Nike/US Lacrosse Northeast Region Report
by Tom Peace | LaxMagazine.com
Top PerformersJohn Sexton, Lincoln Sudbury (Mass.)
Sexton is versatile and has the athleticism to play not just LSM, but close defense and on the wing for faceoffs and score the occasional goal for the Warriors. Bruce Lerch from BostonLax.net, who witnessed Sexton shutdown Westford Academy middie Alex Eaton (now at Lehigh) last season, says Sexton is "poised to be the best defensive guy the state has this year." Sexton is committed to Notre Dame
Danny Fowler, Chaminade (N.Y.)
The Flyers' goalie is having a huge season for the No. 1 team in the region. Fowler has made 40 saves this season. The senior goalie has quick hands and great footwork around the crease. The future Duke Blue Devil has helped Chaminade hold opponents to just under six goals a game.
Harry Stanton, New Canaan (Conn.)
The attackman was huge in New Canaan's 10-3 victory over St. Joseph-Trumbull (Conn.) on April 13, scoring a team-leading four goals. The junior attackman has a nice shot and moves well from behind the cage. Look for Stanton to have a big game this week as New Canaan faces rival Darien (Conn.) on April 16.
Games to Watch
St. Ignatius Prep (Calif.) at Chaminade (N.Y.) – April 25
The top team in California faces off against the top team in New York. This game should be a fun and exciting as the West Coast powerhouse is off to a 12-0 start with wins over the best team from Arizona in Brophy Prep and the best team from Oregon in Lincoln. Chaminade will be a big test for the Wildcats as the Flyers are hitting on all cylinders right now. Look for both teams to play up tempo style of lacrosse.
New Canaan (Conn.) at Darien (Conn.) – April 16
This game has been circled on the New Canaan schedule since last spring. The Rams came up short in the Connecticut Class M state championship, losing 11-5. The Blue Wave are coming off a tough 14-9 loss to No. 7 Niskayuna (N.Y.), bouncing Darien from the Northeast Top 10. Darien will be looking to bounce back from the loss.
1. Chaminade (N.Y.), 7-0
The Flyers are continuing to show that they deserve to be the top team in the region. Chaminade defeated then No. 2 St. Anthony's and then Manhasset last week. James Roberts and Ryan Lukacovic (Virginia) had six points combined in the 10-6 win over the Friars. Plus goalie Danny Fowler (Duke) made 13 saves. Chaminade hasn't allowed more than seven points this season.
2. Jamesville-DeWitt (N.Y.), 6-0
The Rams continue plowing their way through teams in the NY Section 3 district. DeWitt is averaging 18 goals through six games this season. The major reason for the scoring is Jordan Evans who has 56 points (29 assists, 27 goals). The Syracuse commit, in a recent 20-4 win over Fulton Evans, had six goals and four assists.
3. Smithtown West (N.Y.), 7-1
Smithtown West's most recent victim was Half Hollow Hills East on April 12 in which the Bulls won 11-5. Both George Shultz (NYIT) and Christian Zawadzki (Maryland) had three goal games. On April 15 the Bulls fell to red-hot Ward Melville (N.Y.) team. [Editor's note: This list was compiled prior to that game, and that result will be reflected in the next regional report.]
4. Ithaca (N.Y.), 6-0
The Little Red is piling up wins in Section 4 conference play. Ithaca is beating their opponents by no less than 13 goals a game. Ithaca gets its first real test on April 20 when they play Fairport (5-0).
5. Garden City (N.Y.), 5-1
The Trojans bounced back nicely after the tough loss to La Salle College High School (Pa.). Garden City toppled No. 10 Duxbury (Mass.) 10-1 at Harvard Stadium on April 6. Senior attackman and the quarterback of the offense, Justin Guterding (Duke) scored five goals and had an assist. Goalie Dan Dolan made eight saves. Things heat back up for the Trojans this week as they face a tough Wantagh (N.Y.) team that is 6-1.
6. St. Anthony's (N.Y.), 5-2
The Friars drop this week after suffering back-to-back loses to New Jersey powerhouse Delbarton (N.J.) and then to No. 1 Chaminade. St. Anthony's won't be down for too long as the Friars have the talent and the leadership to bounce back.
7. Niskayuna (N.Y.), 5-0
On April 13 the Silver Warriors pulled off a big win over Darien (Conn.) 14-9. The win gives Niskayuna a boost in this weeks rankings to the No. 7 spot. Next up for the Silver Warriors is Guilderland (N.Y.) on April 16.
8. Ward Melville (N.Y.), 7-0
The Patriots have earned their way into the Top 10 this week with impressive wins over Half Hollow Hills East (N.Y.), Smithtown East (N.Y.), and Garnet Valley (Pa.). Five of the six Ward Melville wins have been over teams with winning records. Jack Bruckner (Duke) has been a force for the Pats with 21 goals through six games.
9. West Islip (N.Y.) 6-2
The Lions drop this week after suffering a 13-6 loss to Smithtown East (N.Y.). West Islip will try to right the ship this week. Lions had a nice win on April 13 against New Jersey powerhouse Ridgewood, winning 11-8. The win keeps the Lions in the rankings. Attackman Nick Aponte (Penn State) had three goals and one assist in the win.
10. Duxbury (Mass.), 4-1
Even though the Dragons took one on the chin against No. 5 Garden City, Duxbury is still top dog in Massachusetts. The Dragons have tons of talent and experience with winning. Coach Chris Sweet will have his team set to rebound from the Trojan loss.
News and Notes
The Running of the Bulls
Smithtown East is off to a fantastic start. The Bulls (5-1) have only allowed more than seven goals once this season and that was in their only loss, which was to Ward Melville (6-0).
On April 3 the Bulls beat No. 7 team West Islip (N.Y.) by seven goals, winning 13-6.
"Any league win is uplifting, this one was just as sweet as all of our league wins," said Smithtown East head coach Jason Lambert. "Our team played hard for four quarters. That is what impressed me the most, they really played very hard."
The Bulls are mounting points and standout goalie Brian Balkam (North Carolina) is making some unbelievable saves in key games. The senior goalie has made 61 saves for the Bulls. Lambert can tell that Balkam's leadership is really paying off this season. "He is a four-year starter in the net for us and we are very lucky to have him."
The Bulls have a solid core in front of Balkam that includes defenseman Peter Triolo (Penn State), who is shutting down attackmen. Midfielders Scotty Scannell (St. John's) and Jimmy Tenbrink (Army) are moving the ball and well and coming up with big games. Tenbrink had a four-goal game in the win over West Islip.
Underclassmen Brian Willetts, John Daniggelis and freshman Dan Rooney are off to a great start this season.
Protecting the tradition of the program is the mission statement for this Bulls team. Smithtown High School was split up several years ago into East and West campuses in Smithtown, N.Y. and the East squad has been on a winning track ever since the move — posting a winning season every year.
"We are very proud of the history of Smithtown and Smithtown East lacrosse," said Lambert who became the head coach in 2008. "Each year we challenge our players that it is their turn to protect it. Our mission this year is to break through the Top 8 round of the playoffs and compete for a county championship."
The Suffolk Class A conference is very competitive and no win is easy in the conference. But as long as the Bulls can win the faceoff and ground ball battles, and not turn the ball over than Smithtown has the potential to be an excellent team this season.
Note: The Nike/US Lacrosse Regional rankings will not necessarily reflect the same order as the Nike/US Lacrosse National Top 25 poll, which is voted on by US Lacrosse area representatives and Lacrosse Magazine contributors, who compile the regional rankings.