New York had the most teams in the POWERADE FAB 50 ESPNHS Team Rankings of any state last season. The Empire state even had more teams (18) than two other hotbeds combined -- Maryland (10) and Pennsylvania (6).
This season there are several New York teams that should vie for the FAB 50 National Championship with St. Anthony's (South Huntington, N.Y.) possibly leading the way. Expect Jamesville-DeWitt (DeWitt, N.Y.) to once again be a top vote getter in the preseason as they boast the longest active winning streak in the nation.
And of course the discussion about the top teams in New York does not truly start until the Long Island teams are mentioned and 2012 brings back the usual suspects.
The Starting Lineup
(Position: athlete, year, high school (city, state), college commitment)
G: Daniel Marino, Garden City (N.Y.), Virginia
LSM: Timothy Stackpole, St. Anthony's (South Huntington, N.Y.), Army
D: Bobby Duvnjak, Manhasset (N.Y.), Harvard
D: Ryan Palasek, Rocky Point (N.Y.), Syracuse
M: Patric Berkery, Garden City (N.Y.), Pennsylvania
M: Brian Sherlock, St. Anthony's (N.Y.), North Carolina
F/O: Jake Froccaro, Port Washington (N.Y.), Princeton
A: Devin Dwyer, Garden City (N.Y.), Harvard
A: James Pannell, Smithtown West (Smithtown, N.Y.), Virginia
A: Sean McDonagh, St. Anthony's (N.Y.), Harvard
Sizing Up The State
Farmingdale (N.Y.) may have posted the upset of the year in 2011 when they knocked off then-POWERADE FAB 50 No. 2 West Islip in the playoffs. The Dalers went on to win the Class A state championship, and they return a strong defense that will rely on starting goalie Frank DeLuca (Wagner). Head coach Bob Hartranft is third all-time on the ESPNHS National Record Book Project with 654 wins.
Ithaca (N.Y.) finished as Class A runners-up last season and at No. 19 in the POWERADE FAB 50. The Big Red return Top 50 Junior Eli Lasda (Penn State). Ithaca will need to replace its senior leadership from last season, which included Joe Bucci, Riley Lasda and Austin Romantic.
Liverpool (N.Y.) should have a strong defense again this season. Last year the Warriors allowed double-digit in goals just once and have not allowed double-digits in 17-straight games. Austin Hope (Robert Morris) returns to the midfield and Vermont commit Bryan Capone returns on the defensive line.
Niskayuna (N.Y.) returns seven starters from last year's 15-4 team. Led by 10 players who have either signed or verbally committed to play college lacrosse, the Warriors should boast a strong offense with Mike D'Amario (Virginia), Luke Goldstock (North Carolina), Lucas Maloney (Penn State) and Matt Sexton (Penn State) all returning to play attack. Head coach Mike Vorgang is 20 wins away from his 300th career victory.
Pittsford (N.Y.) lost just one game last season, but will have to replace the stellar goaltending of Conor Quinn, who posted a 64.6 save percentage last season and helped anchor a defense that allowed double-digits in goals in just two games. The Panthers offense should be strong with the return of senior Corey Parke (36 goals, 10 assists) and junior Albie DiPasquale (25, 10). Senior attacker Jack Lauroesch was second on the team in assists (17) last season.
Smithtown West (Smithtown, N.Y.) graduated its leading scorer Kyle Keenan (77 points), but returns seven starters, including seniors Craig Madarasz (Johns Hopkins), James Pannell (Virginia) and Matt Schultz (Stony Brook). The Bulls have 10 players already committed to Division I programs, including two sophomores who have verbally committed to D-I schools: Ryan Keenan (Penn State) and Christian Zawadzki (Maryland). The defense will be young after three starters graduated, but Ryan Adler returns in goal to help provide senior leadership.
Ward Melville (East Setauket, N.Y.) returns five starters from last year's 16-2 team. The Patriots boast seven players committed to play college lacrosse, including junior midfielder Jack Bruckner (Duke), senior middie Frank Lucatuorto (Stony Brook) and ESPNHS Top 50 junior Christian Mazzone.
West Genesee (Camillus, N.Y.) returns six starters from a team that finished 17-3 and finished as the No. 27 team in the POWERADE FAB 50 last season. The Wildcats boast several players headed to play college lacrosse, including senior attacker Tim Barber (Marquette) and midfielder Matty Schatner (Cornell). The West Genesee program tops the Record Book Project in several categories: state championships (15), active coaching wins (Mike Messere, 740) and the Wildcats are tied for the longest winning streak at 91 (1981-1984).
West Islip (N.Y.) was upset in the playoffs last season, but finished 19-1 and returns a talented team in 2012. Six seniors have committed to Division I colleges, including attackers Thomas Moore (Denver) and Brendan Smith (Marquette). Starting goalie Jack Kelly (Brown) also returns. The midfield should be strong with seniors Jon Resse (Yale), Paul Riportella (Marquette) and juniors Ryan Wieczorek (Delaware) and Nick Aponte (Penn State).
Carthage (N.Y.) returns five starters and 12 players overall from last year's 15-3 team that reached the section finals. Defense will be the team strength this season with three starters returning.
Comsewogue (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.) is one of the more consistent programs in Section 11. The Warriors have won at least 15 games every year since 2007. Comsewogue lost just one game last year, although it proved to be their final game as well. This year a game against Mercer Island (Wash.) on April 3 will be a key game for FAB 50 voters, but the April 4 game against Huntington will give the Warriors a chance get revenge for its only loss from last season.
Garden City (N.Y.) reached the Class B final last season and returns five starters. Seven players have already committed to Division I programs, including Warrior 40 alumni Patric Berkery (Pennsylvania) and Justin Guterding (Duke). The Trojans lost three All-Americans on defense, but Virginia commit Dan Marino returns in goal.
Irondequoit (N.Y.) returns eight starters from last years Class B semifinalist team. All-American Nick Doktor (Pennsylvania) will lead the offense. Helping the offense is West Point-bound Gunnar Miller. Miller missed most of junior season will a broken collarbone, but is looking to bounce back with a big senior year. Joining Doktor on attack will be Adidas-Brine All-Americans Jake Schmidt and Connor Enright. Overall 10 players from the Eagles are committed to play in college.
Jamesville-DeWitt has allowed double-digits in goals just twice in the last two years. The Red Rams boast the longest active winning streak in the nation at 44 games and return four starters. It could be a different dynamic in 2012 for head coach Jamie Archer with the team returning three of its top four scorers from last year, including Syracuse commit and ESPNHS Top 50 junior Jordan Evans (58 goals, 49 assists). The defense will be young, but the Rams have allowed double-digits in goals just 14 times in Archer's 132 games as head coach.
If the last four years are any indication John-Jay (Cross River, N.Y.) should have a good year in 2012. Even numbered years have been good to the Indians who have won 18 games in 2008 and 2010 as opposed to odd years in which they won 10 (2009) and 13 (2011). Junior defender Mike Skluth (Albany) returns to the lineup and should help anchor a defense that allowed double-digits in goals in just seven games last season.
Jericho (N.Y.) returns eight starters from last year's 9-6 squad, including Ithaca commit Jordan Brett and Cornell commit Chandler Kirby.
Manhasset (N.Y.) allowed just 78 goals (4.1 per game) last season and its defense could be even better this year. Of the four seniors committed to Division I programs, three play defense, including ESPNHS 100 defender Bobby Duvnjak (Harvard). The Indians also boast one of the top face-off men in the nation with ESPNHS 100 No. 79 Ryan Matthews (Johns Hopkins). Matthews' play at the circle should help provide plenty of opportunities for junior Dino LaValle (Brown) at attack. ESPNHS Top 50 junior Patrick Coleman will help anchor the defense along with Duvnjak.
Shoreham-Wading River (Shoreham, N.Y.) moved up to Class B last season and finished 17-3. The Wildcats return four starters including ESPNHS No. 2 Junior Tim Rotanz, who totaled 68 goals and 42 assists to lead Long Island in scoring last year. Shoreham boasts several D-I players with Trevor Brosco (Notre Dame) at midfield, Chris Mahoney (Ohio State) on defense and goalie Tyler Lutjen (Siena).
Yorktown (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) reached the Class B semifinals last season and return two of its top three leading scorers from last season: senior Frankie Fusco (44 goals) and junior Nicholas Mariano (44). Hunter Palancia returns to the faceoff circle where he won 70 percent last season. The Cornhuskers will have to replace starting goalie Matthew Sialiano who made 142 saves.
Bronxville (N.Y.) returns six starters from last year's 21-2 team. The Broncos lost two All-Americans at the midfield to graduation, but return every other starter on offense, including Johns Hopkins commit Jack Grass. The defense returns three players who started at one point last season, though the defense was senior heavy last year.
Cazenovia Central (Cazenovia, N.Y.) finished 22-1 last season and won the Class C championship. The Lakers defense allowed double-digits in goals in just five games last season, but will have to replace Ben Romagnoli in goal. Defenders Clay Goris and Doyle Judge both return after earning All-Central New York third and second team honors respectively. The offense will need to replace 96 goals with the graduation of Sean Cannizzaro (53 goals) and Joe Nardella (43). ESPNHS Top 50 Junior Connor Cannizzaro (Maryland) returns to the offense after scoring 83 goals and totaling 36 assists and earning second team All-CNY honors last season.
St. Anthony's has won the CHSAA title in each of the last three years and with 13 seniors already committed to Division I colleges, the Friars should be the favorite heading into this season. Four seniors are in the ESPNHS 100: No. 11 Tim Stackpole (Army), No. 38 Sean McDonagh (Harvard), No. 41 Brian Sherlock (UNC) and No. 54 Kieran Burke (UNC). The Friars play a tough out-of-state schedule with Darien (Conn.), Delbarton (N.J.) and California power La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad, Calif.). Expect St. Anthony's to be a preseason Top 5 team in the POWERADE FAB 50.
Could this be the year Chaminade (Mineola, N.Y.) breaks through and wins its first CHSAA title since 2008? Twelve Flyers are committed to play Division I lacrosse, including ESPNHS 100 midfielder Greg Rhodes. Overall, eight seniors and four juniors will be playing D-I lacrosse. Defense should be a strength, with goalie Ryan Ricciardelli (Albany) and midfielders Matthew Graham (Michigan), Joe Reilly (Holy Cross), Rhodes and Paul Urbank (Delware) along with defender Brian Porter (Marquette) returning. In addition to its senior class, two juniors from Chaminade made the ESPNHS Top 50 Juniors list: No. 7 Ryan Lukacovic (Virginia) and No. 20 Danny Fowler (Duke).
Underclassemen To Watch
(Position: athlete, year, high school (State), college commitment)
Attack: Connor Cannizzarro, Cazenovia Central, Maryland; John Crawley, Jr., Port Washington (N.Y.), Johns Hopkins; Mike D'Amario, Soph., Niskayuna, Virginia; Luke Goldstock, Jr., Niskayuna, North Carolina; Jack Grass, Jr., Bronxville, Johns Hopkins; Ryan Keenan, Soph., Smithtown West, Penn State; Ryan Lukacovic, Jr., Chaminade, Virginia; Lucas Maloney, Jr., Niskayuna, Penn State; Dylan Molloy, Jr., St. Anthony's, Brown; Tim Rotanz, Jr., Shoreham-Wading River (N.Y.); Brian Ward, Jr., Bayport-Blue Point (Bayport, N.Y.), Ohio State; Christian Zawadski, Soph., Smithtown West, Maryland.
Midfield: Nick Aponte, Jr., West Islip; Zac Brihmacomb, Jr., Irondequoit; Jordan Evans, Jr., Jamesville-DeWitt, Syracuse; Dylan Gruder, Jr., Smithtown West, Massachusetts; Justin Guterding, Jr., Garden City, Duke; Eli Lasda, Jr., Ithaca, Penn State; Brian Masi, Jr., Smithtown West, Sacred Heart; Christian Mazzone, Jr., Ward Melville; Joel Roemer, Jr., Irondequoit; Joe Varello, Jr., Smithtown West, Navy
Defense: Tyler Andreassi, Jr., LSM, Sachem North, UMass; Patrick Coleman, Jr., Manhasset; Chandler Kirby, Jr., Jericho, Cornell; Eli Kenney, Jr., Irondequoit;
Goalie: Brian Balkam, Jr., Smithtown East, North Carolina; Danny Fowler, Jr., Chaminade, Duke;
Games To Watch
March 24: Garden City (N.Y.) at St. Paul's (Brooklandville, Md.)
March 31: Manhasset at Calvert Hall (Baltimore)
April 14: Jamesville-DeWitt vs. Duxbury (Mass.)
April 19: West Islip at Smithtown West
April 21: West Genesee at Jamesville-DeWitt
May 5: St. Anthony's at Darien (Conn.)
How This State Affects The FAB 50
With more teams then any other state in the FAB 50, New York is the state to beat for ranking dominance. This season brings with it plenty of chances for Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts and even Washington to topple the Empire State.
The biggest games to watch will be St. Anthony's at Darien, in addition to Jamesville-DeWitt versus Duxbury, which could be a matchup of Top 5 teams.
Maryland gets its chance when Garden City and Manhasset travel to play St. Paul's and Calvert Hall respectively. Calvert Hall is one of the teams expected to receive serious consideration for the preseason No. 1 ranking.