Hey guys, Syracuse here.
Without question, the marquee matchup this weekend in our region is Game 1 of the “Battle of the Sound” doubleheader at Darien, pitting the host Blue Wave against Manhasset at 12 p.m. If you survive that epic, you’re in for more good lacrosse in the second game as two of the country’s most regarded programs get together when Garden City takes on New Canaan at 2:30 p.m.
First thing’s first. Breaking down Darien-Manhasset.
The Blue Wave, the No. 2 team in the LaxLessons Top 25 Regional Rankings and 19th-ranked squad in the latest Under Armour/Inside Lacrosse national poll, opened the season with a 13-6 victory over Staples on Wednesday. Manhasset (4-1), ranked No. 5 and No. 24, respectively, in the polls, is coming off a rollercoaster week that saw it beat John Jay 11-5 and lose to Comeswogue 11-10 in overtime.
Darien and Manhasset have played some tightly contested contests over the last few years, with the Wave winning 8-4 last year and 16-15 three years ago, sandwiched around Manhasset’s 14-13 victory in 2007.
“They can run and gun with anyone,” Darien coach Jeff Brameier said of Manhasset, largely regarded as the team to beat in Class C on Long Island. “You have to value your possession time. You don’t want to make it too high a scoring game or too low a scoring game against them.
“We have a great rivalry going against them.”
It appears a budding star is on the verge of being born in attackman Case Matheis, the first freshman to start for Brameier in his 26-year tenure at Darien.
Matheis had a hat trick and an assist against Staples, production that if continued over the course of Darien’s grueling schedule will help offset the absence of point machine Nikki Dysenchuk, who may miss the entire season with a torn ACL suffered during football season.
Matheis’ big day against Staples aside, it was Loyola-bound Tyler Foley who set the tone for the Wave with four goals and two assists. Brian Gleason also had three goals and an assist.
Manhasset is led by University of Virginia-bound Connor English. The senior attackman has 25 points, including 19 goals. He went 5 and 1 against Comeswogue.
Through five games, Zac Koufakis has 15 points, including eight assists, with Jeff Molinari (Harvard) and his six goals and two assists and junior Drew Belinsky (5, 3), a top UPenn recruit, providing needed offensive support.
English and Co.’s exploits aside, this one could be decided by how well the Manhasset defense, led by Bradley Cappellini (Harvard) and Matt Rubertone (commited to Fairfield), handles Foley and freshman phenom Matheis.
Garden City (6-1) vs. New Canaan (1-0)
The Trojans, No. 13 in the latest LaxLessons rankings, have won six straight since a season-opening loss to Syosset, including a 7-6 squeaker over Ward Melville on Wednesday. Matt Mongomery, who had two goals, scored the game-winner with 34 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Senior attackman Will Fuller (Albany) is off to a nice start, registering 12 goals and seven assists.
New Canaan opened its season with a 5-3 win over Fairfield-Ludlowe on Thursday. The young Rams are in transition having lost a lot to graduation. Coach Alex Whitten will be working with 15 juniors and five sophomore, most notably Joe Costigan, who is coming off an impressive freshman campaign.
Be sure to post your comments and weigh in with your picks.
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