The White Plains Examiner

Stepinac Lacrosse Wins CHSAA A Championship – Goldmann Coach of the Year

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The Stepinac High School Varsity Lacrosse Team celebrates winning the 2013 CHSAA A Lacrosse Championship with a16-4 victory over Monsignor Farrell High School at Gaelic Park in Riverdale. Photo courtesy Stepinac Athletics
The Stepinac High School Varsity Lacrosse Team celebrates winning the 2013 CHSAA A Lacrosse Championship with a16-4 victory over Monsignor Farrell High School at Gaelic Park in Riverdale. Photo courtesy Stepinac Athletics

On Friday, May 24, Stepinac High School defeated Monsignor Farrell High School, 16-4, to win the Catholic High School Athletic Association (CHSAA) A Lacrosse Championship, at Gaelic Park, in Riverdale. This marked the first time in the school’s history that Stepinac won the CHSAA Lacrosse Championship.

The championship game on Friday was a rematch from last year’s championship, when Farrell defeated Stepinac, 9-8, in Staten Island. But this year’s championship game developed much differently than the nail-biter last season.

Crusaders senior Dominic Vallario scored three goals in the first period and Stepinac led at the end of the first quarter 8-0. Vallario went on to score a remarkable five goals and had three assists in the game, while senior Spencer O’Toole added three goals and three assists for Stepinac.

Junior Tommy Keane scored two goals and helped his Crusaders teammates with four assists against Farrell. After adding the two goals apiece by seniors Andrew Murray and Chrystian Lopez and one goal each by seniors Danny Sullivan and Mike Teelan, the Crusaders racked up 16 goals on the day to the Lions four goals.

At the other end of the field Crusaders’ senior Goalie Bobby Dinapoli kept the Lions at bay by saving five goals in the championship game. The performance by the Crusaders Lacrosse team against Farrell brought home to White Plains their first ever CHSAA Lacrosse Championship.

In only his second year at the helm, Stepinac Head Lacrosse Coach James Goldmann guided the Crusaders to a, 15-7 record and a Championship. For his efforts this season Goldmann was awarded the 2013 CHSAA A Coach of the Year Award.

“I could never have dreamed of this award in my second year. It is all on the players. I could not have won this award but for the work of the players, the award is as much their award as mine,” declared Goldmann.

Goldmann graduated from Stepinac in 2004. During his senior year playing for the Crusaders Lacrosse Team, he was their Team Captain, leading scorer and a CHSAA All-League Selection. Goldmann progressed from the Crusaders Offensive Coordinator in 2011 to Head Coach in 2012.

The second year Head Coach contributes the Crusaders success this year to team chemistry and hard work. “I think it was the players buying into the program and the amount of effort they put in during the season and in the off-season,” stated Goldmann.

“Furthermore, it was the family atmosphere we created,” he added. “We had 14 seniors on the team and they all put in a lot of time. It is an amazing feeling to see them progress the past three years and achieve what they wanted to achieve,” emotionally expressed Goldmann.

Yes, the Crusaders have 14 seniors graduating this year from a rooster including 30 players, which is half of their team. Goldmann is quick to admit that this large graduating class will have a major effect on the team next year. However, the Crusaders Lacrosse junior varsity team had a record of 15-2 this season and they also won the CHSAA A Championship. Therefore, regardless that Goldmann has much work ahead of him next season; the future does look bright for Stepinac Lacrosse.

“We have some good players on junior varsity. White Plains resident Brendan Johnson will be coming up to varsity as a sophomore next season and goalie Robbie O’Toole will be coming up as a junior. We are definitely losing a lot considering leadership and experience but we have talent coming up the ranks,” foresees Goldmann.

Nonetheless, on May 15, Goldmann and his 2013 Lacrosse team had another proud moment this year, when three players participated in Stepinac’s second College Signing Day. Andrew Murray, will attend Manhattanville College, Spencer O’Toole, St. Joseph’s College in Maine and Chrystian Lopez will play for Dominican College.

“It is has been a longtime since lacrosse players were included in Signing Day. And to have three players participate was an awesome feeling for me, the players, the community and for the players coming up to varsity, as they can see that they can also achieve this as well,” said Goldmann.

The Crusaders will play St. Mary’s of Long Island in the CHSAA A Downstate Championship, on the Turf Field, at Stepinac High School, on Thursday, May 30, at 4:30 p.m.

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