There are few in the area who can cut to the chase and break down Section 1 lax in New York better than our friend “Syracuse.”

As we often do during the course of the week, we exchange e-mails, and recently, that elicited a response from him that I think gives a real insightful overview of what me be in store for this spring.

Enjoy — and be sure to comment with your thoughts. (And for those of  you tuning in from outside southern New York, “Town” is Yorktown.) Here are his thoughts:

“Like you have written countless times, you have to throw out the records for the Murphy Cup game. As for Rye, they are the only team in Section 1 that seems to know how to play Yorktown straight up year after year. They do the same thing Nisky does. They hold the ball and play great D. Unless you are West Islip or Melville or Darien or the CHSAA teams when they are loaded, you aren’t going to beat Yorktown mano e mano, but if you are deliberate and know your responsibilities on the defensive end you can frustrate them into forcing the issue.

“If Rye or Nisky ever tried to run with Town, they’d get buried. By contrast, this year’s Town team will be every bit as good defensively as any team on its schedule, so opponents may try to force the issue more than usual. And even though Town may not have the firepower they had last year, they will still be a deadly transition team.

“I have no faith in anyone else in Section 1. I think Mahopac will be fun to watch, but question their D and goaltending. L/P has (Jack) Doherty, obviously, but he can’t do it alone and I don’t think L/P has the horses to match up with Town all over the field.

The Somers game last year, if nothing else, proved that (Joe) Marasco is the best player in Section 1 and maybe the state on any given day because he singlehandedly made that game a hell of a lot closer than it should have been. Somers, in my opinion is the biggest wild card in Section 1 in 2009. If they get over the new coach adjustment and get some support for Marasco, they should win Class B.

“I wouldn’t put any stock in Hen Hud or Greeley.

“Jay’s strength will be its midfield, but they lack serious finishers and have holes on defense and, despite the crazies on your site who rave about this new goalie, I won’t be sold until I see results on the field. Jay will lose a lot of games. I have said a 10-6 or 9-7 regular season is possible and I stand by that. Of course, I have no idea what the stud teams on their sked are bringing back, but I do know they are all traditionally very powerful for the respective regions, so that leads me to believe they will all be better than Jay, at least on paper.

“Lastly, on Yorktown, if they win games 10-5 or 8-4 instead of 15-5 or 17-3 it’s not going to matter in the grand scheme of things because they’ll be conditioned to play defense as if their lives depend on it. We both know offense is a work in progress for every team throughout a season. There’s just too much to master and the better teams, like a Town or Jay or whomever, tend to start slower when the personnel changes even a little bit. I think Yorktown’s development offensively will be fueled by playing against that killer D every day in practice.”

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23 Responses to “Syracuse's preseason take on Section 1 lax”

  1. Syracuse says:

    Allow me to be the first to comment on this post. WHAT THE HELL IS SYRACUSE TALKING ABOUT?

    Seriously folks, starting this very point forward everything you read from me will not be a re-hashing of things I said on another site. The season starts now. And later this week I’ll supply an e-mail link where you can send me ideas for blog entries and features. Please use the link, but be cool about it. I start getting chain e-mails or advertisements for Viagra and some heads will roll …

    Hey, give it up for Joe. This is going to be a hell of a site, maybe the best in the history of webdom …

  2. Syracuse says:

    Hey guys,

    I can be reached at Please hit me with a shout out when you have something good to say … Or just hit me for the sake of hitting me …

  3. NYlax says:

    Syracuse, great insights I look forward to reading more from you. You definitely know your stuff. I agree, this site is pretty sick already and is gonna be awesome

  4. Syracuse says:

    Hey guys,

    Joe has already informed me — and I just recently completed researching for him — something really cool that he’ll be unveiling ASAP. … Again, we welcome any and all comments/discussion on everything. Let your voices be heard!


  5. Lacrossegeek says:

    Maybe Rye plays Yorktown so tough because the two coaches were Yorktown players themselves and developed some of their coaching strategies from those playing days

  6. FeLax says:

    I love Cuse’s comments about Town D, all the players on D. They’re a great cohesive group, have worked unselfishly on skills and communucation, and hopefully gelled enough to live up to both Cuse’s and Joe’s comments. Watching them over the years has provided more than their share of great moments and I expect that to be the case again this season. While some has been written of Fennessey and Fox, one can never underestimate Brunelle, an under the radar, kind of stealth performer, that can be counted on to get the job done.
    Glad you’re back Joe, you look a little stealth yourself in your pic.

  7. LAX says:

    Nice comment, as always, you seem very dedicated to the game. I agree for the most part and I’m especially excited to see the battle in class B between John Jay and Somers.

  8. jasper says:

    I love how you say Rye is the only one that plays yorktown tough but never beats them. John Jay beat them the last 4 out of 6 games and you say nothing about that

  9. Syracuse says:

    Jasper, Joe:

    Here’s the deal. Everything is relative. Or in this case, it’s not. John Jay has no chance to beat Yorktown this year so what they’ve done in four of the previous six meetings has absolutely no bearing on my comments.

    I’ll give you Somers. That was an oversight on my part, and considering I actually wrote that entry six weeks ago, I would have made concessions on Somers in a re-write. I did, however, address the facts why Somers was successful last year — JoJo Marasco. He doesn’t play Yorktown wins by 10 and nobody would be saying much about Somers’ style of play against Yorktown.

    Jasper, state your case as to why Jay-Town will be a game this year and I’ll gladly extend you every courtesy.

    Rye has played Yorktown to 3 goals or less several times in the last few years, including a one-goal loss in OT I think during Town’s 12-10 season. I think Rye will continue to play Yorktown consistently tougher than anyone else because they play a defense-first mentality many others schools do not. Meaning, even when hit hard by graduation and the like they’ll still be in the contest thanks to their style of play.

    Quick question: if all Jay, Somers and Rye all played Yorktown at the end of may, which game would be closest and why? Take everything into account here.

    I say Rye, hands down for reasons stated above.

  10. Syracuse says:


    No one can ever take away what John Jay has done against Yorktown over the last decade.It’s a credit to Coach Sav and everyone who’s ever put on the purple and white. All I’m saying is that as far as 2009 is concerned, Jay does not have the horses to compete with Yorktown (at least on paper), so what they’ve done in the past doesn’t really play into my argument as to why I think other schools, i.e. Rye, could potentially give Town more problems.

    Rye’s approach as a defense-first team, devoid of the sheer number of individual stars that a Jay or Somers (Marasco) has had or still has, makes them more dangerous THIS season. Sure, if Jay still had the Bocklets, Granellis of the world, they’d be as much to worry about as in years past. But a team like Jay, like Town, is often built around individual stars that operate within a system. There’s no proof yet that non- or soon-to-be younger players can do the same within the system. Rye, on the other hand seems to be successful in spite of their struggles to score a ton of goals.

    But don’t worry, nothing Jay does or will do will shock me. I know if any coach can take what he has and make it highly competitive, it’s Sav.

  11. Old Timer says:


    I think you have shortchanged Jay here.

    From a style of play stand point, I understand what you are saying. Rye’s style gives them the best chance to “steal” one from Town and Jay should well be expected to try to run with Town even if overmatched.

    But, given that they have beaten Town in 4 of the last 6 meetings (and frankly as great as the game was last year, it would have been a different game – and possibly a different result – had it not been played in a monsoon) and they do go mano e mano when they play Town, you ought to have lumped Jay in with the teams that can and have run with Town “when loaded” even if they are not “loaded” this year. Moreover, even when St. Anthony’s and Chaminade aren’t “loaded” they still can’t be taken lightly – and neither should Jay.

    No, they can not reasonably expect to beat Town this year … any more than Town could have reasonably expected to beat Jay two years ago. But by the end of May, while Rye might be able to hold the score down, Jay may well give Town the best game.

    Maybe not, but like Town, Jay’s system takes time to settle in. Last year, the inexperience of the defense was a huge issue against teams that could move the ball like Town, St Anthony’s and even Rye. This year, it should be better, much better. The midfield is solid two lines deep, the attack will surprise (Daniello may even be the weakest of the trio) and impartial observers tell me that Jay will not take a step back in goal.

    So, with Scrimmages set against Chaminade, Darien and Delbarton and then out of Section games with Manhasset, Corning East, St. Anthony’s, Nisky and Syosset, they should have had their weaknesses exposed and addressed to the extent possible by the the time they meet with Town on May 15th.

    This is not to say that Jay is going to beat Town this year (hell, Jay could have 5, 6 or even 7 losses going into that game). Town should be a huge favorite and I assume Jay will use that game as a measuring stick as much as anything else – because Town should have only gotten better along the way as well.

    But, I think counting Jay out of the Section by stating that Somers “should win Class B” is off the mark. Jay beat Somers 15-5 last year and the last time Somers was closer than 9 goals was in 2004. Until someone from section one other than Town or Rye actually beats Jay, perhaps your “I won’t be sold until I see results on the field” ought apply here as well. 🙂

  12. Syracuse says:

    Old Timer:

    I could kill Joe right now.

    Here’s why.

    This thread was started with my take on Section I, but it’s something I wrote weeks ago in an e-mail to Joe just off the cuff. We wanted to get the ball rolling here so that e-mail seemed like a logically good place to start.

    Once it went up, I looked at it and said, “Oh boy, I’m going to get it.” I was particularly wary of the part that said Somers “should” win Class B. While I do still think Somers-Jay will be the eventual Class B final matchup (not really a stretch) and I do believe that Marasco is as close to unstoppable as any player anywhere, I think I would have wished to revise my remarks on the possibilty that Somers could unseat Jay. Let me be clear: I don’t think Jay will be the Jay we remember, but what with Somers’ coaching change and at this point no clear-cut support for Marasco offensively, I’m not sure Somers will be a world-beater either. (Somers fans, please exhale, I know you have plenty of really good athletes and potential stars).

    Again, if given a chance to really break this down I’d say the following now that I’ve had a chance to digest the early preseason and look over who everyone has coming back (and decided against ever firing off an e-mail to Joe without it being looked over by my team of attorneys first!) I would say that as of right now Class B in Section I is a toss-up, but with Jay still the favorite because of their tradition and coach.

    There, I said it.

    Of course, I still have plenty of love for Joe. And when I catch him in an uncompromising position, I will make sure to post the video. No passing YouTube, no collecting $200.

    Seriously, I’m eager to see what Jay has this season and will make it my personal mission to see them more than any other Section I team in person because of the mystery that surrounds how good they potentially could be.

  13. Syracuse says:

    Believe me, Joe, you don’t want me posting THAT video.

  14. John Bastowe says:


    With Greeley having a strong D, getting a new coach and returning the vast majority of its starters what makes you think they won’t do well this year?

  15. Syracuse says:

    That depends on what you consider a strong D. … I need to see Greeley in a scrimmage. Where are they in the next few days?

  16. Greeley says:

    Cuse, what do you consider a strong D? They have two men (Litwak and Jessup) commited to top D3 schools (Gettysburg and Denison), Katchis is going PG but will definitely be going to a great D3 school. Bastian is only a Junior and is already being looked at by top D3 schools and some great D1 schools. They have a very strong defense.

    They just played at the Briarcliff Invitational Pre-Season Scrimmage yesterday, they played Rye, Hen Hud, Harrison, Briarcliff and Montclair NJ and did well.

  17. RayG says:

    Jo-Jo, what can you or the ‘Cuse man tell me about Mahopac? Will the Indians be there alongside Yorktown in the Class A title game like it used to be in the good ol’ days?? Or will it be a Town vs. L/P battle?

  18. LoveTownLax says:

    Old Timer – just curious – was it not raining over the entire field on that May night last year? How could that possibly have been advantage-Yorktown? Certainly not home-field advantage, I think both teams have played in the rain before… it’s not like a Tampa Bay vs. Green Bay December weather-thing. & any meeting between any two teams will differ on any given day….& the boys never play in a climate-controlled bubble, ya know.. (if it was a rain-thing, we town fans would be doing a rain dance every Tuesday and Thursday morning…!) :o)

  19. OldTimer says:


    It was doing a little more than raining 🙂 It was a monsoon. There was standing water on the field . There were several occasions where attempted scoops through puddles came up with nothing but water. It couldn’t help but change the game from one played in more normal circumstance – for better or worse.

  20. LoveTownLax says:

    Is “monsooning” a word? If it is, I’m sorry I didn’t use it iinstead of “raining” in my last entry. I’m still drying my hair, but it was well worth it! I was out there hours before setting up for the fund-raising aspect of the evening…celebrated out on the field & was one of the last to leave that night… I’ve seen the game replayed. don’t have to tell me ’bout it!

    Joe – ‘Town could have won by even more, too……….

  21. Syracuse says:

    I’m amazed we’re still discussing last year’s Town-Jay game. Well, I guess it’s that, Octomom or Bernie Madoff. Hmmmm ….

  22. LoveTownLax says:

    all games prior to 2009 off-limits ‘cuse?

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