Somers Making Early Noise; Reich Rips 6 for Pleasantville

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Vogel’s OT Tally Lifts Yorktown over Bronxville

By Ray Gallagher, Examiner Sports Editor @Directrays

Nothing has ever compared to the ‘Golden Era’ of Section 1 lacrosse. The period between 1989 and 1996 has been unmatched in terms of collective talent in Section 1 history: When Yorktown won four of its seven NYS titles (1989-93), Mahopac won another in 1996 and Lakeland reached its only state final (1991). And while we’re just scratching the surface on the 2024 season, it does seem like something special is in the making.

Somers junior M Miguel Iglesias gobbled up opposing defenders while scoring five points (3G, 2A) in Tuskers’ season-opening 17-3 win over host Scarsdale Wednesday.

From the “We Didn’t See This One Coming” category, visiting Class B SOMERS went down to reigning three-time Section 1 Class A champion Scarsdale and literally kicked some butt on  Butler Field in Wednesday’s 17-3 thrashing of the Red Raiders before Saturday’s 9-8 triumph of visiting perennial power Wilton (CT).

The Tuskers have emerged as an early feel-good story while reigning Class B champion YORKTOWN and Class D titlists PLEASANTVILLE look like potential repeat champions after some early-season mastery, leading many to believe that Section 1 has some serious gitty-up, including some juice from Class A’s Mamaroneck and Class C Bronxville.

Against Wilton, Somers held an 8-6 edge before Notre Dame-bound M Miguel Iglesias scored at 3:45 of the third for a 9-6 lead. At 1:24 Wilton struck again behind Connor McAndrew, his second of the quarter before Ryan Smith opened the fourth-quarter scoring to trim the deficit to one, 9-8, at 7:20. A Landon Pepe (13 saves) stuff and outlet led to a 10-8 Somers lead at 6:38 after Ryan Brush (1G, 1A) scored from Dean Palazzola. Ryan Smith scored again at 3:36 to make it 10-9.

Somers won possession and went man-up at 3:21, but nothing good came of it. Somers then went man-down at 2:19 before holding on for dear life down the stretch.

Towson-bound senior A Mac Sullivan (1A) and Mason Kelly each bagged a hat trick for the Tuskers. Iglesias added two goals and a helper while Luca Ploger (1G) and M Matt Mayfield (2A, 18 of 23 on faceoffs) were key to the cause.

“I’m proud of our team’s resolve against a really talented Wilton squad,” Somers first-year Coach Jordan Hirsch said. “There are always things we can improve on, but with this game really being our team’s first test in handling some adversity, I’m proud of our guys for playing through mistakes and finding a way when the game was in its most crucial moments. Our offense and transition game got us going early, our face-off unit with Matt Mayfield was sound and consistent, and our defense answered the bell time and time again making big stops when we needed them most, it was truly a full team effort. A great high school lacrosse game in a great lacrosse environment.”

Mahopac senior Danny Koch sets up for one of his five tallies in visiting Wolf Pac’s 13-5 loss to Class A powerhouse Mamaroneck Wednesday.

Against Scarsdale, behind five points from Iglesias (3G, 2A) and four more from Towson-bound Mac Sullivan (3G, 1A), the Tuskers unleashed just some of the potential we have seen in recent years while a once-young roster showed flashes but fell short in the playoffs.

“We played awesome,” Iglesias said. “We came out hot from the beginning of the game and we just didn’t let up and kept it going. We possessed the ball for long periods of time and overall everyone played well. Our team wanted to make a statement for our first game of the season, and I think we did that.”

Coach Hirsch didn’t wait long to make an impact on the program; albeit, Scarsdale in 2024 is not the same club as the past three seasons.

“Scarsdale lost a lot of talent to graduation and they have some injuries to their core players so they have some guys in spots that are gaining experience, but with Coach Syno at the helm, I’d look for them to make the playoff push they always do in Class A. He always has that team playing its best lacrosse when it counts the most.

“(Former Somers) Coach (Vince) DeGregorio laid an incredible foundation for Coach Spillane and I to build off of,” Hirsch added. “Of course, with change comes a learning period, and we certainly had that in the winter where our coaches were learning about the players and the players were learning new systems, philosophies, and structures. It’s been great to build trust and relationships with a group that has been very eager to build this up together.”

Hirsch saw Somers’ depth on display as Tuskers Nick Newman (2G, 1A), Ryan Brush (2G, 1A), Matt Mayfield (2G, 1A, 17 of 19 face offs), Tristain Iglesias (2G, 1A) all found the stat sheet while G Landon Pepe made 15 saves.

“I thought our team had a great off season and it showed how much they wanted this season to be special,” Hirsch said “Of course, I hope that manifests in a way that they’ll have lifetime memories from this spring. It’s great to get off to a nice start and I’m thrilled for the team to experience early success. We also know that while this is a positive first step for us, there are plenty of things that we need to improve on to be the best version of ourselves.”

Pleasantville D Brian McPhee and the Panthers’ close D unit has been tough to solve through the unit’s first two games, including a win over two-time reigning NYS champ Baldwinsville Saturday.

If, indeed the Tuskers (2-0) are the best version of themselves, they could get on a nice run here with Hen Hud, Put Valley, Briarcliff, Fox Lane and Mahopac on deck before what should be a true test from Lakeland/Panas on April 16.

In other Class B action, YORKTOWN turned to senior M Ryan Vogel to score the game-winning goal in Saturday’s 8-7 season-opening overtime win against visiting Bronxville, a heavy Class C favorite in 2024. A clean faceoff win led to a right-to-lefty dodge and crank at 2:51 of OT whereby Vogel beat a pole, a shorty and one of the state’s top netminders for the GWG.

“We knew going into overtime we had to take care of business,” said Siena-bound Vogel, as clutch and tenacious as they come. “Coach Guski drew up an excellent play that we practice all the time, so we knew we were going to execute. I was able to capitalize after I beat my defender. Our defense stepped up big to help put us in the situation.”

Yorktown Assistant Coach Jeremy Guski said, “Bronxville is very good but we need to tighten some things up. Their goalie, Luke Arrighi, is incredible.”

He was tough to solve but Vogel (6 GBs) did so at nearly a 50% clip, sniping three goals on eight shots while junior FOGO Chad Bowen was dazzling in the draw box, winning 81% of the draws while swallowing eights GBs. Once the Huskers tidy up their efficiency rate (they shot 8 for 36 collectively), the likes of Andrew Weissman (1G), Gianluca Marchini (2G, 2A), LSM Chris Constantine (1G, 7 takeaways), Brady Sheridan (1G) and the rest of the Huskers should fill the nets effectively as they ready for Arlington, rival John Jay CR and Ridgefield (CT) this week.

HORACE GREELEY put a 15-7 beatdown on Class A CARMEL behind five tallies from junior M Jameson Blakeslee (1A). Senior M Connor Lummel (4G), young sophomore A Tighe Dolan (2G, 2A), senior A Jack Holub (2G), junior A Matthew Byrne (3A), and senior FOGO Ethan Stogsdill (19/25) were particularly fine in front of G Toby Moskow (11 saves, 1A).

Byram Hills’ Redi Du Toit makes his move in Bobcats’ 9-8 loss to visiting Tappan Zee Thursday.

“It was just one game and the beginning of the season, so every team is still working out its mistakes,” Blakeslee said. “We are just focused on the next game and looking forward to competing against some talented teams this season.”

Carmel’s Adam Boeheim (3G), Thomas Connolly (2G, 1A) and Ryan Aabel (1G, 2A) led a Ram team that was hoping for more in their season opener.

Carmel did bounce back rather nicely in a 9-8 win over Class C BYRAM HILLS behind five points from senior A Matt Risley (4G, 1A) and multi-point effort from Boeheim (2G) and Aabel (1G, 3A) to support busy netminder Jake Meissner (13 saves). Byram’s Reid du Toit (2G), Erik Cipriano (1G, 1A) and Zach Pero (1G, 1A) did the same.

LAKELAND/PANAS saw five players score multiple points in a 14-5 season-opening win over Wappingers, including Bubba Baumeister (2G, 2A), Will Moore (2G, 1A), Kyle Gallagher (1G, 3A), Jack Jimenez (1G, 1A) and C.C. Savastano (1G, 1A) while FOGO Anthony Farroni won 16 of 23 at the dot.

FOX LANE’s Jack Fabry (4G) and Ryan Nathan (3G) combined for seven goals in a 12-2 win over Rye Neck.

MAHOPAC had little hope in a 13-5 setback to a Class A Mamaroneck club that has emerged as the early favorites for its first sectional title since 2019. St. John’s bound Danny Koch popped off for five goals for the 2023 runnerup Wolf Pac, who look to be in a bit of a rebuild mode this spring after falling short against Class D HALDANE in Saturday’s 9-6 Blue Devil win. Evan Giachinta (3G, 2A) led Haldane with five points while Liam Gaugler, Fallou Faye, Ryan Van Tassel, Alex Gaugler, Cooper Coreless and Brody Coreless each bagged a goal. Budding sophomore Bryan Margolis bagged a hat trick for the Wolf Pac.

BREWSTER fell to Clarkstown South, 8-7, despite two goals apiece from Harrison Schmitt and Luke Cunningham and three more points from Jason Weller (1G, 2A), plus solo goals from Cameron LaMoreaux and Frank Tuminello (1st varsity goal).


Pleasantville’s Erik Coleman, who scored four goals in win over Pelham, gets good look in Saturday’s win over Baldwinsville.

Host PLEASANTVILLE took aim at its second NYS title by taking down two-time reigning NYS Class A champion Baldwinsville (Section 3), 9-4, Saturday afternoon behind six goals from Nick Reich and a defense that blanketed the Bees, applying wallpaper-tight protection.

P’Ville put a charge into the game in the second quarter, taking a 5-1 lead into the break after a slow start. With 2:27 left in the first, Hank McCourtney wrapped around for a 1-0 Panther lead. Reich scored the next two Panther goals, one from Daniel Picart, who spotted P’Ville a 4-1 lead before Reich scored again for a 5-1 halftime lead. The kid went off in the second half, netting three more to sting the Bees, ranked No.12 in pre-season national rankings. David Hundzynski won 13 of 17 faceoffs to control possession throughout the game.

“It was a great team win today,” the All-American Picart said. “We started off a bit slow at Pelham, but I think we’re starting to find our footing going into a rival game Tuesday and facing another great team Thursday night at New Canaan. Nick Reich played amazing, he was always in the right spot and his shots were on point as always.”

The Panthers also erupted for a 12-7 win over Pelham Thursday night when Coleman (4G), McDermott (3G), Picart (3G), Michael Hundzynski (2A), Aidan Cotter (2G, 2A) and Hank McCourtney (1A) all filled the stat sheet. A 4-4 first-quarter tie was snapped when the Panthers went off four three unanswered in the second quarter as David Hundzynski won 17 of 22 faceoffs.

CROTON-HARMON made a big-league splash in its 11-8 season-opening win over Class A Arlington, doing so behind five points apiece from Carter Schmidt (4G, 1A), Sean Grimes (2G, 3A) and Bryce Laemmel (2G, 3A).

CHSAA heavyweight Stepinac posted a 15-4 win over BRIARCLIFF behind seven points from Mahopac’s P.J. Hodge (3G, 4A) and Putnam Valley’s Tommy Cottrell (2G). The Bears were led by Harrison Winger’s two goals.


HEN HUD got a major boost, including the game-winning goal, from Kevin Ryan (5G) in its 8-7 win over Harrison. Dean Pastalove (2G) and James McManus (1G, 3A) also posted multi-point efforts to support G Aidan Mazzoni (18 saves).

Wappingers senior Brayden Kuczma (6G, 4A) hails from good stock (his father, Brian, was an All-American at Yorktown and Johns Hopkins) and he made BREWSTER pay for it in a 12-3 win over the Bears, who got a goal apiece from A.J. Acurson, Paul Rienzi and Cameron LaMoreaux.


Arlington nipped WHITE PLAINS in triple OT, 9-8, despite five points from Tiger Ricky Strobel (4G, 1A), four from Christian Biondi (1G, 3A) and three from Eddie Ryan (1G, 2A).



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