Top photo: Put Valley’s Ryan Fitzgerald and Dillon Chesnut celebrate a goal in the Tigers’ 15-9 win over Rye. Photo above: Kyle Calabro lets it rip for PV. (Photos by Ray Gallagher)
Let’s start our review of what was an eventful day of action with some headlines.
Here’s the headline I would write for each of the three games I was at today, along with some thoughts.
Yorktown defeated Darien 9-6 today to win the inaugural Tom Lener Memorial Cup.
Result: Yorktown 9, Darien 6
Headline: ‘Huskers earn some redemption
Thoughts: Michael Bonitatibus couldn’t remind the exact final.
“I think it was 17-4 or 17-5,” the Yorktown senior said.
Actually, it was 17-6. But that’s not the point. I asked the Loyola-bound goaltender if it was the worst game of his four years as Yorktown’s starting goaltender.
“Yeah, probably,” he said at first, before thinking some more. “Yeah, it was.”
Which makes today’s 9-6 Yorktown victory all the more special. Bonitatibus made 14 saves and the ‘Huskers won the inaugural Tom Lener Memorial Cup.
“This was the first time I ever beat Darien on any team I’ve played on,” Bonitatibus said.
The final result was not the typical score of a big Yorktown win against a highly regarded opponent. Check the scores when Yorktown has defeated national powers. They are usually in double digits. Not today. And that may be a good thing.
I really believe that although Yorktown has two of the premier talents in the state in Kevin Interlicchio and John Ranagan, it does not have the offensive depth it had in years past including last year.
But with Bonitatibus, and defenders John Fennessy, Brendan Brunelle, Ethan Fox and Brett Cabriele, the ‘Huskers are as good in that department as they’ve been in years.
So what am I saying? Simple. If Yorktown is to beat teams like Chaminade and West Islip, look for scores similar to today’s not the traditional higher scoring results.
Darien, meanwhile, has had a tough go of it. The Blue Wave lost their leading returning scorer from last year, Nikki Dysenchuk to a torn ACL.
The Blue Wave have suffered other preseason and in-season injuries. But coach Jeff Brameier, who was looking for his 400th varsity win today, has never used that as an excuse for losses to Manhasset, Malverne Prep and today Yorktown. In fact, about 20 minutes after the game today, he sent his team out to the track to do some extra running showing the high standards that have helped Darien reached the level of success it has.
Result: Putnam Valley 15, Rye 9
Headline: Tigers are the team to beat in Section 1 Class C
Thoughts: Brian Kuczma admitted he was surprised. So too did Jim van de Veerdonk.
How could you not be?
After all, the Tigers hit up a team that did not allow more than nine goals all season for 15 of them in a 15-9 victory over the four-time defending Class C champion Rye Garnets.
“When you plays the Dooleys, you expect a 5-4 game,” said Kuczma of Rye head coach Brian Dooley and his brother, Scott, who is the Garnets’ assistant coach.
Early on, it looked it might be a rout. The Tigers jumped out to a 5-0 lead. But Rye stormed back to pull within 5-4, led by a pair of goals by Rob Santangelo.
Then came what I thohght was the crucial stretch in the game. With 2:35 left in the second period, Dillon Chesnut scored to make it 6-4. Moments later, van de Veerdonk, who ended up with six goals, scored again to make it 7-4.
Though Rye wound up pulling within 7-6 before Put Valley went on a 4-0 run to go ahead 10-6, that initial response to the big Rye run was a difference maker.
“Definitely,” van de Veerdonk said. “They came right back at us, and then we came right back at them. That was important because they had the momentum and we hadn’ beaten them in four years.”
Result: Ridgefield 17, Somers 9
Headline: Ridgefield is the real deal
Thoughts: They don’t sell season tickets for high school sports teams around this area (thankfully, I might add), but if they did, you’d definitely want to considering getting some for the Ridgefield Tigers.
Ridgefield is good. Very good. In fact, after what I saw tonight, it’s apparent they’re as good as just about any team in the region. (With the possible exception of West Islip.) But there’s much more to the Tigers than that. They’re fun to watch, too.
“We play the game the way it’s meant to be played,” said first-year coach Roy Colsey. “It’s old-style Syracuse lacrosse. We hit and we run and gun. If you want to watch exciting lacrosse, come see us.”
Amen to that, Roy.
The Tigers have four Division I-bound offensive stars:
Attackman Matt White, the No. 6-ranked senior in the nation accoring to Inside Lacrosse, is headed to Virginia. (He had four goals and two assists vs. Somers.)
Attackman Colin Scott is bound for Denver. He had six goals and two assists today.
Midfielder Matt Baker, who scored twice vs. Somers, will play at Colgate.
Midfielder Brendan Walsh, who had three goals, is headed to Fairfield University.
You can catch video interviews with all four of those guys and Roy Colsey in the coming days here at LaxLessons.com.
Be sure to weigh in with your comments.
You can also reach Joe Lombardi at email@example.com.
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Posted In: Fairfield lacrosse