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Yorktown Adds John Jay to List of Conquests; Somers Falls to Byram
By Ray Gallagher, Examiner Sports Editor @Directrays
Scrutiny is part of the contract when you sign on with state-ranked (No.12) YORKTOWN. It comes with the territory when you’re held to the standards of a 40-time Section 1 and seven-time NYS champion. We told you last week in this very space things like “Yorktown has lost four in a row, but don’t be fooled into thinking Coach Tim Schurr’s state-ranked (No.4) Huskers (4-5) are not prime-time players for the Section 1 Class B crown,” and that “We’re not going to panic on the Huskers, who traditionally play an extremely tough schedule, until we see what happens later today, though a loss to John Jay would give cause for concern.”
And what we saw last Tuesday in the Huskers’ 10-4 victory over the visiting Wolves was a reminder that when things are clicking and April turns to May Yorktown will be one of the last two teams standing in Class B, for nearly 50 years. The Huskers (now 6-5 overall, 6-2 in Section 1) added John Jay to the list of prime-time Section 1 Class B challengers they’ve now beaten this season, including MAHOPAC and SOMERS. And they will likely add LAKELAND/PANAS to that list on May 7 at the annual Charlie Murphy Cup game.
That’s not to say there isn’t work to be done, because, quite frankly, Yorktown can’t and won’t rest on its laurels when it hasn’t been crowned Section 1 champs since 2017. But they did look like a team that could challenge for its 41st title against John Jay, and then again back on April 16 in a two-goal loss to reigning Class B champion Rye in what was a back-and-forth affair before the Garnets took over in the fourth. And, certainly, they looked special in a one-goal, double OT loss to nationally-ranked Darien on April 19, so when it all comes together this unit has had its moments. And they’ll need more consistency starting next week when they take on Wilton (CT), state-ranked No.1 Class D Briarcliff, Lakeland/Panas and Ridgefield (CT).
Against John Jay (8-4, 8-3), Yorktown scored three times within a minute to grab a 3-0 lead, but allowed the Wolves to come back at 3-all and 4-all before scoring six unanswered.
Lefty sophomore Drew Weissman scored three goals and looks the part of a true finisher. Senior A James Solazzo continued to put up big numbers, adding a hat trick for goals 15, 16 and 17 on the year. Senior All-American A Harry Griff (22G, 22A) went for two goals and a helper, giving him a team-high 44 points through 10 games. Senior M Sava Makarenko and sophomore M Ryan Vogel bagged a goal apiece and dished an assist. Senior M Jason Fastiggi was a huge key for the Huskers, winning 11 faceoffs, and senior G Vito DeBellis notched eight saves.
Yorktown finished off the week with a 13- win over Carmel behind junior A Jack Duncan (4G, 2A) and Griff (3G, 3A) Husker senior Jack Baker netted a career-high three goals and sophomore Connor Fastiggi scored twice while his senior brother Jay Fastiggi owned the draw box (won 17 of 20 faceoffs).
Class A CARMEL came across the reservoir to MAHOPAC last Wednesday and were greeted rudely by a barrage of first-quarter goals, including tallies from Indians John Kearney (from Jake Degnan at 9:14), a pole goal from Liam Dodd pole at 7:33, plus a pair of cranks in the final 21 seconds from Michael Harney and Mike Rettberg (1A). It wasn’t much of a game after that as the Indians went up 12-2 before the Rams (7-5) tacked on a few late goals with seconds and thirds on the field to make it look closer than it was, 12-6. Mahopac senior M Chris Evans set a dominating tone in the draw box, winning 16 of 17 faceoffs while Army-bound senior A Harney (1A) finished with a hat trick. Junior A Degan (2A) and sophomore Kearney (2A) each scored twice for the Indians (8-4 in Section 1, 9-4 overall), who continue to OWN their crosstown rivals on the lax green. Mahopac neutralized Ram hotshot Matthew Risley (24 G, 18A for the year). Thomas Connolly is second for the Rams with 37 points this season.
Luke Kelleher and Gavin Viglucci also scored for Mahopac, which added a 6-2 win over Wappingers Friday behind Degnan (2G, 1A for 34 points this season), Harney (2G, 1A), Gavin Viglucci (2G), and Danny Koch 1A. Since losing 10-7 to Somers, Mahopac has now won four in a row and will finish with three huge tests against Class A heavy’s Arlington and state-ranked (No.3) Mamaroneck and another with Class C Hen Hud.
Just days after moving past state-ranked (No.12) Yorktown in the state rankings, No.10 SOMERS suffered an 8-7 loss to Class C BYRAM HILLS. The Tuskers (10-2) were led by senior T.J. Olifers’ two goals and three helpers for 36 points on the season. Henry Ellison also scored twice for Somers, which failed to neutralize Bobcat Michael Oronzio (3G, 4A). Somers chalked up a 9-3 win over FOX LANE when Olifiers, Nick Newman and Ryan Brush each scored twice.
LAKELAND/PANAS got itself on track with a 14-8 win over OSSINING last Wednesday when senior Nick Graap went for a career-high 11 points, including nine goals and two assists. Justin Stabile (2G, 2A), Will Moore (2G, 1A) and Nic Connetta (1G, 3A) all finished with multiple points.
If CROTON had a book on PUTNAM VALLEY senior Andrew Dzubak, they should burn it after the Tiger attackman went for a career-high 11 points (8G, 3A) in a 16-11 win over visiting Croton last Wednesday. Dzubak was in sync with fellow senior and offensive orchestrator Ryan Denike (1G, 4A, 40 points this season) as the Tigers improved to 7-5 overall.
“Andrew is under the radar, most teams forget about him because they zero in on Ryan,” PV Coach Tim Weir said of Dzubak (31G, 11A for the year). “To make a long story short, Ryan and Andrew play an awesome two-man game.”
Cole Doucher (2G, 1A), Hayden Gumbrecht (2G, 1A), Chris DeGiorgio (1G, 2A), Doug Brown (1G, 1A), Thomas Cunningham (1G) and Davin Porteus (17/30 on faceoffs), plus PV G Roger Raimo (10 saves) all played a major part for the Tigers (6-5, 7-5). Croton’s Mike McCarthy (2G, 2A), Ryan Robine ( 2G, 1A), Noah Bonne (2G) and Bryce Laemer (2G, 1A) did all they could to keep Croton (4-6, 4-7) close, though it was 9-4 by the half and 13-6 after three.
PV followed that up with an 11-7 win over KENNEDY CATHOLIC in the Warrior Cup game Friday night. Gumbrecht (27 points this season) took home MVP honors after what amounted to a career day (2G, 4A). Denike (1G, 2A), Davin.Porteus (2G, 1A), Durocher (2G), DeGiorgio (2G), Dzubak (1G), Brown (1G) and Roger Raimo (11 saves ) all found the score sheet.
“It was our fifth time trailing at the half where we pulled the game out,” said Weir, who is two wins shy of 200 career high school victories, the vast majority coming at Lakeland/Panas. “It was a great atmosphere in the Valley and we thank Kennedy for coming. I love the grit, desire and attitude of this team.”
Ray has 33 years experience covering and photographing local sports in Westchester and Putnam counties, including everything from Little League/Travel Baseball to varsity high school prep sports and collegiate coverage. He has been a sports editor at Examiner Media since its inception in 2007.
Visit Ray’s author bio page for more details. Also read Ray’s archived work here and his Direct Rays column here.