As John Jay and Somers players lined up for the post-game handshake following Somers’ 10-7 win tonight, you could almost sense the feeling on both sides.
That while it was a big game and, in fact, a very entertaining one it was just Round 1.
I talked to players and coaches from both teams and asked them directly: Do you think you guys will meet each other again?
The answer in every case was a resounding yes.
Now, whether that’s in the Class B semifinals or finals if it indeed does happen remains to be seen. Especially after Greeley’s gutty performance in a 16-11 loss at Yorktown.
“I thought we played real well,” John Jay coach Nick Savastano said. “I thought it was one of our better efforts, and I thought it was our best effort in terms of getting ground balls and hustling. Somers is a good team. They’re athletic and they hustle.”
For the second game in a row, the Tuskers’ star, Syracuse-bound senior JoJo Marasco, was held in check. He finished with two goals and one assist, thanks in large part to the defensive efforts of SUNY-Geneseo-bound Jeff Dunworth and Hopkins-bound Jameson Pickel. But after a 7-3 loss to Cold Spring Harbor in which Marasco was held to one goal, the Tuskers adjusted much better this time around.
“There’s no reason we should ever be held to three goals in a game,” said senior Dylan Haas, who scored three times himself tonight. “We’re too athletic and have too many good players for that.”
Including Haas, who typifies what makes the Tuskers such a tough matchup for other teams. He is an athletic, two-way midfielder who can beat you in many ways. Tonight, it so happens to be, it was mainly on offense.
“After he scored the first goal, I said to him, ‘We need you to score tonight, and you’re going to score,’ ” Marasco said.
Haas’ first goal tied it at 1-1. Somers then took a 2-1 lead on a goal by junior Colin Tullgren with 1:42 to go in the first quarter off a perfectly placed pass from Haas.
Somers’ offense came alive after John Jay took a 3-2 lead with 6:19 to go in the second quarter on a goal by Will Stewart. In a bizarre scenario, Stewart was sidelined for the remainder of the game following the game after injury his shoulder while exchanging high fives with teammate Andrew Masterson.
After Stewart’s goal, Somers went on a 4-0 run that ended when junior attackman Greg Petre, who has as quick a release and as hard a shot as you’ll find, ripped home a blast to give Somers a 6-3 lead with 41 seconds remaining in the second quarter. John Jay then got a huge goal with one second remaining in the second quarter when Jimmy Morris scored his second goal of the game.
Haas and Marasco scored the first goals of the third quarter to stretch Somers’ lead to 8-4.
“That was big,” Savastano said. “I thought the last goal right before the half gave us momentum. If we scored early in the second half, instead of them, who knows?”
The Tuskers also got a huge lift from the play of junior Chris Longo, who established himself as one of the section’s top goaltenders by making an astonishing 26 saves. It was the best performance by a goalie from the region I’ve seen this season.
“This is the way Chris is capable of playing,” Somers coach Lew Janavey said. “But we gave up too many shots. We have to analyze why they got so many shots and what we can do about that the next time we play them.”
Then Janavey caught himself.
“If we play them again,” he said.
Greeley and Yorktown will not play again this season. That much is certain.
But if they did, who would know what to expect.
After all, Yorktown jumped out to a 7-1 lead today, and started subbing some of its starters.
At halftime, the ‘Huskers found themselves clinging to an 8-6 lead.
I honestly can’t remember a high school game at least turning so completely around in such a short amount of time.
But this game was noteworthy for another reason.
Through Yorktown’s first four games, Yorktown junior attackman Kevin Interlicchio scored 29 goals. Some readers questioned on this blog whether or not he could ever be contained in a game this season. I maintained it would happen. It did.
Credit Greeley senior Derek Katchis. Pound for pound, he may be the best defenseman in Section 1. He used his quick feet, strong skill skills, knowledge of the game and aggressiveness to hold Interlicchio to one goal.
But the good news for Yorktown is the player who was carrying their offense was shut down. And they still scored 16 goals.
Half of them were off the stick of another Hopkins-bound standout: senior midfielder John Ranagan.
His last goal was strictly for the highlight reel. Controlling the ball about 15 yards in front of the cage, he took a slash to the head. Just as the yellow flag went up, he took another one. He never lost his ball or the ball. He then circled behind the net. I was thinking at that point, he should just go for the wraparound. He did. While in mid-air, he placed it into the lower corner of the net.
It was quite a sight in what was quite a day of lacrosse.
Be sure to weigh in with your comments.
You can also reach Joe Lombardi at email@example.com.
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