That’s the question teams and players throughout the region are asking these days about Johns Hopkins-bound Yorktown junior Kevin Interlicchio. (Photo by Jim Stout/MaxPreps.com)
So far, in two-and-a-half games (he sat out the second half of Yorktown’s season-opening win over North Rockland), the answer has been a resounding no as Interlicchio has scored an astonishing 19 goals, including eight today against national power St. Anthony’s.
Before we get to today’s games, a couple of quick programming notes.
For starters, within a matter of days, we will be launching the much talked about “Recruit profiles” feature here at LaxLessons.
We now have more than 600 coaches at all levels of competition, many of whom are college coaches registered to this site.
The “Recruit profiles” will allow high school players an opportunity for their vital info and more including videotape uploads to be seen by those coaches and plenty of others, and for them to be contacted directly.
Pretty exciting stuff, indeed.
Now, to today’s action.
Iit was a busy day indeed here at LexLessons.com as we were on hand for no less than four big showdowns today, providing scoring updates and analysis every step of the way.
During the course of the day, we managed to produce a few more video interviews you can check out in the coming days. We talked to Manhasset stars Connor English (bound for Virginia) and Jeff Molinari (Harvard) and John Jay standouts Will Stewart (Williams) and Jameson Pickel (Hopkins).
In addition, look for a segment on Hopkins-bound teammates, next-door neighbors and best friends Kevin Interlicchio and John Ranagan of Yorktown coming soon here at LaxLessons.com.
Now, to our much-awaited Westchester vs. Long Island “Saturday showdowns.”
First off, Yorktown’s big win over St. Anthony’s.
Needless to say, gang, there will be some wholesale changes in our weekly LaxLesson.com Top 25 regional rankings as a result of this one. (Check back here on Tuesday for that.)
But that should not overshadow the fact that today, one of the most impressive individual performances in the proud 40-plus year history of Yorktown lax was turned in by Kevin Interlicchio.
Think about it. Eight goals in a game. Who does that? And the rare times it’s happened, who has it happened against? Has it been against mediocre competition or nationally ranked teams. (I think you know the answer. After all, the Friars, who are ranked eighth in the latest Under Armour/Inside Lacrosse national poll. The ‘Huskers (3-0) check in at No. 18.)
I asked Yorktown coach Dave Marr if he’s ever seen anything quite like it.
He paused for a moment before answering.
“No, I really don’t think so, especially when you consider it was against a program like St. Anthony’s,” Marr said of the Friars, who have 12 Division I-bound players.
OK, now to then next question. How did he do it? And how does he do it?
For a stab at that one I asked who else? a goaltender: Loyola-bound Michael Bonitatibus of Yorktown.
“He just knows how to get to the cage,” Bonitatibus said.
And how to get off a good shot when he does. The fact he’s an equally adept shooter left-handed or right-handed sure helps. (He’s a natural lefty.)
As we all know, there are many similarities between lax and other sports, including basketball and hockey.
I would compare Kevin Interlicchio now to a post player in basketball who is able to establish position, create space and get the ball in the paint.
So how do you stop him? Other than denying him the ball (what you would see in a front-the-post defense in hoops), I don’t know if there is an answer other than controlling possession on the offensive end.
This much I do know. I’ve never seen anything quite like this.
OK. Now, on to the game itself.
Keep in mind, despite the unprecedented scoring prowess of KI, this was still a highly contested game.
Why did Yorktown prevail in the end?
Having seen both these teams last year and again now, there’s no doubt about it. The Friars were a much better defensive team last year compared to now.
Yorktown, meanwhile, is even better.
John Fennessy, Brendan Brunelle, Ethan Fox, Cody Hanlon, Michael Bonitatibus and company are as good a unit as you’ll find anywhere.
Defense wins championships. Having a player averaging two goals a quarter helps a lot, too.
Now, to Manhasset-John Jay.
Prior to the game, John Jay coach Nick Savastano told me the sophomore-laden Indians, who were a big underdog, would deviate from their normal offensive game plan and utilize a ball-control offense. (Some might call it a stall.)
Now, in order for this to work, you must (at least you would think) win faceoffs and have possession.
John Jay, though, did not exactly dominate in the faceoff X, but still manage to control tempo. Before you knew it, it was a 4-4 game in the third quarter.
Who would have expected that? Not me.
But then the Indians’ inexperience manifested itself. And John Jay’s inability to get the edge in faceoffs proved catastrophic, helping Manhasset go on a 6-0 game-clinching run.
All in all, it was the kind of game that left both teams with plenty of positives. Senior-laden Manhasset is unbeaten and picked up a big win over a regional power. A rebuilding or at least revamping John Jay team has to feel pleased it was able to play one of the nation’s most talented-laden teams to a draw for about two-thirds of the contest.
Be sure to weigh in with your comments.
You can also reach Joe Lombardi at firstname.lastname@example.org.