loftus3Eddie Loftus, left, and 2008 Class A state finalist Syosset and Stephen Jahelka and Class B power Garden City squared off in both teams’ season opener yesterday. Syosset won 6-3. The teams both have strong shots to advance to this year’s downstate semifinals. (Jim Stout/

A reader asked me on Monday for my early projections for the downstate semifina that will be held at Middletown High School.

At first I thought it was way too early to come up with the possible matchups. But is it?

Just for fun, let’s toss out our picks, and then see how they measure up in mid-June.

First off, here’s a rundown of the state championship dates:

State quarterfinals: June 9 (at Albany and Hofstra)
Downstate state semifinals: June 11 (at Middletown High School)
State finals: June 13: (at Paetec Park in Rochester)

Now, here’s my response to the reader’s question:

If I had to project, I would say:

Class A: Yorktown vs. West Islip

Class C: Rye vs. Manhasset

Class B is where it gets tricky.

John Jay has won four straight titles in Section 1 but has been hit hard by graduation.

Somers has the best player in the section right now in Joe Marasco and a good supporting cast — plus several guys who had been on the team as underclassmen who have now rejoined it: junior Matt Deiana and senior Rob Lombardo. Deiana has looked tremendous in the preseason and will have a major impact. But John Jay still has more depth. There are several other teams who could also contend for the title.

In Long Island, it looks like Garden City is the team to beat in Class B.

So let’s say:

Class B: Section 1 TBD vs. Garden City

Let’s hear your thoughts.

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Posted In: Long Island lacrosse

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21 Responses to “Downstate semifinals: Your early picks”

  1. Taz says:

    Agree A & C. Don’t think GC has the players this year although they will get better as the season goes on. They are a lot like John Jay – lost lots to graduation and playuing a lot of young players. Would have said South Side before yesterday’s horrible showing.

  2. Laxin says:

    JJ will be the section one champs- their depth will just be no match for somers, and I can’t see Hen Hud, Brewster, or Fox lane competeing for the title. John Jay will win a close one against Somers and will have a tough game against Garden City, or whoever can beat them on the Island

  3. PacMan says:

    Mahopac will upset overrated Yorktown 8-7 to win section and then play West Islip in state semis. CHEA!

  4. Syracuse says:


    While I can’t say you are wrong by predicting John Jay will win the section, but I’m not so sure if their depth will be the reason why. Remember, John Jay is making wholesale changes. They lost a lot of really good players, including All-Americans. A lot of the Jay folks, at least early on here, are brimming with confidence that all these kids they are bringing up from JV for 2009 will just suddenly be reliable producers on a daily basis.

    Now I’m not saying they won’t, but I can’t imagine that that high a percentage of players with no varsity experience will just come in and be the difference-maker between a Section I title and a true rebuilding season.

    Again, I have stated I like Jay’s midfield and its D should be pretty good, but you just don’t replace the players you lost — Drew, Granelli, etc. — overnight.

    The one thing that is working in Jay’s favor is Section I Class B is really weak after Jay and Somers. That can’t be overlooked and I would use that as my argument more than by saying depth will be the difference.

    The true test of how good Jay’s younger players will be is when they take on the best teams on the schedule — and Jay has a hell of a schedule as usual.

  5. Syracuse says:


    Whatever you are on, I want some 🙂

  6. Syracuse says:

    Let’s break down Jay’s schedule, shall we?

    4/02 at Brewster — I say win
    4/04 MANHASSET — I say loss
    4/07 RYE HS — (see below)
    4/11 at Corning East — I say loss
    4/14 at Somers — (see below)
    4/18 at Horace Greeley — I say win
    4/21 at Hendrick Hudson — I say win
    4/25 at St Anthony’s — I say loss
    4/28 LAKELAND/PANAS — (see below)
    4/30 PUTNAM VALLEY — I say win
    5/02 NISKAYUNA — I say loss
    5/05 at White Plains — I say win
    5/07 MAHOPAC — (see below)
    5/09 SYOSSET — I say loss
    5/12 CLARKSTOWN SOUTH — I say win
    5/15 YORKTOWN — I say loss

    Taking the four games I didn’t offer an opinion on out of the equation, there’s a high probability Jay could be 6-6 in the remaining 12.

    To me, Jay’s season hinges on how they do against Rye, Somers, L/P and Mahopac. The matchups against the really tough teams should be viewed as house money games because they could be very difficult to win. For certain I don’t know what each team is bringing back, but I can tell you Syosset, Manhasset, Yorktown and Nisky will be among the state’s elite. I’m not yet sold on either St. Anthony’s or Corning East, but figure they will be their usual dominant selves.

    How Jay does against those four Section I teams will speak volumes about where they really are because this is a baby steps season. It’s a season about beating those you are supposed to beat and learning from the games that you aren’t supposed to win (at least on paper).

    But if you’re really confident that Jay will indeed win the section, circle May 2 at JJ against Nisky on your calendars because you will likely be seeing them again when it really matters — in June.

    As great a coach as Sav is, this season marks the perfect opportunity for him to truly move among the elite, because any coach faced with the turnover he’s facing this season would be fortunate to go 8-8 against this sked.

    I think Jay will be better than 8-8, possibly 11-5 or 10-6, with all eyes on the future and a return to the Jay results of old.

  7. swinglax says:

    Check the dates for the boys state games, I have heard that the dates you have listed are wrong. Can you please double check with the powers that be so that I can plan my calendar. Heard that qrt finals on the 9th, semi on 11th and finals on 13th. Thanks.

  8. Groundchuck says:

    damn u guys aren’t playing around – i see you now have a page for team schedules and stats. that’s awesome!


  9. LAX says:

    Sav joked that they might have to put “the girl Bocklet” on their team haha. I hear that there is a Bocklet in middle school now though, Chris’ cousin, we might have to bring him up. On a more serious note, I think JJ will still be very good this year. I only saw some of the scrimmage vs. Mahopac but from what I saw JJ was playing much better, so I’m not too sure on your prediction of JJ vs. Mahopac Syracuse. I think that the two class B finalists, JJ and Somers, are better than Mahopac in class A, but still too early to tell. Anyone know how the scrimmage went today becaused I didn’t see most of it and can anyone tell me who JJ is starting at middie?

  10. laxalot says:

    That would be a “win” for Jay against Mahopac today… ‘Cuse better go with Jay as a win on May 7th also…

  11. PurpleWave says:

    Yeh midfield is Will Stewart, Harrison Silver and Jake Weil with Ian Deruiter as LSM.

    Attack is Mikey Daniello, Andrew Masterson, Drew Beck

    Defense is Geoff Stearns, Jeff Dunworth, Jameson Pickel

    Rob Maher started in goal

  12. PurpleWave says:

    Oh yeh – JJ won like 10-6 pulled away in fourth quarter with subs in. JJ led 5-2 at HT and 6-5 after 3 quarters.

  13. Cuzin45 says:

    Pac got a good run. Jay played it very seriously like a real game like they had something to prove. Pac being a Class A team didn’t have ne thing to prove vs. Class B Indians but it was good they played so hard and all.

    Pac starters:

    A: Tyler Perrelle, John Brandofino, Okie Bernabo

    M; Chase Thompson, TJ Foley, Taylor Hamilton
    LSM-: Greg Shannon

    D: Brendan Synan, Kevin Knudsen, Jake Armstrong

    G: Johnny McGuigan

  14. scooter says:

    When the starters were in, it was a very very very competitive game. It’s gonna be a good one when these two teams play for real.

  15. Syracuse says:

    Excellent. Good information there guys. Sounds like both teams may be a bit ahead of schedule considering we’re only about 10 days into practices …

  16. jasper says:

    Mahopac is the one who has something to prove they have not beat JJ in 8 years

  17. Lax 44 says:

    Kid on Pac Brandofino rocket underhand shot on first Pac goal think he had 3 on the day.Looks like real deal .Pac ran no plays just basic O . Jay came out in zone which looked like Pac had not seen. Perrele off shots were wild. Still early

  18. Syracuse says:

    Zone defenses, if run properly, are the greatest thing since the advent of beer koozies and the Internet …

  19. syracuse says:

    OK, after thinking long and hard about this, I have my preliminary picks for downstate semifinals:

    A. Yorktown-West Islip (I’m sure not many of us have to think too hard about A)

    B. Niskayuna-Garden City (I don’t see how anyone from Section 1 will beat a team that played Yorktown tight last year and, from what I have heard, returned a ton of people. Jay-Nisky play this season. That will tell you a lot. Nisky beat Jay last year and Jay was loaded. Nisky also might be the only team within 200 miles of us that can actually contain to some degree Marasco, so even if Somers gets there they will get shut down)

    C. Rye-Manhasset (Rye will be a work in progress all season, but I can’t see anyone right now in Section 1 who will unseat them, though I’ve heard Put Valley is decent. Manhasset should bounce back from last year’s debacle against CSH and get by both CSH and Mount Sinai, though you never ever rule out a Cuozzo-coached team)

  20. LAX says:

    Does anyone know when JJ is scrimmaging Darien today?

  21. Danny says:

    Yeh it starts at 4:30

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