NYAC MEN’S LACROSSE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

On Saturday, June 16th, in Yorktown, NY, the NYAC men’s lacrosse team completed the task which they began in the cold winds of February to begin the 2007 season, winning the national championship. From the first session, Coach Brian Carcaterra (Johns Hopkins) established a strategy of team speed, relentless passing, and aggressive defending that culminated in the heat of June with the victory that the team had long fought for. The NYAC was one of over 80 teams competing in brackets representing different geographic areas of the country, similar to the organization of divisions in college basketball. Ranked as the number one team in the New York Eastern Division by virtue of their undefeated regular season, the team began the playoff schedule by winning and advancing through the New York regional to the quarter and semi-final games held at Rutgers University. The NYAC subdued the 2006 National Champion from Philadelphia, MAB Paints to represent the Northern Conference. The intensity of the game was reflected in the fluctuating score, see-sawing back and forth in either a tie or one goal lead until, with less that one minute in regulation time, BJ Prager (Princeton) began his drive to the goal in an all out sprint, diving four feet high in the air, hurling his body horizontally across the face of the goal, releasing his shot at precisely the right moment before two of the MAB defenders fruitlessly drove Prager down into the turf with their shoulders. Prager's lightning quick release skimmed past the MAB goalies hip in what proved to be the nail in the coffin. Final score: NYAC 10 - MAB 8; the road to the finals game was now clear for the NYAC. Joe Boulukos (Cornell) lead the team with three goals as he fought through multiple checks to muscling three blistering hard shots past the MAB goalie.

The championship game found the NYAC facing the TriCerat Lacrosse Club, possessors of the highest ranked offense in the competition, having advanced through the South East Conference to the finals by outscoring their opponents by an average of seven goals per game. “We knew that we had to hold them to eight goals or less to give our offense an opportunity to develop, fewer goals than the margin they had been beating other teams. We had our work cut out for us, “NYAC goalie, John Kassalakis (UMass) noted.  “Our defenders, Chris Watson (Johns Hopkins), Bill St. George (Syracuse), and Bowen White (UNC) never give up, never give in. I knew we can hold them,” Kassalakis assured. The start of the championship game began as Coach Carcaterra and midfielder Paul Hutchins (UMass) had predicted, a run and gun battle of both teams pressing as hard as possible to create an opportunity to get a clear shot at the goal. The NYAC struck first with an 90-mile per hour rocket by Conor Denihan (Johns Hopkins) followed by Doug Logigian (Harvard) dodging past two players and placing a shot off of the goalie’s hip. TriCerat retaliated with a goal off of a fast break that had deflected off of the stick of a NYAC defender, followed by another goal off of a shot deflected off of the pipes of the goal, bouncing into a TriCerat players stick for an easy shot. Jim Mormile (Brown), slipped past his defender after absorbing a slash across his neck with a high hard shot putting the NYAC up by one. TriCerat followed up with two transition goals from the midfield. Mike McCall tied up the game before the half with a goal off a feed by Prager with a TriCerat defender illegally hanging onto McCall’s back.  The scoreboard at the half read NYAC 4, TriCerat 4. TriCerat was held in check in the first half by the stingy goal keeping of Fighting Blue Hen-Ron Jedlika (Delaware).

“At the half, we instructed our attack, Jamie Coffin (Dartmouth), Steve Will (UNC), Brian Crockett (Syracuse), Mike McBride (Harvard) and Andrew Sanders (Bucknell) to go to work, and they did,” Carcaterra later explained. Ryan Rydonis (Loyola) took it upon himself to start the offensive dive by winning the face off, driving hard to the cage, cranking a high hard shot that found the upper right hand corner of the net. “Awesome!” Rydonis shouted . Brian Haggerty (Maryland) and Rydonis established a pattern that found both men winning the all important faceoff battle. Midfielders Mike Murray (Middlebury), David Leach (Middlebury), and Andrew McElduff (UNC) stopped a TriCerat offensive set, starting a fast break of their own that found McCall cutting across the cage for another goal. Chris Hartofolis (Duke), Joe McDermott (Johns Hopkins), and Trevor Walker (Georgetown), Bill Serino (Nazareth), drove relentlessly from the top of the field forcing TriCerat defenders to leave their man resulting in another Prager goal. Prager snapping the ball behind his back just on the inside pipe of the goal after receiving a check across his knees in retaliation. McDermott now drove from the top, hitting the upper left hand corner for another score. Dan Dellicarpini (Molloy), Blaine Mitten (Loyola), PJ Palisso (Georgetown), Peter Anselmo (UNC) and Doug Kocis (Harvard) harassed TriCerat on each face-off and penalty possession maintaining ball control for the NYAC. McBride’s airborne twisting jump shot bounced hard off of the pipe was picked up by Boulukos who fired a high hard shot past the TriCerat goalie and ripping the net just under the top pipe for another goal. Now it was McCall’s turn, receiving a feed from Prager as the defenders slide to his drive to the goal, for a well placed goal. ittingly, it was Prager who scored the last goal on a classic pick and roll, firing the ball low and away into the cage. After the shot, Prager received a vicious forearm to the jaw from his defender, Pager’s injury was latter diagnosed by long time trainer Marvin German as a slight concussion. For his efforts, Prager was selected as the Most Valuable Player in the Championship game. The final score was NYAC 11- TriCerat 7.

Included in the contingent of family members and friends that ran onto the field as the time on the game clock ran out, was a knowledgeable and vocal group of NYAC members and their children, whose cheers and support were very much appreciated by the team. It was an incredible experience to share the team’s success with the people that make it possible.
  - Kyle Sweeney




Official NYAC Men's Lacrosse Results

NYAC 18 - Brooklyn L.C. 4
NYAC 22 - Brown Bear L.C. 4
NYAC 15 - New York Lacrosse Club 9
NYAC 10 - Long Island L.C. 7
NYAC 17 - Duke Tobay 16
NYAC 8 - TriState L.C. 7
NYAC 16 - Vikings L.C. 6
NYAC 16 - Long Island L.C. 6,
NYAC 13 - Lacrosse Unlimited 9
NYAC 12 - Merrill Lynch Bulls 5. 
NYAC 10 - MAB Paints 8
NYAC 11 - TriCerat L.C. 7
NYAC 18 - Brooklyn L.C. 4
NYAC 22- Brown Bear L.C. 4
NYAC 15 - New York Lacrosse Club 9
NYAC 10 - Long Island L.C. 7
NYAC 17 - Duke Tobay 16
NYAC 8 - TriState L.C. 7
NYAC 16 - Vikings L.C. 6
NYAC 16 - Long Island L.C. 6,
NYAC 13 - Lacrosse Unlimited 9
NYAC 12 - Merrill Lynch Bulls 5. 
NYAC 10 - MAB Paints 8
NYAC 11 - TriCerat L.C. 7


       
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