UMass Commit Andreassi Puts Sachem Back on Map
by Chris R. Vaccaro | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online
|Sachem North (N.Y.) standout Michael Andreassi, a verbal commit to UMass, has 73 goals in two seasons for the resurgent Long Island program.|
Junior lacrosse players verbally commiting to college programs has become more prevalent. Sachem North’s Michael Andreassi became the latest to secure his spot in the future of the lacrosse world when he told UMass and Greg Cannella he’d be suiting up for the Minutemen in the 2011-2012 school year.
Andreassi, who still has two full seasons of lacrosse and one season of football left at the Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y., high school, received recruiting packets from a number of schools, including Syracuse, Army, Loyola and Dartmouth. After multiple visits to the Amherst campus and talks with Cannella, a Long Island native himself, he was sold on Amherst.
“The coaches made me feel welcome,” he said. “Coach said I have to keep working at it and sees that I could be really good at UMass. I just have to keep practicing and doing what I’m doing.”
What he’s doing is quickly becoming the face of Sachem and Suffolk County lacrosse. So far, Andreassi has scored 73 goals, 35 and 39 his freshman and sophomore seasons, respectively. He is on pace to become one of the more highly touted offensive weapons Sachem lacrosse has produced in the last decade. This is a program that ran with Ward Melville and Comsewogue as the top tier programs in Suffolk County for much of the 1980s and 1990s.
Andreassi, whose brother Marc is a freshman playing for C.W. Post, was named Suffolk County’s Rookie of the Year in 2008. For him, it’s just a matter of smoothing out certain parts of his game over the next two seasons.
Among working on his stick handling, he’ll focus on “getting bigger, stronger and fast, so I can compete with some of the top level kids on Long Island. I’ll start fine tuning my shooting and dodging ability and bring my game to the next level.”
Not a stranger to practicing more than even the average Long Island lacrosse kid, Andreassi almost always has a stick in hand -- a true sign of a solid Division I prospect.
“He’s a tireless worker,” said Sachem coach Jay Mauro. “He has an aggressiveness about him and the ability to take over a game, and it’s something I haven’t seen at the high school since I’ve been coaching the last six years. He has the ability to get to the cage, the ability to get his hands free, his shots lefty and righty are accurate, and he has great poise.”
Prior to this season, Andreassi was picked as one of the top 20 rising juniors in Suffolk County and performed at the Nike NYS Shootout -- a substitute for the Empire State Games, which were cut due to budget constraints. They have since been reinstated.
Once a power known throughout the nation, Sachem took a brief stumble when the district split for the 2004-2005 school year, creating the new Sachem East in Farmingville just five miles away and keeping the original Sachem North in Lake Ronkonkoma.
This past fall, Sachem North football went 10-1 and had one of its most best seasons ever, and it was no surprise that Andreassi was a key contributor. Sachem looks to recapture that same magic on the lacrosse field this season.
It appears Sachem is back.