Yorktown Anything but Crisp in 7-6 Loss to John Jay
Hen Hud Upends Somers, 7-4; Pac Slips Past PV, 12-10
Gentlemen, start your engines! The annual regular season showdown between Yorktown High and John Jay CR is to Section 1 lacrosse what NASCAR’s Daytona 500 is to auto racing; in that it signals the dawn of a new local lacrosse season. Yeah, they’d already played a few games by the time they met last Friday night at Jay, but this game has become the granddaddy of them all in this neck of the woods, and local laxers weren’t let down.
There is plenty of #FakeNews in the world these days, so we’ll spare you the bogus innuendo and get down to the cold, hard facts. The Class B Huskers (4-2) entered the fray with a 15-game win streak against the rival Indians (3-1), but that went by the wayside when Yorktown got sloppy — like, asleep-at-the-switch sloppy — with the key possessions, and John Jay capitalized with a 7-6 triumph, its first over the Huskers since 2010.
John Jay junior Bryce Ford (1G, 2A) subbed in and scored from 18 yards out with 10:08 to play for a 6-5 lead and Jack Gorman bounced another shot past Husker G Louis Ragusa (7 saves) with 8:18 left for a 7-5 lead. After a calamity of errors, including mental and physical miscues, Yorktown finally lit the lamp with 1:39 left to play, Husker M Hunter Embury doing the damage and cutting the deficit to one. Jay won the ensuing faceoff, shaved more time off the clock and left Embury with just eight seconds for one final run at Jay D Thor Adamec, who would not allow Embury so much as a sniff as time expired.
“We didn’t play very well: To be flat-out honest we didn’t play very good,” Yorktown Coach Sean Carney admitted. “They’re very good take nothing away from them. They have good balance up and down the field, there’s no doubt about it. But that was the sloppiest I’ve seen us play all year; it was turnover after turnover after turnover. Just some terrible plays. We had opportunities early where I thought we could cash in and we didn’t. They gained some confidence then, and that’s what happens when you make bad play after bad play after bad play. We didn’t execute and there’s no doubt about it. That’s on us. We got to execute better 6-on-6 offense, 6-on-6 defense, clearing the ball was not crisp, so we got to get better and we will.”
Clearly, John Jay has, too, and the Indians will only get better upon the return of Duke-bound LSM Braden Burke, and, just as importantly, it will be tough to question the Indians’ toughness this season. In years past, Jay didn’t have the mental or physical fortitude to hang with the Huskers, and Indian Coach Tim Schurr was the first to admit it.
“That’s a great point and we have to sustain that,” said Schurr. “We have moments where we’re as tough as anybody in the past, but in order to be a really good team you have to play tough for 48 minutes and you got to be willing to take that shot and get up from it. We’ve been up on these guys in the past, but they keep on playing, so yeah that’s a good point, but we’re getting a little tougher, which we need to be. We know they’ll be better six weeks from now and we hope we’re there with them in the end again.”
Neither coach was pleased with the crispness of play, and both admitted cold April nights will produce less-than-stellar lax. Yorktown All-American Brett Makar concurred, and expects the Huskers will be a much different team should they see each other in late May at Lakeland, home of the Section 1 finals.
“It was a sloppy game, for sure,” Makar said. “I’m sure all in attendance can agree on that. I’ve enjoyed some really great wins, and, obviously, some tough losses. Hats off to John Jay for capitalizing on our mistakes and taking advantage of where we went wrong. They’re a great team with a lot of good athletes. It stings but there is a lot of lacrosse left to be played, and we’re taking it one day at a time to learn from this game and bounce back.”
Husker Jamison Embury scored four goals to pace Yorktown, which had its streak of 26-straight wins against Section 1 foes snapped (an 8-7 loss to Fox Lane in 2015). Tommy Beeby, Dean Ford, Sean Nolan and Michael Minard also scored for John Jay (3-1). Jamison Embury led the Huskers (4-2) with four goals. Blake Borges netted one for the Huskers.
In Yorktown’s 15-7 triumph of Bridgewater Raritan (NJ), Hunter Embury (29 points) continued his torrid pace with five more goals for the Huskers, who took a commanding 5-1 first-quarter lead and ditched the Panthers quickly. Yorktown M Shane Dahlke added a hat trick while Keegan Doller and Justin Comerford each bagged a pair. Jamison Embury (38 points) did much of the feeding, scoring once and dishing four assists.
In other Class B action, SOMERS showed some grit when Rye defeated the Tuskers, 11-5, last Wednesday, doing so by winning 12 of 15 face-offs and establishing a possession dominance that was too much for the Tuskers to deal with.
“Rye was very good for sure, very strong across the board with an excellent face-off kid,” Somers Coach Vid DeGregorio said.
The Tuskers responded in kind during an 11-2 drubbing of upstart Class A CARMEL on a windy Thursday. Somers senior Brandon LaSpina (4G, 1A) had the finest game of his career while senior Vincent Cartelli (3G, 1A) was uncontainable and boosted his numbers to 13G, 4A on the year.
LAKELAND/PANAS can only pray for a speedy return of middie TJ Bryan if they are going to trim the fat off a three-goal deficit between themselves and upstart Scarsdale, which has suddenly emerged as a Class A favorite after an impressive 12-9 road win last Thursday.
Bryan, a cagey junior face-off man, might have made up the difference, but L/P shot itself in the foot with a handful of costly penalties that kept the Rebels out of synch in the second half. Senior A JoJo Janavey paced the Rebels with four goals, but it wasn’t nearly enough to hold off Scarsdale, a 2017 semifinalist that has never won a Section 1 title and last challenged for one in 1985, an 11-10 Class B title loss to Byram Hills.
In Lakeland’Panas’ annual showdown with Section 2 heavyweight Shenedehowa, Rebel youngsters Alex Davoli and Matt Makar each scored two goals while Marist-bound senior JoJo Janavey dished out two assists. Sean Laukaitis and Matt Hodges scored one apiece for Lakeland/Panas, which discovered that the push to the NYS Final 4 will go through Shen’, or the Section 2 powers that be, in all likelihood.
Janavey and Laukaitis each bagged a hat trick in the Rebels’ 13-12 loss to Class D Bronxville Saturday.
MAHOPAC held on by the skin of its teeth in a 12-10 win over Class D PUTNAM VALLEY, which isn’t a good sign if the Indians plan on contending for the Class A title.
HEN HUD junior A Max Popolizio popped off four goals and, more impressively, dished seven assists to come within a point of a school record for points in a game (12 by Todd Horgan) to lead the Class C Sailors to an 18-8 win over Class A Arlington. The lefty-cranking Popilizio’s seven assists were one more than he had all last season. Villanova-bound senior A Austin Fraser took seven shots and tickled twine five times for the Sailors (2-1). Sailor junior A Connor Gallagher and senior M AJ Pannella each scored twice.
“The kids showed examples of a good team lacrosse and good team offense in pockets,” Sailor skipper Troy Lepore said. “When we play selfish, or try to make one-on-one plays, we allow the other team back into it. We have a lot to work on. We’re big on film, not for just where we need to improve, but also so the kids can see all the positives. When we make the extra pass and move off ball, we get everyone involved; that goes for clearing the ball, too. As a result, over the last two games, we’ve seen contributions from a lot of guys. Consistency is key. We gotta keep that up and take the same approach each game moving forward.”
Hen Hud added to its good-time feeling with a 7-4 win over visiting Somers on Saturday when Fraser (17 points) went off for another five marks. Connor Gallagher (1G, 1A), Mekhi Grey (1G) and Popolizio (2A) all figured into the act. Cartelli scored three goals for the Tuskers.
Senior M Josh Nelson notched a career-high five goals in BREWSTER‘s 16-10 win over Clarkstown South last Thursday for the Bears and junior A Patrick Feehan added three goals and one assist. Bob Conklin also scored three times. Senior A Kevin Moroney and Charlie Russell each had a pair of goals for Brewster. Bears freshman G Billy Finn (12 saves) had the finest outing of his budding career as Brewster (2-1) notched its first win.
The Bears followed that up with a 10-4 win over Section 9’s Pine Bush.
“Kids played really well, especially adapting on the fly,” Bears Coach Mike Honey said. “We are very young with four freshmen up on varsity, but they practice hard and are willing to get better. The whole season will be a work in progress.”
PUTNAM VALLEY showed some essential scoring depth in a 5-4 win over 2017 Section 1 Class A runner-up Wappingers Falls last Wednesday. The Class D Tigers saw M Joey Vandeveerdonk score twice while Lucas Colavecchio, Kyle Wassil and Jack Longden also scored.
Most importantly, PV’s zone defense stood tall before senior G Travis Anderson (10 saves).
“I thought our kids did a fantastic job of following the game plan,” PV Coach Tim Weir said. “We thought it was going to be a low scoring game, so we had to limit our mistake and take advantage of our scoring opportunities which we did. Wappingers put a lot of pressure on our defense in the 4th quarter but, Travis came up big a few times. From early second quarter to the 4th quarter with 6:39 left the defense held them scoreless. They did a great job of communicating and playing team defense. All in all, it was a great win for the kids, which I hope springboards us to bigger and better things.”
Against Mahopac, Mike Nolan (3G, 5A) scored a career-high eight points in a losing effort while Joey Vandeveerdonk notched five goals.
HALDANE‘s Brandon Twoguns came out wielding weapons in the Blue Devils’ 15-0 win over Peekskill, netting five goals. Teammates Darrin Santos 3G) and Jagger Beachak (2G, 3A) were equally proficient on the attack.
NWE/Putnam Fab Five Lax Poll
No.1 YORKTOWN – Precision passing will be key to their speed game next time they face Jay since the Huskers don’t have a Casey/Cavallo-type who can post up and back down defenders.
No.2 HEN HUD – We challenged this Sailor club (3-1) to be better defensively in front of G Vinny Bell (9 saves vs. Somers) and the Dylan Fraser-led unit did that and then some. According to most pundits, the Class C road runs through either Rye or Pelhan, indeed, but the Sailors figure to be more than just a speed bump as they give chase to the first title in school history.
No.3 LAKELAND/PANAS – We trust that Coach Jim Lindsay’s club will get its issues straightened out by mid-May but getting back a healthy TJ Bryan is tantamount to anything the Rebels (1-3) can do.
No.4 SOMERS – The Cartelli/Laspina connection should be enough to get these Tuskers (2-2) to a Class B Final 4 but they are going to find it tough to measure up against either Yorktown or Jay in the sectional semis.
No.5 MAHOPAC – This is a Class A outfit barely getting past a third-tier Class D Put Valley team, so unless something changes in a hurry we would not expect much more than a Final 4 run from the Indians (2-1); though we’ve been wrong before and shall be again. Just not certain this is one of those rare occasions.
No.5A PUT VALLEY – Not sure what happened in the loss to Carmel, but we believe Coach Weir has the Tigers (2-2) on the precipice of change, and Carmel is on that trail, too.