rotanzBrendan Rotanz helped Fairfield Prep beat  the top-ranked
team in Connecticut, Ridgefield,  in the Class L state semifinals.

(Photo by Jim Stout/

Now we’re locked in.

We’ve had plenty of shifts — some drastic, others not — from week to week during the season in our Top 25 regional rankings.

But now we’re locking in until next season.

• Final Under Armour/Inside Lacrosse national power rankings

Before we get to our final rankings for ’09, a quick note. Since these are the last rankings of the year — the rankings of record, so to speak — what I tried to do, with all things being equal, was ask this simple question. If team X played team Y right now, who would win? The team I picked to win a potential matchup wound up getting the higher spot, starting right at No. 1.

Do you agree? Disagree? Either way, be sure to weigh in with your thoughts and comments.

Away we go:

1. West Islip: West Islip’s combination of athleticism and depth put it in a class my itself not only among teams in the region, but in the state and possibly even the nation as well. The Lions, who roared to their third state title in the last four years, return stars Nicky Galasso and Andrew Hodgson next season. (Last regular-season ranking: No. 2)

2. St. Anthony’s: Friars surged down the stretch, culminated by a big win against Chaminade in the CHSAA title game. (Last regular-season ranking: No. 3)

3. Manhasset: Indians’ dream season ended with just one loss and the third state championship in program history — not to mention Connor English’s astonishing nine-goal effort in state final vs. LaFayette. (Last regular-season ranking: No. 1)

4. Ward Melville: Patriots are the only team that can say beat West Islip this season and one of just three teams to beat Yorktown. (Last regular-season ranking: No. 6)

5. Yorktown: ‘Huskers fell short of making their first state title-game appearance in six seasons, but did win their 28th sectional title in 30 years to highlight a season that included rising to as high as No. 7 in the Under Armour/Inside Lacrosse national rankings.  (Last regular-season ranking: No. 5)

6. Ridgefield: It was a breakout season for the Tigers. Though they fell to Fairfield Prep in the Class L state semifinals, they won their first-ever FCIAC championship, becoming the first team other than Darien, Wilton, Greenwich and New Canaan to do so. After beating Darien for the first time since 1984 in an overtime thriller in the regular season, the Tigers did the same thing in the FCIAC final, with Matt White again scoring the winner. (Last regular-season ranking: No. 4)

7. Chaminade: Flyers fell to rival Friars in CHSAA title game, but have plenty to look forward to next season. (Last regular-season ranking: No. 7)

8. Fairfield Prep: Jesuits’ dramatic one-goal win over Ridgefield in CIAC Class L semifinals was the catalyst as they won their fourth straight state title. (Last regular-season ranking: No. 19)

9. Darien: The drive for five (consecutive state titles) has been completed.   (Last regular-season ranking: No. 11)

10. Brunswick: Strong season playing the top prep programs in the East Coast. (Last regular-season ranking: No. 10)

11. Hicksville: The Comets’  unlikely run to the Long Island Class A title game could be a preview of coming attractions for next season. (Last regular-season ranking: No. 25)

12. Sayville: The Golden Flashes, in just their ninth varsity season, won the Long Island Class B title. (Last regular-season ranking: No. 23)

13. Cold Spring Harbor: Seahawks turned in an inspired effort in Nassau County Class C championship game against state champ Manhasset. (Last regular-season ranking: No. 13)

14. Garden City: Trojans fell to Sayville in a squeaker in state quarterfinals. (Last regular-season ranking: No. 8 )

15. Somers: Tuskers unseated four-time sectional champion John Jay in Class B championship game — a fitting ending to a record-breaking career for Syracuse-bound star JoJo Marasco, who not only owns just about every school scoring record, but who will be remembered as one of the best players to ever come out of the Hudson Valley region. (Last regular-season ranking: No. 17)

16. Comsewogue: The lone team to beat Manhasset this season. (Last regular-season ranking: No. 14)

17. Lynbrook: Owls lost just three games. (Last regular-season ranking: No. 9)

18. Lakeland/Panas: Rebels built a 9-4 third-quarter lead before falling to Yorktown in the Section 1 Class A final. (Last regular-season ranking: No. 21)

19. Baldwin: Ohio State-bound Dominique Alexander led an inspired postseason run. (Last regular-season ranking: No. 20)

20. South Side: Nick O’Reilly-led squad finished a solid 14-5. (Last regular-season ranking: No. 24)

21. Shoreham-Wading River: Wildcats fell short of an appearance in county finals, but with a young nucleus, could be the Island’s Class C team to beat next year. (Last regular-season ranking: No. 12)

22. Iona Prep: Gaels won a state championship for the first time in school history. (Last regular-season ranking: Not ranked)

23. Wilton: Warriors picked up big win against Yorktown, then advanced to the state finals. (Last regular-season ranking: No. 18)

24. Putnam Valley: Tigers ended Rye’s run of four straight  Section 1 Class C titles. (Last regular-season ranking: Not ranked)

25. John Jay: Though denied in their quest for a fifth straight sectional title, the sophomore-laden Indians finished the season playing well and already eager for next season. (Last regular-season ranking: No. 22)

Dropped out: Farmingdale, New Fairfield, Whitman


1. Yorktown, 2.
Somers, 3. Lakeland/Panas, 4. Iona Prep, 5. Putnam Valley

1. Manhasset,
2. Chaminade, 3. Hicksville, 4. Sayville, 5. Garden City

1. West Islip, 2. St. Anthony’s,
3. Ward Melville, 4. Comsewogue, 5. Whitman

1. Ridgefield, 2. Fairfield Prep, 3. Darien, 4. Brunswick, 5. Wilton

Be sure to weigh in with your comments.

You can also reach Joe Lombardi at

• recruit profiles: Is yours up and working for you?

• interview videos

• New York State Sportswriters Association rankings

• Joe’s MaxPreps column: Galasso, English come up huge in finals

• all-region team: Who’s the best midfielder?

• all-region team: Attack thread

Posted In: General

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40 Responses to “Final Top 25 regional rankings”

  1. WhaleBelt says:

    What did Manhasset do from their previous #1 ranking to lose two spots?! they are better than St A.s, them vs. WI is a toss up. anyway love seeing four LI teams at the top of the list!

  2. LI Lax says:

    SWR will remain in class B next year…they’re likely the favorites in Suffolk but I am not sure about LI (GC will be the Nassau favorites by a long shot).

  3. Joe Lombardi says:

    WhaleBelt –

    Manhasset was actually thisclose to be No. 1, let alone No. 2.

    After I did an originally run through of the rankings, I took a closer look at the teams each of the top teams played the last few weeks — how many were ranked, etc. And as I said, I asked if Team X beat Team Y, who would win. I happen to think If West Islip played St. A’s today, it would be a one-goal game either way.

    I would give St. A’s a 1-2 goal edge in a matchup vs. Manhasset based on depth. Again, very tough call and I’d love to hear more thoughts on this specific topic as well as the rest of the rankings.

  4. IslandLaxpeet says:

    Joe –

    I think your rankings are spot on. Manhasset would be right there with WI and St. A’s but those are bigger schools with mnore depth and I think both would beat Set by 3-4 goals. I’m sure WM prob would too and even Yorktown and Ridgefield but Set went out and won a state title – albeit in Class C – unlike those teams so #3 for Set is just perfect.

  5. PurpleReigns says:

    Good rankings except Town should be somewhere in the late teens like 19. I mean cmon they were trailing LP by five goals in the third quarter of the sectional finals. Is P-Reigns the only one who realizes Town was just not that good???

  6. Jez Wit says:

    Joe thanks for showing some love for Prep. We beat Ridgefield which beat Darien twice and won the state title. At Prep we never rebuild we reload.

  7. WarriorNation says:

    Good to see Wilton make it in the Top 25. Despite losing some wonderful seniors I can confideny say 2010 and beyond will be even better

  8. slacrosse says:


    I would route for Town but objectively I must disagree that Town and Ridgefield would be favored to beat Sett. Maybe WM could as well, but not sure.

    I’ll put Setts depth/talent up against Town and Field any day. I think you may be carrying over the Class C smaller school thing too much as a negative for Sett. Sett is an elite national power with big time D1 players.

    Town finally could not control Gallaso and I see no reason that the same would not happen with English.

    If Town had the capability to lose to Wilton and almost get beat by Lakeland Panas (taking nothing away from LP quality) dont see how Sett WOULD/SHOULD not be favored to beat them.

    Not at all saying that Town/Field might not win the game but Sett would be favored by 2-5 goals over each.

  9. Syracuse says:

    Ah … Purple Reigns. What would we do without you?

    Good rankings Joe.

  10. Pequa says:

    Set would not only lose to Ytown and Ridgefield but to Class A schools on the Island that didn’t even make the county semis like Syosset. Class C is another world, kids. Joe you shiuld have a seperate poll for Set and the other Class C teams.

  11. Setter says:

    Yeh OOOOOK there Pequa. John Jay beat Syosset and the only reason Set didn’t beat JJ by 10-12 goals was because JJ stalled the ball. I agree we would probably lose to WI or St. A’s by a goal or two but we are at their level. I think Joe got the rankings exactly right.

  12. WhaleBelt says:

    Pequa – u have lost all credibility

  13. LI Lax says:

    Syosset beating Manhasset is one of the most ridiculous statements I have heard all season…there is just no way. Just the fact Syosset beat GC is unbelievable enough, to be explained only because it was the first game of the season. Nobody in Nassau A would come within 5 goals of Set this year, and I have seen almost all of the top Nassau A teams.

    About depth, I wouldn’t worry too much about Manhasset’s supposed lack of it. At the top, the classes mean little in terms of talent. Sure, it is “easier” to win states in C, but occasionally (like 2004 Manhasset) the best team in the state is a C team).

  14. slacrosse says:


    Agree with WhaleBelt.

    Have you completely lost your senses??

  15. Pequa says:

    Set lost to Wogue which lost to a decent but not great Smithtown West team 9-1. Syosset is better than SW. Hellooooo

  16. S1wss says:

    I would say i want to see St. Anthony’s play WI but it wouldnt happen till next year, and next year… i wouldnt want to see it. Tommy Schreiber will not have that attack supporting him next year… but if it could happen this year wow! unless it happened this year and i missed out somehow, i know they played Chaminade (WI i mean, obviously St.A’s did) but i dont think they played each other might be wrong

  17. LAX says:

    Very stupid reasoning just basing it on one fluke of a loss, no offense to Comsewogue. Manhasset is an excellent team, they beat Darien and Chaminade and crushed Garden City, CSH, and Lafayette.

    But using your logic Manhasset beat PV 16-3, PV beat JJ, JJ beat Syosset.

  18. LAX says:

    CSH beat Syosset as well which Manhasset crushed.

  19. Lax Novice says:

    Hi Joe,

    I have a couple of nitpicks for you regarding your final Top 25. First, would West Islip have jumped over Manhasset if they hadn’t beaten Yorktown along the way? I know your selections are based to some extent on a “if they played today who would win” scenario. I just wonder why you think man-to-man Manhasset doesn’t measure up. They have Harvard-bound Cappiletti to match up with Galasso, not sure if WI’s best are up to the challenge English would present. I just get the sense that it was decided already that whoever won the WI-Yorktown semi would get the top spot, I’m not sure Manhasset has a defense against that.

    And a very small nitpick, Ridgefield won the regular season matchup with Darien in regulation time, not OT, although Matt White’s solo individual effort with one minute left might have been the play of the year, clearing the ball himself from behind his own cage and then taking on every defender before sniping a beauty just under the bar for their emotional win. Have you given any thought to soliciting what people think was the Play of the Year? Painful as it is, that would get my vote.

  20. LI Lax says:

    solid reasoning Pequa….

    GC beat SW 12-4, Set beat GC 8-2……

    Not to mention Duvnjak was out for the Wogue game along with I think another starter on D. And Wogue is not a bad team, it was on the road in Port Jeff Station, and it was in OT. Anyway, upsets happen. This game was an upset, just like Syosset beating GC was an upset. Wogue>Syosset as well.

  21. LI Lax says:

    WI defense would do just fine against English and co. McCormack, Mattera and Nobile are no slouches…WI defense I think is better than Set’s.

  22. Joe Lombardi says:

    Lax Novice –

    Very good point about the White goal possibly being play of the year. My early nominees would be that and John Ranagan’s OT goal for Yorktown vs. Lakeland/Panas in the sectional final. Maybe we can incorporate it when we do our regional player of the year voting. Very good suggestion.

    As for Manhasset, your points are also very good. I thought about exactly what you said. But the difference, in my mind, is depth — and to a lesser extent, athleticism. As I said, Manhasset does not have the depth that West Islip or St. A’s do. I agree — six on six and close defense vs. close defense, goalie vs. goalie, it’s an absolute dead heat between the three teams.

    In the course of 48 minutes though, I believe if Manhasset and West Islip played 10 times, West Islip would win at least six of those meetings. Probably seven. Possibly eight.

    So having seen all three teams several times, I have no doubt West Islip, St. A’s and Manhasset are the three best teams in the region. In that order.

  23. Lax Novice says:

    Well said, and that will be the last word, at least from me.

    Thanks again for an enjoyable season.

  24. blah says:

    pequa, syoset and ever other nassua A teams never wins states Ever. Manhasset has won in class C and Class B and could in class A if they were in it, at least in 2004 if not other years

  25. THEGilmanfan says:

    Thanks for the read everyone…my only question, what about NORTHPORT!!!!

  26. WhaleBelt says:

    Nassau A is the most inept and embarrassing Class on LI – schools with their enrollment they should be able to produce better teams and more trophies.

  27. Taz says:

    Gonna disagree with ya Joe.I’ve never seen a team that wins out, winning a State title, by beating a top nationally ranked team in the process, and doing it decisively, can drop in ratings. St. A’s was a very hot team at the end but they still did have 2 losses.

    And what changed this week between WI and Manhasset – they both won out so for WI to be ranked #1 you’d have to infer that previous weeks rankings were inaccurate.

    I think these are the top 3 teams, but clearly don’t see how St. A’s could move up with not playing and the other 2 winning out. Depth is overated unless you need to use it.

  28. Joe Lombardi says:

    Taz –

    Another factor that weighed heavily is the teams West Islip and St. Anthony’s beat in winning their state titles — namely Yorktown, Orchard Park and Chaminade.

    So in making these last rankings, I put a huge amount of emphasis on the postseason matchups. Almost like getting a grade in a course where the final exam counts the most in determining your grade.

    Like I said, having seen all the teams a lot, I have no doubt they are in the right order. That’s what it’s all about.

  29. Doid23 says:


    First of all, thanks again for your great site, really lessened the blow of not being able to see any NY lax this season. Nothing like this anywhere else in the country. We may not have the best lax in Sec 1, but we clearly have the best website and forums!

    Good poll, the only quibble would be with Set. I think that they should be #2. I agree that WI should be ranked above them, but just barely. While St. A’s did come on at the end, so did Set, decisively beating a undefeated Lafayette team and shutting down Greeley in the process. But again, just a quibble, I can see both sides of the argument.

  30. Syracuse says:

    I think at the end of the day you have to ask yourself: Would Manhasset beat West Islip in a one-game winner-take-all scenario?

    That’s a tough one, but I believe Joe got it right.

    I wouldn’t penalize Manhasset for losing to Comeswogue. Any team can have an off-day, especially early in a season. I also wouldn’t penalize West Islip for losing to Ward Melville because the style in which Melville plays anyone can fall victim to them once. Plus, they are, after all, Ward Melville. Forget that they haven’t won a state crown since 2000. The Patriots have a very good coach in Hoppey and are beginning to get back to what it was that made them great in the 1990s — physicality and defense.

    Personal opinion here. I just think at the end of the day Islip’s team defense would figure out a way to control all the other Manhasset pieces and wouldn’t have a problem with English getting his. Just look at his stats — 75 goals or whatever, around 20 assists. That’s not a true playmaker even against bad teams. So I’m confident Islip would do a fine job denying Molinari, Koufakis, Belinsky, etc.

    On the flipside, as good as Cappellini is he’d still have his hands full with Galasso and I’m not sure if Manhasset’s other defenders could deal for 48 minutes with Islip’s depth — not to mention Braddish, Hodgson and Badalato.

    It would be a highly entertaining game, but I think Islip would win by about 3 or 4 goals.

  31. THEGilmanfan says:


    I think you did a great job in ranking the top 3 teams, I make national rankings with LI Lax and another person. When we get together and make our final rankings, I will be pushing for St. Anthony’s to be above Manhasset. When I compare St. A’s and Manhasset this is what I see:

    A) Both schools loss(es) were very early in the season, the third and fourth game for St. A’s and Set’s fifth game.

    B) Fortunately for St. Anthony’s, they were able to play one of the teams they lost to (Chaminade) twice and beat them decisively each time (13-7 and 17-9).

    C) The wins each team has, in terms of quality is about equal. St. A’s has Chaminade (2x), Delbarton, Fairfield Prep and Wilton while Manhasset has beaten CSH (2x), Darien, Garden City, Chaminade and Lafayette.

    D) If you look at the performances towards the end of the year, it seems to me, like St. Anthony’s improved more than Manhasset did. I’m not trying to discredit Manhasset as they are a phenomenal team, I just happened to see a few of their games (particularly the CSH sectional game) and walked away unimpressed, particularly with their second half effort. Meanwhile, St. Anthony’s destroyed Chaminade in their championship game and also had a big win at Wilton.

    Lastly, I follow the quality of OOC opponents each great team has quite closely. While Manhasset scheduled some good opponents (Chaminade and Darien), St. Anthony’s scheduled great opponents (Yorktown and Delbarton).

  32. Joe Lombardi says:

    Good points, Gilman Fan. I looked at all those things too, and I think they are solid criteria to analyze. If I had to make a hypothetical NYS title game for overall best team in the state, it would undoubtedly be between West Islip and St. Anthony’s. That would be one heck of a game.

  33. Taz says:

    That’s it! All 3 teams – under the Expressway Fri night – bring gear for pick up games! 😉

  34. THEGilmanfan says:

    They are REALLY getting alot of heat from people about being MIAA biased…

  35. slacrosse says:

    The GilmanFan,

    Waht are they complaining about? There are only 3 MD teams in top 10 and they belong there, right!

    My pet peave is inc. Saint Andrew of FLa and Coronado of Ca. anywhere in top 25. Not saying not very good teams BUT the competition these teams face is NOTHING like that faced in the MIAA, LI, etc. Unless these teams play numbers of games VS MIAA, LI, Westchester, and WIN, they dont belong in a National ranking. A friend of mine living in SF played at St Pauls and said the comp and level of lacrosse that St Ignatius of SF (had been nationally ranked)
    plays is no where near the MIAA.

    Also I know that Orchard Park beat Ithaca who beat West Genny but the OP team I saw play WI was not nearly an elite team. Basically only had one “impact” player (Tondo).

  36. […] • Final Top 25 regional rankings […]

  37. […] • Final Top 25 regional rankings […]

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