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I have to admit to being a bit taken aback at what I saw as soon as I walked toward the football field at the Irvington High School/Middle School complex.

The green and white was familiar. The lacrosse attire was not.

You see, lacrosse is a new phenomenon at IHS, which is my alma mater. And today was the first time I ever caught the Bulldogs playing the sport.

I remember we would all get excited the days when we got to play lacrosse in gym class. Now, Irvington is in the midst of a breakout season in just its third year at the varsity level and first year at the JV level.

The Bulldogs improved to 9-0 today by picking up a 7-4 win over Eastchester.

Who would’ve thought that on May 12, the only unbeaten team in Section 1 boys lax would be Irvington?

Irvington jumped in front right away as J.P. Staropoli scored the first of his team-leading two goals off a feed from Peter Crisara just 1:19 into the game. The Bulldogs, who built a 3-0 lead, never trailed.

“We lost to them last year 8-2, so we wanted everyone to know we’re a different team now,” Crisara, a junior midfielder, said.

The Bulldogs, who went 9-7 last season, certainly are. They’re led by Crisara, a strong and athlete faceoff/groundball machine, as well as Staropoli, a savvy senior attackman and the team’s leading returning scorer, and relentless goaltender Dan Glantz, who made 12 saves against the Eagles. Senior James Sears anchors the defense.

Former Somer standout Drew Werney, who played at Stony Brook University, is enjoying the kind of debut any first-year coach would envy.

“Coach came in and really emphasized fundamentals,” Staropoli said. “He makes sure we play to our potential. And having Dan (Glantz) is huge. He keeps us in every game.”

After five-more regular season games, Irvington will prepare for sectionals. Werney is trying to schedule a scrimmage against a more established power-league team to help his team prepare.

“We want to put Irvington lacrosse on the map,” Glantz said.

Reach Joe Lombardi at joe@laxlessons.com.

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45 Responses to “Look who's 9-0: Upstart Irvington”

  1. […] Look who’s 9-0: Upstart Irvington May 12  Email This […]

  2. […] quit a stir on this blog in the last 24 hours. Be sure to check out our report on yesterday’s 7-4 win over Eastchester as well as a video interview with first-year coach Drew […]

  3. Seacrest says:

    Don’t wanna sound like sour grapes here, but…Irvington? Really? This is a community that not only has a youth program but also all the money in the world to send kids off to camps, etc…. Why should we acknowledge the fact they’re 9-0 against what are essentially the worst 9 teams in section one? Their record just means they’ve sand-bagged their schedule. Not the way to grow a program.

    I know it’s your alma matter and all joe, but there has to be a more newsworthy story out there, right?

    -Seacrest out.

  4. Old Rugger says:

    Seacrest lighten up. It is great to hear about new programs. While the strength of schedule is light. It is a small school and like swiming you don’t just jump in the deep end. New Lax is always newsworthy. Besides come playoffs they will see what a lighter schedule will do to them. (ie RYE, PV etc.) it takes time, give them a few more years.

  5. Broadway Joe says:

    Seacrest congratulations on one of the dumbest posts I’ve ever read. Just because we not in the power league does not mean our start isn’t impressive. Irvington is in its third year as a program and is beating teams like Croton and Sleep Hollow that have had teams for 30 years. That’s a huge accomplishment. What other upstart programs have ever done that? Congrats Coach Werney and Irvington on your amazing accomplishment and thank you Joe for giving the boys the attention they deserve.

  6. HV Lax says:

    Congrats Irvington. Great story Joe.

    Seacrest your points make zero sense. Is there a more newsworthy story? You can say that about anything. Is Yorktown beating Chaminade more newsworthy than John Jay beating Syosset? Yes. So should Joe just write about Yorktown?

    I love lax. All these stories are newsworthy.

    Your comment about people in Irvington having money so Joe shouldn’t acknowledge their success is even more clueless and frankly weird. What they don’t have money in Rye or John Jay? So Joe shouldn’t write about them?

    Seacrest you have jumped the shark.

  7. Observer says:

    Wow. That was pretty clueless Seacrest. Irvington is a very small school for starters and just started lax two years ago. Who do you want them to play? Yorktown and John Jay? They’re playing the teams they should be playing and are 9-0. Who else can say that?

  8. Seacrest says:

    Good to see some reponses…although quite misinformed. FYI – The coaches ABSOLUTELY control who they play when they rank themselves in the preseason. LOTS of teams would be undefeated w/ Irvington’s schedule…it’s not a refelction of how good their team is, it’s a reflection of how bad their competition is.

    To illustrate what I’m saying, I’ll point to a program like Ardsley (I have no affiliation w/ them btw -just happen to know about them beacuse I live in the area). They’ve been a varisty program for a whopping 4 years (i.e. one more than Irvington). In that time, they have beaten Pleasantville to make it to the sectional semi-finals (2 years ago) and although they are hovering around .500 this year, they’re playing teams like Nanuet, Harrison, Ossining, Pleasantville, Pelham, etc… all w/o the advantage of a youth program like Irvington.

    Something like THAT is a more newsworthy story.

    If Yorktown played down in the B division and was undefeated, I wouldn’t want to read about that either…

  9. TownLax says:

    Irvington is doing awesome and a 9-0 start is very newsworthy. What they’re doing has nothing to do with Ardsley. I know what Ardsley has done because Joe has reported on it the last few years a lot. Now Irvington is getting some recognition. That’s how it should be. Your points are bizarre and the only explanation is you have an ax to grind with Irvington. Grow up.

  10. slacrosse says:

    Congrats Irvington. Keep building the program and scheduling as tough as possible.

  11. Seacrest says:

    Wow…I’m surprised by the oddly angry repsonses here…And I have nothing against Irvington at all, I would make this point regardless of what team was being featured. This is a blog where people come together to express (sometimes divergent) opinions. My points are valid. Whether people agree w/ them or not is another story.

    Lacrosse, more than a sport, is a chance to build character in young men…I don’t like to read about the weak getting beat up and having it sold as some big success. That’s not character…

  12. Joe Lombardi says:

    Irvington will be playing tougher teams as the program grows. As for right now, the Bulldogs absolutely are playing the teams they should be playing.

    And almost every team they play is a more established program than they are. As someone pointed out, Croton and Sleepy Hollow have had programs for years and years. If you consider that beating on the weak (especially for a third-year varsity program), then I guess Irvington has already attained the kind of respect it takes most programs 5-10 years at least to get. So more power to them and I guess that makes this story even more newsworthy than it already is.

    As for this year’s schedule, Drew Werney was named coach in late February. So the schedule was set at that point. He is trying to schedule a team like Somers for a scrimmage prior to sectionals. In the future. I’m sure he will schedule a few more challenging non-league games.

  13. Seacrest says:

    Joe – I respectfully disagree with you. You can’t confuse having a lacrosse team for “years and years” (Peekskill, Yonkers) and being an “established program” (Somers, Put Valley). Time existence can have very little to do with the strength of a program.

    I checked the stats – Irvington has outscored their competition 109 to 33 this year – and you’d argue they’re playing the teams the should be?! That defies logic. The whole point of ranking teams in section one lacrosse is to ensure a competitive schedule.

    I don’t see why it is so controversial to say somebody goofed (sounds like an ex-coach) with their schedule and they should be playing better teams.

  14. Joe Lombardi says:

    Yes, Irvington is 9-0 and has won some games very easily, but it has had two overtime wins. If Irvington had lost those games and was 7-2 instead of 9-0, would we be having this conversation? Probably not. So there is no need to penalize Irvington for winning some close games.

    For a third-year varsity program, Irvington is in the correct league. As you know, you can’t control your league schedule. I agree with you that the future of the program is bright and the Bulldogs should have the opportunity to play a tougher schedule in the coming years. As for now, they are ahead of where they should be playing precisely the teams they should be.

  15. HV Lax says:

    Joe I wouldn’t waste any more of your time with this guy. Some people just don’t get it. What you have explained to him should be obvious so either he is totally clueless or has it out for Irvington on a personal level. He lost all credibility right off that bat when he said Irvington should be a powerhouse because of the income level in the community.

  16. syracuse says:


    Allow me to chime in here. This is just one thread of hundreds. If Joe chooses to write about Irvington here that’s his perogative. Of course, you can disagree with his points. That’s your perogative. But let’s not continue to beat up on the fact that Joe was happy to shed some light on what is a nice story. It’s nothing more than that. Don’t treat every thread so seriously.

    As for all the angry responses, it’s because people love Joe. It’s that simple. And if he chooses to write about the CROP getting taken out by a purple and white John Deere, people will read it and will respect him for saying it — regardless if the story is outlandish or if most don’t agree with it.

    This site is as much about showcasing an Irvington as it is a Yorktown or Manhasset. Every school should have its moments where something positive can be said without reprisal.

    Just let it be and move on already.

  17. LI Guy says:

    I don’t know Irvington from Adam but I thought it was an interesting story about an upstart program. Why would anyone begrude a team that is 9-0 getting attention?

  18. HVLax says:

    Cuse this has nothing to do with Joe writing it. Seacrest made ridiculous statements. He’s flatout wrong. He got called on it. Same thing would have happened no matter who did the article because people on this blog know their lax.

  19. RedGray says:

    Good for Irvington trying to scrimmage Somers before sectionals too. I like hearing about rising programs. I mean Somers has been around long compared to other teams and now we beat Town almost every year.

  20. RedGray says:

    Meant to say Somers HASN’T been around long compared to other programs.

    Joe there are really three showdowns in three days. Somers plays at Cheshire on Saturday night. Cheshire is #2 in Connecticut behind Ridgefield. Will you be previewing that??
    Here’s my prediction …
    Somers 11 Cheshire 10

  21. Cradler says:

    The regular season ends Tuesday. Irvington is the only unbeaten team in the section. Of course that’s newsworthy. We get that they don’t play Yorktown and John Jay, Seacrest. Give me a freakin break.

  22. Jaybird says:

    Separated at birth – Ripo and Seacrest. Either that or they’re the same person.

  23. Joe Lombardi says:

    Guys –

    Seacrest voiced his opinion and it’s fine to disagree and vice versa. But please avoid getting personal or calling someone “clueless,” etc., because they don’t share your opinion. Exchanging ideas and opinions is what the blog is all about and the overwhelmingly majority of the time it’s done in an intelligent, thoughtful manner. Let’s keep it that way.

  24. Good Bread says:

    Irvington beat Magnus 13-0 tonight. The bulldogs are now 10-0

  25. Syracuse says:

    BREAKING: Irvington to debut at No. 2 in next week’s InsideLacrosse poll …

  26. Green Wave says:

    That’s right CUSEY – 10-0 BABY!!!
    What other team in the section can say that … NONE!
    I dunno about #2 but we belong in the Top 25 for sure now.
    Come to a game and see what all the excitement is about. I dk if the bleacher creatures will give you a shout like they did for Joe yesterday but you’ll have a good time.

  27. Gatorade says:

    Irvington has played a pretty weak schedule so far, but 10-0 is still impressive. Also they will face some quality competition on Sunday playing either Bronxville or Ardsley in the second round of the Ardsley Tournament.

    Coach Werney arrived too late to schedule more challenging games, but the team did scrimmage Pelham (League B) before the season and as Joe said they are looking for another scrimmage with some tougher competition before sectionals.

  28. Joe Lombardi says:

    Great point about the Ardsley tournament, Gatorade. I would project the Bulldogs will face Bronxville and that would indeed be their biggest test of the regular season.

    Hey Green Wave – I like the “Cusey” reference. Mind if I borrow that a few times?

  29. Green Wave says:

    Thank you Joe!! I’m glad you like it. Feel free to use it whenever you want.

  30. Syracuse says:

    Ah yes, CUSEY. Why not? I’ve been called worse. I’ll consider it a term of endearment.

  31. Joe Lombardi says:

    It was good to see a group of five Irvington players make the trip to Ridgefield for the game tonight against Darien. It’s obvious the passion for the game that already exists for the game even though the Bulldogs have just had varsity lax for three years. As we know, it’s a long ride from Irvington to Ridgefield, but they made the trip and enjoyed some great lacrosse too.

  32. Young Guns says:

    They lost big time to Bronxville thought in the Ardsley Tournament. Just shows you they have a long way to go.

  33. A Friend says:

    Crisara is so goodlooking, he does work

  34. A Friend says:

    I wish we were friends

  35. A Friend says:

    Call me?

  36. HoneyDip says:

    How well do you think Irvington will do this year????

  37. Joe Lombardi says:

    HoneyDip –

    Irvington is coming off a groundbreaking season, but has lost many key players to graduation. Pete Crisara, now starring at QB for the Bulldogs’ football team, will be back, though. He’s one of the best midfielders in the section and will be the backbone of the team. Drew Werney, coming off a banner season in his varsity debut as a head coach, will also be back. So there is good reason for optimism.

  38. i have watched this team in the past and it seems that their whole attack were seniors. with some saying that they will move a talented Jake Bernard to attack and bringing up a few young jv stars. i look at this team and sniff championship

  39. Phil says:

    I saw a few of the irvington jv players and there are a few players to watch out for. I wouldn’t know which grade these kids I’m going to speak about but they could or very soon effect how good this program will become in the next few years. There are a pair of twins who play attack, one shoots lefty, and the other righty. The chemistry shown between them is something you don’t find too often. I do not know david about a championship but a solid season(s) is very possible.

  40. HoneyDip says:

    Corey and Ronan Devlin

  41. DUDER says:

    If you dont mind me asking Phil what program are you part of?

  42. haha says:

    kevin degan degnan
    is the best player ive ever seen play

    he sucks so bad and his girlfreind is ugly

  43. Phil Lemoyne says:

    My son plays for Byram Hills.

  44. Wave Lax says:

    how will irvington come back from such a heartbreaking loss in this years sectional game against north salem? And now Jake Benard and Peter Crisara are gone is there anyone to fill those positions?

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