Matt Gorski of four-time defending state champion Darien.
(Photo by Jim Stout/MaxPreps.com)
It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for.
Two days, two showdowns.
And in Fairfield and Section 1, they are, simply stated, the regular-season games of the year.
Everybody’s all-Americans: Let’s hear your picks
Tomorrow: Darien at Ridgefield, 6:30 p.m.
Friday: Yorktown at John Jay, 7:30 p.m.
We’ve been discussing and analyzing these matchups throughout the regular season.
Now it’s time to play the games. And post your picks.
I’ll get things started.
Darien at Ridgefield, 6:30 p.m., tomorrow
If this game were played April 14 instead of May 14, the outcome would have been much easier to predict. At that point, a young Darien team was struggling to find its way and was beset by a variety of injuries.
Now, the Blue Wave have molded themselves into if not a replica something close to the team that has won four straight state titles. Ridgefield, meanwhile, is now the team that is injury plagued. But the Tigers still have to be considered favorites, with their lone loss come against New Jersey prep school power Lawrenceville.
Both teams have suffered major injuries of late to key defensemen. John Mirra, Ridgefield’s leading defender, will be out after suffering a leg injury vs. Lawrenceville. Hofstra-bound Corey Caputo of Darien will miss the next two games at least with a hamstring injury.
Prediction: Ridgefield 9, Darien 7
Yorktown at John Jay, 7 p.m., Friday
When Yorktown pulled out a 13-10 win over John Jay on May 16 of last season, it was almost a cathartic experience for the ‘Huskers.
After all, no team had dominated Yorktown the way John Jay had in recent history. The Indians had actually won three straight against Yorktown entering last season. Considering Yorktown’s dominance of Section 1 since 1980, that was a pretty impressive streak on one hand, and a pretty frustrating one on the other the one belonging to Yorktown.
Did last year’s win signal a “return to normalcy”? Will John Jay continue to play second fiddle to the ‘Huskers for the foreseeable future? Who knows. This much is clear. With a senior-laden defense and perhaps the most potent one-two offensive combination in the state, Yorktown enters the teams’ latest meeting as a solid favorite. But this is John Jay-Yorktown, so anything can happen, and often does.
Prediction: Yorktown 11, John Jay 7
Be sure to weigh in with your predictions and comments and post any info/thoughts on games you attend.
You can also reach Joe Lombardi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Joe Lombardi MaxPreps.com column: Previewing Darien vs. Ridgefield and John Jay-Yorktown; more news and notes
Joe Lombardi North County News column: A look at how John Jay-Yorktown became the game in Section 1 lacrosse
Posted In: Fairfield lacrosse
In my view ridgefield is an overconfident even brash bunch for never having won anything. Darien tok its lumps early on but now seems very prepared for this game.
Darien 9, Ridgefield 8, OT
Win over Chaminade has. Town riding high. JJ will put up a good fight for a half.
Final will be 11-7 Town.
Win over Chaminade has. Town riding high. JJ will put up a good fight for a half.
Final will be 12-6 Town.
Joe – a couple of points.
As a JJ fan, I have been to almost every Jay game and have also attended several Yorktown games. Jay’s defense is playing very well right now and we have many players scoring, however, Town is just too loaded this year – my pick is Town 12, JJ 8 (I agree with Joe that this is a 4 goal win for Town). I also think that Town makes it to the A final but falls to West Genny, unfortunately. I think Jay wins the B section championship (yes, beating out Somers) but falls again to Nisky. Interesting Joe that you mention “a return to normalcy.” I really think that JJ will most likely beat Town the next several” years in a row with a very strong and next year battle tested group of 10th graders moving on to 11th grade and then a very talented freshman class coming in next year. I also think that JJ wins a state title in the next two years. Next year Town will have KI back (will be best player in the Section) but will lose a 4 year starter in goal, entire close D, Ranagan, Casey, etc. KI will keep things interesting but he won’t have the supporting cast (of course there will be other talented kids at Town). Town will be nowhere near where there are this year, will really be rebuilding around KI. I am interested to hear everyone’s thoughts on this…
That’s unfortunate Joe that the best defensemen for both Ridgefield and Darien will miss the game. My pick is Ridgefield 13, Darien 6.
Jay did not beat Town 4 out of 5, they did win 3 in a row but Town won the previous 2
If you think Jay is beating Town KI’s senior year your mistaken.
This year we can all agree the outcome is not in doubt.
Town 12, JJ 5
I have to disagree on next year. KI is incredible but he cannot do it alone. I do not see the depth there to make it happen next year and Jay will be much stronger.
LacrosseInsider could be right. When I said “return to normalcy,” I was referring to last year and this year. But what about next year? Who has the edge?
We know JJ returns Jameson Pickel and the 13 sophomores, led by Mike Daniello and Foorest Walter. It will also have its goalies back.
Yorktown loses its whole defense. Interlicchio and Remy Lieberman return, of course. So do a couple of sophomores I’ve been impressed with in Ty Schuldt and Justin Mabus and some solid juniors too, including Joey Porcelli and Joey Bonitatibus.
Might be interesting to not only hear your thoughts on predicting Friday’s game, but who has the edge next year, too.
I think the story of the year in the FCIAC is “injuries”. Between Greenwich, Darien, Ridgefield and Wilton, I think the title may go to whoever can stay the healthiest. I would have to believe both Darien and Ridgefield would have preferred playing each other at full strength but you have to go with the hand that is dealt. Here’s hoping for a good show. I know Mirra is done for the season. Any chance we see Horowitz or Dysenchuk before the end of the year?
Now that the Ridgefield – Darien regular season showdown is finally here, let’s point out that all of the pressure to win is squarely on the Orange and Black, for these reasons –
1. They are at home, which should be a 2-3 goal advantage considering the great support from the Tiger parents, students and supporters. Yet considering all the expectations, getting off to a slow start, as they did in last year’s FCIAC championship, won’t be acceptable. At RHS they’re occustomed this season to scoring at will from the first faceoff. That isn’t realistic now, but the pressure to run-n-gun won’t go away.
2. They’ve never beaten Darien, ever, and most of those games weren’t even close. Like Yorktown until this spring, many of the Tigers have never walked off a lacrosse field at any level with a victory over a Darien team. Now that they have a team capable of doing just that, will they be able to execute as if it was just another opponent? Do those crisp clearing passes fly out-of-bounds because they’re trying too hard?
3. The main focus everyone wants to see is when Ridgefield has the ball vs. the Darien defense. Even Joe doesn’t think Ridgefield will get more than 9 goals, which is wise since Darien has given up more than 9 only to Manhasset. With the score in the single digits well into the 2nd half, will RHS get frustrated when things don’t come as easily as they have previously?
Darien’s largest advantage over the Tigers is in goal. West is showing that he’s up to the challenge and providing the performance anticipated, especially in the last two weeks.
4. What about the other side of the field? Most expect Darien to dominate faceoffs, and they’ll be in no rush until they can get Foley, Matheis, Brickman, Boulton, et al, the shots they want. They’ll make RHS defend them 6 on 6 like no one else has this year. The communication for Ridgefield’s poles better be spot on. After all, the best defense is a patient offense. The Blue Wave want to be watching White, Scott and Co. standing at the midfield stripe with hands on hips next to Gorski and Crew.
5. Darien knows whatever happens on Thursday night, it’s the FCIACs that matter more. They’ve done it all before many times. Can Ridgefield take that approach, or to they HAVE to win this week to keep the doubts from gaining root as the post-season approaches.
Let’s go with Darien 12, Ridgefield 10.
Sorry TownLax, but I don’t agree with you. The outcome of this game may not be in doubt for you, but this is a crazy game and you never know what can happen when two rivals like Jay and Town get it on. I believe Town is a about a four-five goal favorite on paper, but Town’s gonna have to show up ready to play. Jay is gonna fight tooth and nail for this one. Maybe it’s time for these young guns to really make their mark.
As for the glimpses into the future provided by Lacrosseinsider, I hope you’re right on man. I’d love to see Jay reel in a title or two in the next couple of years, but it’s just too hard to predict state titles years in adavnce. You can’t possibly know what all the other programs have coming up the pipe. I know from watching the Woodstick Classic on MSG that Garden City has a core of key Varsity players that is about as young as Jays. So to automatically give Jay the win over GC (or even a free pass to the semi’s) a year in advance is a little premature. Plus, who knows what’s going on through the ranks in the other top Class B programs around the state (Nisky, JD, Corning East, etc.). I think Jay will be a solid favorite in Sec 1 Class B for the next couple of years, but even that is open for discussion, since Yorktown will probably come down next year if their numbers dicate it and Somers has some very good young players in their system. But like I said, I hope you’re right on the money with that pick. They work so hard in that program and a title would justify the effort.
Interesting. Interesting. Interesting.
I believe this will be Town’s last chance to lay a thumping on Jay for some time. The difference between the Jay teams that beat Yorktown 4 of 5 and what the future has in store for the Indians is this: The old Jay teams had stars, had All-Americans. The jury is still out on what kind of star power the future Jay players will have, if any at all, save for Daniello, who will be among the top players in the state as soon as next year.
But the one thing Jay will have for certain that Town may not next year is depth. Town may have the best player in the section but you just don’t replace losing your entire starting close defense, longpole and goalie, no matter how many goals KI scores. Most if not all of the players Joe mentioned that Yorktown is bringing back next year are offensive players.
The void they’ll have in their own end and in net will be glaring. Now, lesser Yorktown teams have still gone on to win sectional titles, but that was before the bar was raised program-wide throughout the section. That was before Jay became a true lax factory. Look at White Plains, as crazy as that sounds. Look at L/P. They’ll be good next year too.
No, for my money, this could be Town’s last shot for a few years of winning anything substantial. The days of 5 or 6 regular season losses are staring the Huskers in the face.
That said, as for Friday’s game, I’m pretty much in agreement with most of you guys. Town should win on paper by about 5 or 6 goals, but this is a crazy rivalry, one where records mean little. I just don’t see Jay running and gunning with Yorktown and I’d be shocked — SHOCKED — if Jay tries any of that stallball nonsense, as effective as it can be.
I’m going to take Yorktown in a highly competitive 10-6 final.
With Mirra, Ridgefield would win by about 7. Without him, I say it’s more along the lines of 12-7..
Joe, will John Jay’s Pickel gaurd future Blue Jay teamate Kevin Interlicchio?? Interesting match-up, who does Petro root for!??
the next couple years are gonna be tough..for instance..its hard to replace, Mikey B, a 4 year starting goalie…Fenn (towson) Brunelle(marist) fox (4 yr varsity player, marist) Cabriele (Wesleyan), cody hanlon and ryan tirelli on short stick midd…and thats just the defense.
next year Kevin will get help from my man Ty Schuldt also porcelli and Mabus…but just like “The Crop”, yorktowns dominance like this season, will probably not exsist…should be a very close game next year..after that i think JJ and their now big sophomore class wins..and years after that also
ytown wins this year 13-6
ytown wins next year 9-8 in OT
ridgefield wins by 6.
Injuries smijuries. They happen. But the best teams don’t use that as an exuse. Look Ridgefield’s O is just too much for Darien or anyone. Ridgefield will show they are the best team in the tristate. Darien will be just the first step …
Ridgefield 12, Darien 5
Didn’t seem to be too much for Lawrenceville.
let’s take care of jj this friday, a great showing form the boys on the field will be guaranteed…
the crop will not be a 1-hit wonder, leave them in my hands for next year and we will be in good shape..
town wins friday, due to the overwhelming experienced defense over the young jj team… nobody on the jay defense can shut down interlicchio, let alone ranagan.. ‘town makes a statement, 12-5
ridgefield over the wave, 12-9… colsey’s offense is way too much for the wave; it’s interesting, b/c ridgefield is in a smiliar position as jay in that it is normally the underdog, but this time around they may get a win… but the social structure down in section 1 is indeed back to normal and town is on top..
friday is the game of the year… hopefully there are no bocklet goals coming behind the back scoop shots… i’ll admit it was sweet watching bocklet rip that dirty G on replay on my DVR at home.. but none of that is coming.. MSG is getting ready for the crop this weekend, after the score gets a little lopsided, all camera eyes will be on THE CROP.
I guess Lawrenceville is no longer in the tri-state now. And I havent seen anyone from Darien citing injuries as excuses for the losses they have had this season. I think they are deeper than Ridgefield and that will show tomorrow.
I don’t know. I heard Ridgefield D got lit up vs Lville after Mirra got hurt. If Caputo weren’t out I’d go with Darien. But now they have no one to put on White. Expect him to have a real big game.
Ridgefield 12, Darien 7
John Jay 6
A little bird told me JJ is working on a special defence with lots of slide packages to contain KI and Ranagan. So no one player will be assigned to either KI or Ranagan. It will be the lax equivalent of a triangle and two in hoops.
can we focus on the game in todays and not next year?
two days* sorry
Looking ahead to next year is interesting. If you don’t think so then don’t do it, but don’t tell other ppl not to …
This year: JJ 11, Town 8
Next year: JJ 10, Town 6
JJ has lots of young talent, and their JV team this year is probably 1 or 2 in the section even with 13 sophs on varsity. I think it’ll be a good next few years for them. Next year they return their 2 leading scorers this season in Daniello and Walter, who are probably the 2 best underclassmen offensively in the section. JJ returns most of their scoring and on defense they return their goalie, Pickel, and their entire 2nd line of sophs (Caviola, Lanza, Winter). At middie they return Walter, Weil, J Morris, (all starters when Stewart was injured) Chen, Merlino… and at attack they have Daniello, B Morris, Ferentini (very talented freshman this year dominating JV), Pray, Lupinacci, etc. I gotta say they beat town next year in a close one. Town will have a number of talented players (Interlicchio (without Galasso I’m saying he will be the best attackman in the country), Lieberman, Schuldt, Porcelli, Mabus etc.) but I think they will have to rely on Kevin a little too much. On the other hand, JJ has many scoring options, just look at last game, 10 players scored on 13 goals, 9 of those 13 goals are from players who will return next year. And with apparently other talented classes coming in, JJ will be a force in the near future, hopefully they’ll win a state title that they’ve been so close to each of the last two years. And we all know how many titles Town has had, but it’s been a while and they have a good chance this year, I’m rooting for them in the playoffs (just not when they’re in the same class as JJ haha)
But enough about the future, JJ is a very good time NOW and have a chance to beat Town, however slim it may be. Still saying Town wins by 3 or 4 goals though. But if JJ continues to play well, I’m saying they keep their section-winning streak alive. And does anyone know if Town will be in B next year? That’ll be interesting if they are.
And yes John, that Bocklet goal was one of the best I’ve ever seen. They replayed it along with other highlights last weekend on MSG to hype the coming game, they mentioned something about doing a special on Interlicchio and Ranagan as well. Two really special kids Hopkins is getting, looking forward to seeing them along with Pickel playing down there.
Yeh I also heard MSG is picking up on the video Joe did on Ran and KI being neighbors and going to Hopkins and doing a report on it too.
John Jay 5
What did I miss, Caputo is out now??? What is going on in Fairfield this year? How many legit D-I players are hurt?
Cards Lax –
That’s correct and it’s a shame both teams will be minus their best defensemen. (I reported on both injuries in the main body of this post.)
You are quite right. The rash of injuries in the county this season has been unbelievable. You hate to see it, especially with seniors ending their varsity careers.
Jay won in 04 reg season, Town won sec final. Town won 05,J twice in 06 and J took 07. Town won 08. Where is 4 out of 5 Cuse? You must have had Dennis Proux for math!
OK, 3 out of 4. Whatever.
[…] Two days, two showdowns: Let’s hear your picks […]
Jay vs. Town is almost upon us yet we haven’t heard from RIPO …
Where you at dude???
Didn’t JJ win in 2005 regular season while town won sectional?
Nvm JJ won section that year
Cuse, Jay won 3 consecutive, not 3 out of 4. Are u ok bro?
I agree next year JJ may have the advantage. But this is Town’s year in every way. Take away one subpar performance vs. WM and they’re unbeaten right now and possibly Number 2 of 3 in the nation. Town wins 12-5.
WM or WI
If they sweep the above then I’ll drink your cool aid about best in nation. (Just hope all tapes of the WM game were destroyed) Def. an elite team, but not sure of Top in nation. Friday should be fun to see. Curious to see a triangle and 2 lacrosse defense?
Agree that a four game sweep like that would definitely warrant top three consideration in the country. Right now I would give Town top three consideration behind Ridgefield and Manhasset in the region.
I’m posting this with all respect for laxlessons, and joe’s old gig on lax to the max..hope this isnt considered “spamming”
that picture is money..i cant imagine whos wearing the hotdog suit in the middle tho..
Funny picture but yeah Crop that kid in the middle is the coolest kid I’ve ever seen
thank you, thank you
As i write my economics paper, i just wanted to take the time out of the day to say that even though it may seem i am on the scene and a hot deal in other places, i really am not. I would like to reiterate, that i am the best there is, theres no way around it which is why i only like to write on the best blog with smart people like you guys. i apologize for any confusion and acknowledge that laxlessons is like the otherside of the pillow..cool.
let me tell you being the best is harder then it looks, just ask me, joe or cuse…if you aint first your last! shake and bake.
the previous arrogance was sarcastic…or was it
Town 10 Jay 6
All this talk of KI, and I always return to Ranagan. He’s the one I worry about on Town, before KI. That, and the sick defense. Jay’s had problems scoring on tough D’s.
Next year: Jay 12 Town 10
Hate to miss the game, but thank god for Directv and MSG…
I, too, picked Town 10-6 … and I, too, will be watching on TV on Sunday.
A brother just can’t get a fair shake in this world.
I’ll pick town by 4 too, good luck to the teams.
I’m going to try to see if I can hold off visiting this site and watch the game in “real time” on Sunday morning. Now THAT would be willpower, but I’ve got a feeling that I’ll last until about 8:00 before I break and start looking for updates.
I have to agree about KI… The kid has been absolutley torching teams this year, scoring almost at will…If you look at Interlicchio’s past, his best games come in the biggest games..
The reason why Ytown is so good this year is bc if you do happen to pay so much attention to Interlicchio, then his Hopkins companion Ranagan will punch you right in the gut…He is an absolute monster who can take over games when ever he wants…
I gotta assume Interlicchio/Ranagan is the most lethal 1, 2 punch in the country…
Good luck with that. And I’ll tell you this. I will try not to watch Lost this weekend (I’m still on Season 3 … I’m a late believer … what can I say?), but we both know some things you just can’t do without.
If you can avoid my updates tonight more power to you but we both also know that the gravitational forces will force you to go to Iowa, for reasons you can’t understand. You’ll hand over the money without even thinking about it.
People will come Ray. People will most definitely come.
[…] Two days, two showdowns: Let’s hear your picks […]