Danny Murphy had a lot to think about as he prepared to take the field at Glen Cove HS for the inaugural Dan Daly Cup.
The Hauppauge junior was thinking about winning in front of a big crowd at Glen Cove HS, but there was also the bigger picture, which separated this from other showcases.
“I was thinking about how the Marines put this together, about how Dan Daly and guys like him and how much they sacrifice for our country,” Murphy said.
With that added motivation, Murphy helped lead Team Valor (Suffolk) to a 14-8 win over Team Virtue (Nassau) Saturday afternoon.
Murphy, who had five goals and two assists, was named the MVP of the game, which featured juniors from both counties.
“I was definitely a little more energized in front of the big crowd and knowing what we were playing for,” Murphy said. “I had a bunch of my buddies on the team. We really wanted to go out and win and I guess it showed on the field.”
The team names come from ideals the Marines hold true. On the back of each jersey was the name ‘Daly’ to commemorate the two-time Medal of Honor winner who served his country for 30 years in the early 1900s.
“It’s an unbelievable event, seeing the Marines everywhere and them doing this for us,” Murphy said. “It’s a great experience.”
Syosset’s Cole Samaroo was the recipient of the Gung Ho Award, given to a player that showcased motivation and leadership during the buildup to the game.
“The amount of work we do on the lacrosse field is nothing compared to what the Marines and other service men and women do for us,” Samaroo said. “It’s an honor for all of us and it’s a great experience.”
Both teams helped clean up a park in Glen Cove that was overrun with bamboo and sticks, Samaroo said. It was a chance to give back to a community Dan Daly called home.
“I don’t think I played my best in my game, but I don’t think that’s what this game is all about,” Samaroo said. “It’s about working together, working hard and giving back to the community.”
Ryan Ozsvath from Half Hollow Hills West had three goals and two assists, Sachem North’s Michael Licata had two goals, Joseph Licata (Sachem East) and Steve Frank (Hauppauge) each had a goal and an assist, Rocky Point’s Chris Vaden and Walter Heitz from Middle County both scored a goal and Patrick Dean (Westhampton) and Kyle Lumpie (Harborfields) were solid in goal for Team Valor.
Massapequa’s Griffin Konen and Manhasset’s Logan Dunn each scored two goals apiece, Kyle Dunleavy (Mineola) and Dean Peluso (MacArthur) had one goal each and Gerard Del Grosso (MacArthur) had two assists.
While Murphy and his teammates have county bragging rights, players from both teams left the field glad to have played in this special showcase.
“You just feel honored to even be a part of this,” Samaroo said. “It’s a great thing. I’d honestly love to come back and help these guys out and spread their cause.”