The biggest, thickest, roughest, gruffest players on a lacrosse field aren't usually the ones scoring the goals.
Stick a long stick in their hands and you can usually kiss anything related to finesse goodbye.
Central senior Vinny Santos, however, is an exception.
Thursday afternoon in the Public League championship at Northeast, Santos, a long-stick midfielder, sparked the Lancers to a 16-3 victory against Boys' Latin to secure a second consecutive league crown.
Santos, a 5-foot-9, 250-pounder, finished with three goals and three assists, including two of the team's first three tallies.
"I'm just a bull in a china shop," said Santos, who was also a standout lineman on the Central football team. "I don't stop at any cost. I know my strength, but even if somebody's stronger than me, I'm still running through them, simple as that. You put something in your head and it's going to happen."
Fellow senior Phil Vasserman was on the minds of his Central teammates. Vasserman, who scored his 100th career goal in the regular-season finale, did not play in the game and was not in attendance.
Central coach Steve Innamarato declined to say why Vasserman was not allowed to play.
"I had to step up to the occasion," Santos said. "I knew we were shorthanded … and it was important to me to give all my effort because this is my last Public League game. When I came here freshman year, we didn't even have a team. I wanted to give it all to this program because I know we're going to set the [foundation] for future players."
Isaac Hanes led the Lancers (13-0) with five goals. Soosung Whang added four more in his return from a broken hand.
Anthony Morton led Boys' Latin (8-8) with a pair of goals, while the Warriors goalie, Temile Thorne, stopped 16 shots.
In addition to brute force, Santos also has quick feet and changes directions well, making him a difficult cover. He also has brains.
The Lancers were off to a sluggish start when he danced around a defender and fired low for a momentum-seizing goal with 27.8 seconds left in the first quarter.
Last season, Santos might have whipped a high, inaccurate shot on goal. This season, he has learned to shoot low, bouncing shots that are harder for goalies to pick up.
"He brings us direction," Innamarato said. "For a long-stick middie to score and lead the offense like that, you don't see that much. He's not only incredible on defense, but his offensive skills usually spark the team. Once he scores, you usually see multiple goals from other players."
Santos hopes to play football and lacrosse in college, but his final destination is uncertain.
Wherever he lands, however, he can always call himself and his teammates champions.
"All the seniors, we know it's the last one for us," he said. "A lot of us aren't going on to play college ball, so this is all we've got, all we need."
Central 3 5 2 6 16
Boys' Latin 1 0 0 2 3
C: Issac Hanes 5, Soosung Whang 4, Vinny Santos 3, Kevin Chan, Chris Lopez, Dylan Moos, Sooyoung Whang.
BL: Anthony Martin 2, Jamal White.