Briarcliff Falls to Rye, Rebounds to Shock Mamaroneck
By Ray Gallagher
Examiner Sports Editor @Directrays &
Rob DiAntonio @RJD_Photos
When Yorktown resident Charlie Murphy, who passed in 2005, dipped into his checkbook back in the mid-’60s as the founding father of one of the finest lacrosse programs in the world, his vision was based on Yorktown High starting a lacrosse trend and growing the game. That vision was crystal clear and all the more evident last Saturday when Coach Sean Carney’s visiting Cornhuskers edged Coach Jim Lindsay’s rival Lakeland/Panas club, 15-14, to win the coveted Charlie Murphy Cup for the 28th time in 31 tries. #TheCupStaysPut and the shine on both programs remains.
The number 15 is the key here, so listen up. Both Yorktown and Lakeland/Panas honored the life and times of former Yorktown and Syracuse University All-American Rob Kavovit (perhaps the greatest No.15 in Husker history), who tragically passed last March as a result of depression, something the Kavovit family openly acknowledges and hopes to fight against in honor of their beloved son, Rob.
“Unfortunately, Rob was taken over by depression which led to his death,” his father, Dave Kavovit said. “With that said it is our intention to reach out to all people, especially in the lacrosse world, and it’s our intention to start a foundation to help others suffering from depression.
“We have lost an amazing son and brother to his siblings,” he added. “A loving wife and two beautiful sons have lost a husband and father. It is amazing to see and hear the impact Rob had in the lacrosse world both in Yorktown and the many stadiums he was blessed to play in and where opponents admired his skill and sportsmanship playing lacrosse. It is important to take into consideration what the world is going through with the COVID-19 pandemic. It has brought to people deeper sadness and stress than they needed to encounter. It did have an effect on Rob through his work in the medical field. He would want to have everyone be aware of their family, friends, teammates when they don’t seem to be themselves. Reach out and help them, let Rob’s and our loss be your win over depression.”
That said, it was No.15 Jack Duncan who scored Yorktown’s 15th and final goal on a game that was played on May 15th with a 12:15 p.m. start. Wait, there’s more No.15 freakout at play. Rob Kavo’s two sons played in their first lax tourney today in Florida Saturday afternoon, and the two lads totaled 15 points in two games between them (Luke 1G, 4A; Landry 6G, 4A). There were heavenly forces at work behind Yorktown, which withstood a furious Rebel rally, and with the win Yorktown (5-0) remains the top seed for the Class B Section 1 tournament while the Rebels (5-2) will have the harder route to the Class B finals.
Yorktown junior A Harry Griff, who was everything as advertised, helped spot the Huskers a 6-1 first-quarter lead with two goals and two assists in what looked like a laugher of a game until Lindsay, oft-lauded as the finest chess master in the section, adjusted. Those tweaks put Yorktown’s celebration on hold until Rebel Conor Hufnagel’s rip in the waning seconds hit a pipe, allowing the Huskers to regain possession and run off the final 18 seconds. Griff finished with three goals and two assists. Will Embury added a hat trick for the Huskers while teammate Spencer Norris had one goal and two assists. Evan Makar had one goal for the Huskers.
It was all Yorktown at first until L/P junior Nick Graap (2G, 2A) took over and eventually tied the score at 9-9 with 6:16 to go in the third quarter, what might have been the Rebels’ best quarter against Yorktown since 2010.
On the next possession, Husker G Adam Norris (13 saves) thwarted a Conor Hufnagel (2G, 4A) shot, but the rebound careened toward a pile of humanity and Graap swiped at Husker Jack Carlin’s pole and batted the ball into the cage for the Rebels’ first lead at 10-9 at 5:45 of the third, but Yorktown coolly regained composure and went on 5-1 run to take a 15-11 edge with 5:21 to go.
It was at this point when Yorktown senior A Dylan Beck (6G, 1A), the star of the game, took control. Beck tied the game at 10-all with 5:49 left in the third and then put the Huskers up 12-11 with :25 left in the third quarter. Beck followed with two more goals for a 14-11 lead at 8:13 of the fourth.
“No one has worked harder,” Coach Carney said of Beck. “His teammates are happy for him as they have seen how hard he works and named him captain this season. He is a great athlete and one of the best shooters in the section.
“That was a stressful win,” Carney admitted. “Jimmy’s boys always fight to the finish. We got up early and then they started to outwork us.This year is one of those years where things are going to be a little sloppy. Jimmy and I talked about that before the game. The season has more of a tournament feel than a regular season. We scored 15 goals, so we’re happy with that, but on the defensive side we need to stop teams a little bit more. The conversation when we got off the bus was to stop their runs. They’re going to start yelling and screaming and get excited as they should get, but we just gotta keep our heads, keep an even keel and step up when we have to. That’s their job and now their name’s on the cup.”
After jumping out to what seemed to be an insurmountable 7-1 lead, Yorktown had to adjust to Lindsay’s adjustments after Griff went full speed at the L/P cage, hit the brakes and switched to left hand at 10:32 of second quarter to put Yorktown up by six.
Lindsay had seen enough and threw a shadow on Griff in the form of senior pole Eddie Hylka, who locked down Griff for much of the final three quarters.
“We had to make some adjustments when they adjusted by locking me off,” Griff said. “We had to involve other shooters on our team. Everybody else is fast and can shoot. We just needed to get them all involved. We’re hoping to see them (L//P) again down the road because it would be another great game. This really feels special to win a Murphy Cup after sitting out my freshman year with an injury and then COVID last year, so helping these seniors win it this year feels great.”
L/P’s Reed Thompson (4G, 1A) was huge during the comeback attempt. Liam Burke and Tyler Nocito each had two goals and one assist for the Rebels while Justin Stabile (1G, 1A), Mark Cummins and Augie Kocaj scored once.
“This one is tough to swallow,” Lindsay admitted. “We didn’t come out strong and they jumped all over us. You can’t spot them six or seven goals, but I’m proud of the kids for settling down. This could have turned ugly like Mamaroneck and it didn’t. They showed me something today. We came up a pipe too short. A bounce here or a bounce there and maybe we’re taking that trophy home today, but we’ll see them again.”
Afterwards, the media’s attention turned toward a potential rematch in the sectional finals.
“Honestly, I don’t need another heart attack, so we’ll see,” Carney said. “There’s a lot of good teams in Class B this year.”
“We got a long way to go before we think about that,” Lindsay said. “We’ve got to get healthy and there’s a lot of really good teams in Class B, so it’s loaded and we gotta work, but our kids are resilient and as long as we learn from this we’ll be fine.”
Lakeland/Panas crushed Brewster earlier in the week, 15-2. Thompson had four goals and five assists. Graap added four goals and two assists. Hufnagel finished with three goals and two assists and Nocito scored twice.
BRIARCLIFF bounced back from a tight loss to Rye with a program-defining 11-6 road win over Mamaroneck on Saturday. The Tigers boast a roster with a boatload of players who are committed to Division 1 schools.
“This was a huge win for our program,” Bears coach Al Meola said. “I think it will give us a nice boost and get us back on track after a tough loss to Rye. The key to this win was sticking with our game plan whistle to whistle and not deviating.”
Elliot Jones paced the Bears with four goals and an assist. Nico Santucci added three goals and two assists. Jack Ricciardi (1G, 2A), Matt Waterhouse (2G), Aidan Murnane (1A), Brandon Rispoli (1G) and Lucas Proctor (1A) were contributors offensively. Evan Van Camp came up huge in net with 22 saves.
The Bears staged a furious late rally but fell to visiting Rye 15-14 last Tuesday. Briarcliff trailed 13-6 early in the fourth quarter but outscored the Garnets 8-2 the rest of the way.
Jones netted a behind-the-back goal to cut it to 14-12 with 4:36 to go. The Bears then couldn’t convert on an EMO and Rye answered on the other end with three minutes left. Ricciardi unleashed a shot on the run and scored for the Bears with 1:23 left. Briarcliff took a timeout and found Proctor in front to cut it to 15-14 with 13 ticks left. Rye won the ensuing face-off and was able to run the clock out.
“I told them to keep their heads up,” Meola said of his message to the Bears after the loss. “They showed a lot of perseverance and they didn’t let down for one second. I was proud of all of them. It was a great game to learn from. We made a lot of mistakes but it’s a good teaching moment for them.”
Johnny Hartzell, a Colgate commit, won 25 of 30 face-offs for Rye.
“I think he’s the best and the guy we faced the other day at Bronxville (Henry Donohue) is probably the second best,” Meola said when asked if Hartzell is the toughest on face-offs in the area that he’s seen. “That kid’s nasty (Hartzell) and he’s a sweetheart of a kid. I’m happy for him.”
Ricciardi (3G, 4A), Proctor (2G, 2A), Jones (3G), Waterhouse (2G), Rispoli (3G, 1A), Santucci (1G, 1A) and Van Camp (10 saves) led the Bears.
Briarcliff (4-1) cruised past Croton-Harmon, 17-9, on Thursday. Proctor (1G, 1A), Jones (2G, 1A), Ricciardi (1G), Waterhouse (2G), Santucci (1G, 1A), Rispoli (2G), Brett Lachtman (2G, 2A), Murnane (1G), Matt Zaretsky (1G), Alex Kirshenbaum (1G, 1A), Josh Newman (3G, 2A) and Jameson Wong (13 saves) helped fill up the stat sheet.
Games with Mamaroneck and Rye will only make the Bears better down the line as they pursue a Section 1 Class C title. Briarcliff is scheduled to host rival Pleasantville at 4:30 p.m. today. They then head to WESTLAKE on Wednesday (4:30 p.m.) and travel to Yorktown on Friday (7 p.m.) for another big test.
BYRAM HILLS (4-2) posted a 9-6 road win over a perennially strong John Jay-Cross River team last Thursday. Senior Hayden Fruhling sparked the Bobcats with four goals while Gavin Javorsky added two goals and two assists.
Benny Rakower, Ben Weinhoff and Jake Teitelbaum notched a goal and an assist apiece.
“We all played together. We played smart and as one and it allowed for us to make big plays on both sides of the field,” Fruhling said.
“Weinhoff dominated at the face-off X and we had the ball a ton. Our defense played lockdown and communicated. Jack Quinn is settling in in the cage and he’s really special and a huge part of our success.
“We try and preach neutral thinking so although we were super pumped with such a large program victory we are already focused on our next opponent. With such a young team it’s important to be excited about the win but focus on the little things we need to fix in order to continue with this level of success moving forward.”
Fruhling netted three goals in a 9-6 road loss to a strong Scasdale team on Saturday. Quinn made 14 saves in the setback.
In a 17-4 senior day win over Ossining last Monday, Fruhling went off for six goals and four assists. Michael Oronzio (1G, 5A), Sean Siegel (2G, 2A) and Teitelbaum (3G) also made big impacts.
WHITE PLAINS had a 2-1 week to improve its record to 7-2. The Tigers cruised past Rye Neck (14-4), were shut down by Scarsdale (8-1) and came from behind to defeat Ossining (9-7).
“If you told me we were going to be 7-2, I’d sign up for it at the beginning of the year, no problem,” White Plains coach Mark Armogida said. “I’d be ecstatic.”
At Ossining on Saturday, the Tigers trailed 7-6 in the fourth quarter. Colin Walsh (3G) tied the game up with seven minutes to go then Ryan Ortiz (3G, 1A) ripped a goal on the EMO from Paolo Medelius to give White Plains the lead with 3:12 to play. Danny LaSalle (2G) added an insurance goal less than 20 seconds later after Jack Herman won a face-off and set up the goal.
Herman was critical on face-offs for the Tigers and won 14 of 19. Nicolas Spista made six saves.
“Jack Herman’s lights out,” Armogida said. “He created some transition for us even though he didn’t score himself. He gave the ball up at the right time. Right now, he’s No. 1 in the section in terms of percentage at 79 percent on face-offs. He trains year round. He used to be a wrestler and he loves that one-on-one competition. He really did a nice job of stepping up.”
Ossining was sparked by Stone Turnquist (3G), Jacob Miller (2G, 1A) and Caden Hallinan (3A).
Walsh (5G), Ortiz (1G, 3A), Nick Armogida (1G, 2A), Medelius (1G, 2A), Jake Strobel (2G) and Trent Munch (2G) led the way for White Plains against Rye Neck.
The Tigers’ defense has been critical toward its success this season while the offense has had its moments.
“On offense, we just have to settle down and we have to shoot better,” Coach Armogida said. “Too many shots right into the goalie’s stick; not enough bounce shots. We just have to finish our opportunities. On defense, today (against Ossining), we let up a few easy goals. We’re not normally like that. Our defense, all year long has been stellar. Nick Spista in goal is phenomenal and always comes up with big saves. I think he’s No. 6 in the section with save percentage. And our poles, Eli Pierre, he did a great job on Caden Hallinan. And then our other poles, Rudy DeFilippis does a great job.”
PLEASANTVILLE narrowly defeated John Jay-Cross River (8-7) but fell to Pelham (8-6) and Somers (10-8) last week in tight contests to see its record fall to 7-2.
Jack Collins netted the game-winning goal against John Jay on a feed from Brennan McDermott with just eight seconds left. McDermott tallied three goals and two assists. Ryan Challice added three goals and an assist.
McDermott notched three goals and three assists in the loss to Pelham. Daniel Picart had a goal and an assist.
SOMERS remained hot after its 9-8 double OT triumph of HEN HUD.
Somers senior sniper T.J. Deagan’s hat trick gave the Tuskers the win in OT. Hen Hud led 8-3 heading into the fourth quarter, but Tuskers Kieran Gill provided another hat trick for the Tuskers and triggered the comeback. Deagan forced overtime with 51 seconds to play. Henry Ellison (2G, 1A) was also big for Somers. Thomas Popolizio (4G, 1A) led Hen Hud while Dean Hiltsley added two goals and one assist.
Hen Hud did chalk up an 11-3 win over Ossining when Luke O’Neill put five between the pipes and Popolizio (1G) set up five others for the Sailors. Hiltsley (3G, 2A) was huge for Hen Hud.
WESTLAKE (2-3) picked up a win over North Salem (11-4) but lost to Bronxville (12-6) and MAHOPAC (14-3) when the combination of Mike Rettberg (5G), Jake Degnan (4G, 2A) and West Point-bound Mike Harney (2G, 4A) were too hot to handle.
In the victory over North Salem, Matt Sardo (3G, 1A), Aidan Pray (3G), Anthony DelDuca (3G), Connor Cronin (2G, 2A), Andrew Llamas (4A) and Edward Olszewski (8 saves) paced the Wildcats. Llamas (3G, 2A), Sardo (2G) and DelDuca (1G) led the team in the loss to the Broncos.
On senior night in the Valley last Friday, PUTNAM VALLEY saw its seniors rise to the occasion in a 14-1 win over Pawling. Senior Ethan Mounier had five goals and one assist and junior Ryan Denike did the serving (1G, 5A). Seniors Garrett Leitmann (3G) and Jack Murphy (2G) were also big for the Tigers, who were up 6-0 after one.
The Tigers followed that up with an impressive 10-5 win over Class A Arlington. Andrew Dzubek (3G, 2A) had a career day for the Tigers. PV went on a 6-1 run to put the Admirals away behind Denike (2G, 4A) Mounier (2G) and Leitman (2G).
FOX LANE was crushed by Yorktown 15-2 last Tuesday but bounced back with a 16-3 throttling of host HORACE GREELEY on Thursday. Everett Banks exploded for seven goals and three assists. Will Shepherd (2A), Jake Wollman (2A) and Matt Magidson tallied two goals apiece.
The Foxes cruised past Carmel 18-7 on Saturday to improve to 6-2.
Greeley secured a low-scoring 5-4 win over Carmel last Monday. Matt Hutchings netted the game winner on a feed from goalie Sam Rosenberg with seven minutes to go. Carter Meehan (2G), Jeff Lungen (1G) and Patrick Holub (1G) chipped in for the Quakers. Matt Risley had two goals for Carmel.
Rosenberg made 17 saves for the Quakers in an 11-4 loss to North Rockland on Saturday.
HALDANE saw hotshot Darrin Santos pour six goals into the cage, including the game-winner in OT, in a 15-14 victory over O’Neil. Evan Giachinta added a hat trick and set up three others. Jordan Henkel made 25 saves. Liam Gaugler, Daniel Santos and Rowen Kuzminski each scored twice for the Blue Devils.
CARMEL came up short in a 10-7 loss to Wappingers despite freshman A Matt Risley’s hat trick, plus a pair of tallies and three assists from senior M Ryan McDonald and three assists from Ryan Aabel.
RAY GALLAGHER / ROB DIANTONIO / BILL KENNEDY / JULIE DEAGAN / JIMMY NGUYEN PHOTOS