As far as Roy Colsey is concerned, his first season as Ridgefield coach will be all about gaining respect.

And the former All-American at Yorktown and Syracuse is ready to do just about anything to make sure his team gets it.

No, seriously, anything.

“We will play anyone,” Colsey said. “This team does not get the credit it deserves, but that’s okay. We will. This is as good an offensive team as any in the country.”

Colsey is obviously not one lacking in confidence. And who can blame him, really? Ridgefield, No. 7 in the latest LaxLessons Top 25 regional rankings, is loaded this season and could very well be the top dog in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference and beyond.

Colsey’s confidence could be construed as arrogance. He is, after all, the new guy and is inheriting a team with as much if not more talent than any south of Syracuse and north of Baltimore. But to be fair and to hear Colsey say it, he’s very respectful of Connecticut’s standard-bearer, Darien, and its highly successful coach, Jeff Brameier.

“Darien is a powerhouse,” Colsey said. “They win the FCIAC seemingly every year. It’s like with Yorktown in Section 1. It’s them and everyone else. Brameier deserves a ton of credit for what he’s done over there.”

Which is win 11 FCIAC titles since 1992 and four straight state championships.

“We’re out to earn respect,” Colsey said. “That’s the bottom line. It’s a bigger honor to win FCIACs than states. It’s not like New York, where the state championship is everything. The road here goes through Darien.”

And that road should be devoid of potholes considering what Ridgefield has coming back. University of Virginia-bound attackman Matt White is as good a player as any to start with. He’s drawn comparisons to Joe Marasco of Section 1’s Somers and gifted junior Kevin Interlicchio of Yorktown, players committed to Syracuse and John Hopkins, respectively. For his money, Colsey said he’d take White over both.

“White’s game is not to score eight goals in a game,” Colsey said in reference to Interlicchio’s incredible showing against St. Anthony’s this past weekend. “He’s not as explosive as Marasco, but he’s extremely well-rounded. White is the best player on the field at all times. Marasco and Interlicchio are better pure goal scorers, but White is the guy you build a team around.”

Luckily for Colsey and unfortunately for his opponents, he doesn’t have to worry about building much because Ridgefield also boasts several other offensive stars that are going Division I next season. The list includes: attackman Colin Scott (Denver), middie Brendan Walsh (Fairfield) and middie Matt Baker (Colgate).

And that’s not all.

“You’d be hard-pressed to find a group as naturally gifted as this one,” Colsey said. “I have four kids going D-I and three juniors that will probably go D-I as well. When my offense is out there on man-up, I have at least one D-I kid on the bench.”

Ridgefield’s prowess on offense is not lost on Brameier. He said he fully expects Ridgefield to give his defense a serious go when push comes to shove.

“I know they are returning a lot of their top guys — White, Scott, Walsh. They have their whole attack back and two really good middies. Offensively, they should be very explosive,” Brameier said. “But we have a lot of teams to worry about before someone we play in May.”

Colsey did express some concern over his team’s half-field offense and defense. While most everyone will agree Ridgefield will be unstoppable in transition, set offense execution could be a work in progress.

“I’m a bit nervous about our 6-on-6 offense,” Colsey said. “We have a lot to do in that regard. They just played street ball last year, a lot of run and gun. There was no method to the madness. There hasn’t been a lot of structure in place.

“Our defense and goalie are unproven,” Colsey added, “They are making great strides, getting better every day, but I’m not telling anyone anything they don’t already know. We may lose games 21-20. There will be shootouts.”

Ridgefield opens Wednesday against Bridgeport Central. Its non-conference schedule includes Somers of Section 1, Massapequa from Long Island and New Jersey power Lawrenceville. Oddly, Ridgefield’s other “non-conference” game is against FCIAC rival Wilton. The conference is so big, only a certain number of games count in the standings.

“It’s a shame the Wilton game doesn’t count, but of course we wanted to add them and that game will surely prepare us for the FCIAC final four,” Colsey said.

While Colsey has some questions about his defense, that is certainly not the case at Darien, a program that has become a household name nationally because of its well-rounded style of play. The No. 2 team in this week’s LaxLessons Top 25, the Blue Wave appear to be no different in 2009 than they have been for the last 20 years. Brameier preached work in progress in his interview with, but it’s hard to argue against his team being the likely favorite to once again win the FCIAC, regardless of the high expectations at Ridgefield.

“There’s always somebody good that we’ll have to beat,” Brameier said. “We’d rather it be like that than have to waltz through it. That’s why we play our tough out of conference schedule against teams like Manhasset and Yorktown and Malverne. Nobody is going to hand us the trophy just because we won the last four state titles.”

Even a team as powerful as Darien has concerns. For Brameier’s bunch this season, it’s the prospect of perhaps playing the entire season without its best offensive player, Nikki Dysenchuk. The all-state attackman suffered a torn ACL during football season and may not be available until the county or state playoffs, if at all.

“When you graduate kids you expect (some rebuilding),” Brameier said. “But when you lose a kid like Nikki, it’s tough. It’s disappointing for him not to be able to play, and for us to play without him.”

But Brameier appears to have the heir apparent already in place in freshman Case Matheis. The attackman earned rave reviews for his play at the Hand tournament and will be the first freshman to ever start for Brameier in his 26 years at Darien.

“That’s a lot of pressure to put on a freshman, but so far he’s handled it well,” Brameier said.

But Matheis certainly will not be alone as he’ll play alongside Loyola-bound Tyler Foley, as well as middie John Bolton (Lafayette).

Offensive expectations aside, Darien is built from the defense out and it starts with poles Corey Caputo (Hofstra) and Matt Gorski (Ohio State).

“We’ve had a good learning experience through the preseason. The hard part is you don’t play in a lot of situations that matter. But now that the regular season is about to start the excuses end up being a loss,” Brameier said. “Hopefully, we’ll keep progressing. There’s a lot of question marks. There are a lot of grey areas on offense. We’re going to have to wait and see who our go-to guys will be.”

The Blue Wave open against Staples today, and will jump right into the thick of their grueling non-conference schedule Saturday when they take on Manhasset, this week’s No. 5 team in the LaxLessons rankings.

Let’s not overlook Greenwich in this FCIAC debate as well. The Cardinal have their own incredible offensive player in attackman Jared Horowitz (UPenn), as well as goalie Kyle Feeney (Bucknell) and junior middie Colin Dunster.

Greenwichcoach Paul Burke said he is especially excited about the team’s close D unit, led by Tufts-bound John Heard and sophomore Adam Sands.

“I think Heard is going to surprise a lot of people,” Burke said. “He’s been behind a lot of really good defenseman so he didn’t really get a chance to show what he could do. We’re talking about a 6-foot-3 or 6-4 kid who can run.

“Adam is a mean kid already. He has all the tools to become the best defenseman to ever come out of Greenwich.”

On the offensive side, Burke admitted its hard to temper his enthusiasm over players like Horowitz and Dunster.

“Jared is capable of carrying us on his back all year. He’s certainly a different type of player. Ridgefield’s White is a gifted kid and is certainly No. 1 in our conference. Jared is not faster or stronger than most guys, but he does a great job of controlling his body and getting off great shots,” Burke said.

“Colin will be a Division I player. I think he’s most responsible for our one-goal win over Darien last year.”

Burke is also very high on Feeney, who he said, “is probably the best returning goalie in the FCIAC.”

Burke, however, stopped short of saying his team should be considered a favorite in the county. He’s taking more of a wait-and-see approach.

“I’d say we’d be in a group with Wilton and New Canaan, with Darien and Ridgefield a little ahead of us,” he said. “But this team is already showing me they are a lot like the team from 2007 that lost in the Class L state finals.”

It wouldn’t be a preview of the FCIAC without at least some mention of storied programs Wilton and New Canaan. But the truth is both will be feeling growing pains in 2009 and will have a hard time staying with Darien and Ridgefield.

Wilton, with new coach John Wiseman at the controls, has two key pieces to rely on in 6-3, 225-pound three-year starter Joe LaSala at close defense. On offense, the Warriors will be counting on high-scoring attackman Peter McMahon (Bryant).

New Canaan on paper is very young, but has a budding star in sophomore Joe Costigan, who had a goal and an assist against Darien last year in a game the underdog Rams nearly pulled out after trailing big early.

“If you think New Canaan will be a pushover, you obviously don’t know much about their tradition,” Burke said.

So there you have it. Five teams with their eyes on the prize. Will there be a new world order in the FCIAC? Has the “Big 3” been replaced by the “Big 5?”

Probably not, but without question there will be statement games every week.

• Join the group on Facebook by clicking this link.

Be sure to weigh in with your comments.

You can also reach Syracuse at

Posted In: Fairfield lacrosse, General, Long Island lacrosse

If you liked this article, please take this time to share it with your Facebook friends using the Facebook button (see Facebook post button to the left) or retweet it using Twitter (see retweet button to the left). You may also want to follow us or subscribe to the site to stay up-to-date with this article. If you'd rather follow us from your Facebook account, join our Facebook fan page.

19 Responses to “A View from the Dome: Breaking down the FCIAC”

  1. Nutmegger says:

    Great job on the FCIAC guys. How about some love and info on New Fairfield??

  2. syracuse says:


    Joe actually saw New Fairfield back in March. I’ll leave that to him.

    Thanks for the interest!

  3. ripo says:

    Wow that is real arrogant from Coach Colsey. this guy is a new coach who has done nothing to build a program. First year at Greeley and left, then he inherits a good Ridgefield team and he thinks he built it. Come on Colsey wait a few games before you open your mouth. Ridgefield = no defense and a coach who thinks he built this.

  4. syracuse says:


    I will be publishing a five questions segment I did with Colsey on Thursday around noon. I actually asked him about Greeley and he had an interesting answer. Please check back with us for that story.


  5. Joe Lombardi says:

    I did indeed attend the New Fairfield Shootout and saw the Rebels in action.

    Obviously, they are minus some outstanding players from last year’s unbeaten team that won its second straight SWC and state Division S titles, led by all-America attackman Sean Macey and defenseman C.J. Costabile, who is now making an immediate impact at Duke. In fact, the Rebels pretty much lost their entire D unit from last year.

    C.J.’s brother, Nick, a junior, is the Rebels’ goalie and will provide some stability for a young defense.

    At the shootout, I was impressed by attackman Andrew Flamengo, a senior, as well as midfielder Ben Read, a junior. Ryan Harro, another middie, is a very good athlete.

  6. slacrosse says:


    Even though you “ripped” Rye I’ll agree with you on Colsey.

    If as Colsey says he’s “out to earn some respect” he can start by toning it WAY DOWN. There’s a way to talk your team and individual up but from where he’s started any disappointment will be thrown back to him in spades!!

    “You’d be hard-pressed to find a group as naturally gifted as this one”. Incredible statement with Town out there!! How about at least throwing a bone to Town Colsey!! Well at least he gave Darien some respect.

    He should take a lesson in confidence but respect on his statements from Darien’s coach.

  7. syracuse says:

    Slacrosse and Ripo,

    In fairness to Colsey, his team is pretty stacked. I, for one, think it’s kind of refreshing to hear a coach publicly glow about his team’s chances. Too many coaches keep things too close to the vest for my taste.

    Then again, that’s just me. I love the Rex Ryan type of coach.

    As I said, I have a five-question interview with Colsey that I will be publishing on Thursday. He says some interesting things.

  8. CoppsHill says:

    The Tigers are loaded. Slacrosse you want him to just give BS answers and compliment everyone else. Like Syracuse said its nice to have a coach speak intelligently and honestly.

  9. ripo says:

    But you dont get it colsey did not build this, it is not his team yet.

  10. slacrosse says:


    Hear you.

    Its just after seeing Town, the extreme nature of his “glow” got my Section 1 juices boiling.

    Look forward to your further interview with him.

  11. GreenWhite says:

    RIPo stop ripping ppl. You say Joe should do his HW. No one works harder then Joe. Now you take a potshot at Roy. These two guys are legends in HV lax. Your a clown.

  12. syracuse says:


    It may not be his team yet, but just his mere presence on the sideline will act as the greatest piece of advertising maybe any program in Connecticut has ever had. Ridgefield is poised to be the power program in that state for the next decade, maybe longer.

    That’s not to say Darien won’t also be good, but I think now you are going to see the Blue Wave go on any more of these dynasty-like runs.

    You will see FCIAC intensity go even further through the roof because schools like Ridgefield and Darien are in different size classifications. They should be dominant in their respective classes (save for Prep being real good in L) come the state tournament.

    But within the FCIAC you have Ls, Ms going nuts on each other. It’s going to be a monster conference soon, if it isn’t already.

  13. slacrosse says:


    Of course the Tigers are loaded. Of course he is entitled to crow about his team. Of course I DONT agree with “ripo” that just because this is his 1st yr that he’s “not entitled” to rave about his team. Also never said he should BS nor compliment any other teams.

    Its subjective style. I expected him to be EXTREMELY complimentary of his great team and players but not necessarily at all bring up comparisons to other teams or players ( was he asked to??).

    GreenWhite–This has nothing to do with ANY type of disrespect for Colsey which was not at all intended by me, but just a comment on one particular interview. NO ONE who comments on this blog is above receiving CONSTRUCTIVE comments disagreeing with them.

    Doesn’t “GreenWhite” mean you have some allegiance to Town?. If so once Colsey volunteered that “he’d be hard-pressed to find a group as naturally gifted” vs just sticking to his own team, he invites comments of frustration about how he could ignore Town.

    This isn’t rocket science. I prefer the style of Brameir’s comments and you , Colsey’s. Fair enough!!

  14. Laximus says:

    Bottomline … Ripo is a tool and so is Seriously.

  15. syracuse says:

    Colsey is a lightning rod. People in lax circles love to hear what he has to say. They follow what he does. And if they like him, they defend him to the death.

    In a lot of ways, Colsey is like an A-Rod type personality. You either love him or hate him. But the truth is you can never ignore him/

    He’s knowledgable and confident. Those traits can be construed as cocky or arrogant. But he’s really not like that. He’s a very good guy, a decent guy. He just has an insatiable appetite for winning.

    And this has nothing to do with me being a Town guy because I have met Roy maybe once or twice in my life.

    He’s just a guy who has never known failure in this sport and now he’s taking that attitude with him to Ridgefield, where he should flourish. Honestly, if you are a kid in Fairfield County how could you not want to play for him?

  16. slacrosse says:


    Interesting. But at least from a strategy stand-point, classically dont you NOT want to take the chance to “bait” other great teams or give them extra emotional incentive to “prove” that he’s wrong?

    ENOUGH SAID. No need to come back.

    Thanx for your (and all others’) comments.

    Take care.

  17. syracuse says:

    I think his team is so good — and everyone over there knows it — all the baiting in the world probably won’t come back to bite him. Remember, Colsey was mindful of all of Darien’s success. He said all the right things about Brameier and Darien’s rich history. He’s not out to make enemies.

    But he is out to win. Make no mistake about that.

  18. slacrosse says:

    Thanx. Told you no need to comment. Call it a day bro!

  19. franklyscarlett says:

    maybe he’s trying to get them thinking that they are the center of the universe like the Yorktownies frequenting this site. JK

    Seriously, maybe he is trying to instill a little mental toughness into his group by example. Kid’s who think they’re the best tend to play better than kid’s who wonder if they are.

Leave a Reply