Long Island

Lombardi: Yorktown makes statement

by Joe Lombardi on
Mon, May 6, 2013 10:12 AM

Updated Mon, May 6, 2013 10:18 AM
Lombardi: Yorktown makes statement

When it comes to tradition and reputation, Yorktown High School is always on the shortlist of the premier boys lacrosse programs in the nation.

This spring, Yorktown’s play on the field has only enhanced that reputation.

Back-to-back wins against a pair of 9-0 teams—Chaminade (12-8, on April 27) and Ridgefield (11-8, on April 30)—vaulted the Westchester power to the No. 3 spot in the latest MSG Varsity Tri-State Rankings. Yorktown, which now boasts a 12-1 record, has won nine straight contests.

The Chaminade victory was especially significant since the Long Island squad entered the game No. 1 in the MSGV rankings.

Goaltender Austin Graham made 10 saves behind the all-Division I-bound close-defensive unit of seniors Trevor Koelsch (Johns Hopkins) and Jack Phelan (Rutgers) and junior Austin Fusco (Syracuse), as Yorktown did not allow a second-half goal until the midway point of the fourth quarter.

“We feel very comfortable playing together as a unit,” said Fusco, who had seven forced turnovers. “We’ve been playing together for a couple years now. We definitely felt comfortable with our matchups going in and confident during the game.”

Rutgers University-bound junior attackman Connor Vercruysse finished with three goals in the game, while Danny Manning and Luke Palmadesso excelled on faceoffs and groundballs.

“Groundballs are always important for us,” Fusco said. “We pride ourselves on hard work and hustle. That’s one of the things we said in the huddle before the game. We have to work harder and get the groundballs. When we play hard and get the groundballs, we’re a very good team.”

Three days later, Ridgefield entered the game against Yorktown on the new turf field at Charlie Murphy Field, averaging just 2.4 goals allowed per game behind a packed-in zone defense. But the Huskers were able to pick apart the zone.

“Every time we got the faceoff we came down and moved the ball around,” said Yorktown senior attackman Nick Mariano, who became the 11th all-time scorer in Yorktown history, surpassing Roy Colsey mark of 221 career points. “That’s the key to lacrosse – getting possession, moving the ball around and looking for the open guy. When we got the ball to the open guy they canned their shots.”

To make the accomplishment even more memorable was the fact that Colsey is currently Ridgefield’s head coach and was patrolling the opposite sideline when Mariano hit his milestone.

“He’s a great Yorktown leader, a great Yorktown lacrosse player and it feels great to pass him (on the scoring list),” Mariano said.

Colsey found it ironic that Mariano would accomplish the feat against a team he coaches 22 years after his high school career ended.

“Congrats to Nick on a great accomplishment and congrats to Yorktown on a hard-fought and well-deserved win,” Colsey said.

Around the Tri-State

Three players—Brian Cannon, John Glancy and Rocco Sutherland—each had two goals and goaltender Dan Golden made 13 saves, as Northport improved to 12-2 by beating Smithtown East on May 4. … Defending Class B state champion Garden City dealt Long Beach its first loss on April 30, winning 8-5 behind three goals from Cody George and four assists by Justin Guterding. … Ward Melville beat West Islip for the first time since 2009, snapping a six-game losing streak against the Lions with an 11-2 win as sophomore Daniel Bucaro had two goals and five assists.

WESTCHESTER/HUDSON VALLEY: CHSAA rivals Fordham Prep and Iona Prep played a one-goal game for the third straight time, and for the third-straight time, Iona Prep prevailed. Phil Verre scored twice and Brandon Standard had two assists in the 7-6 victory. … Kevin McGee had three goals and an assist and Robby Lorden made 20 saves, as White Plains outlasted defending Section 1 Class A champion Mamaroneck on May 3.

NEW JERSEY: The game of the week—and one of the games of the season—was played at Don Bosco Prep on May 2, as the Ironmen outlasted Mountain Lakes, 10-9. The winning goal was scored by Nick Buchanan with 1:34 left, but the victory was preserved thanks to a last-second save by Will Collopy on a one-on-one scoring chance by Christian Cuccinello. … Christof Strunc had three goals and two assists in Chatham’s 9-6 win over Glen Ridge.

CONNECTICUT:  Harry Stanton scored four goals and Michael Kraus had one goal and three assists in New Canaan’s 10-6 win over John Jay-Cross River. The defending FCIAC champion Rams, who won their sixth straight, jumped out to a 7-2 first-quarter lead. … Despite being minus injured starters Alex Moeser and Decker Curran, Greenwich played Chaminade tough in a 12-5 loss. … Phil Huffard made 12 saves for Darien in an 8-6 loss at St. Anthony’s.

Looking Ahead

It will be the Battle of Smithtown and it should be a good one on May 10 when Smithtown East (11-2) hosts Smithtown West (12-2). … Garden City hosts unbeaten Shoreham-Wading River on May 11 at 2 p.m. … New Canaan, which is tied with Darien for first place in the FCIAC East Division, visits FCIAC West leader Ridgefield on May 9 at 6:30 p.m. … Iona Prep (11-2) visits John Jay (9-4) on May 9, before hosting Rye (10-2) on May 11. … Yorktown hosts four-time CHSAA Division AAA champion St. Anthony’s on May 11 at 1 p.m.

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