spot on the soccer team, he said.

His 100th goal came just before halftime. He acknowledged the feat, but his sights are set elsewhere.

“It’s a big accomplishment, but I look at the bigger picture,” he said. “My goal is to win another championship this year. It’s a good little thing, but now I’m past that and moving forward and going for that championship.”

The Vikings (4-6) didn’t go quietly. Ebrahim Halimi, who led the team with  four goals, cut Central’s lead to 9-6 with 11:47 left in the fourth quarter.

But Vasserman answered with another tally.

“In my four years playing lacrosse here, we never got a win on this field against Northeast,” he said, “so it’s definitely a big win.”

Central     1  6   2   3   — 12
Northeast  2  1   2   4   — 9

C: Phil Vasserman 5, Isaac Hanes 4, Kevin Chan 2, Dylan Moos
N: Ebrahim Halimi 4, Adolfo Sanchez 2, Tenaj Walker, Timothy Ragan, Jason Li.

Saves: C — Basel Heiba 10; N — Zaid Hussain 15