06/19/2019 4:35 PM
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For the 11th straight year, the Long Island Lax Fest brought teams from everywhere across the country to Farmingdale State College.
The third weekend in June always brings out some of the best players in the nation, and last weekend was no different. With that in mind, here's a breakdown of some of the best 2020s and 2021s who played at Lax Fest. Click here for a photo gallery from the weekend.
Henry Alford '20, LSM, Algonquin (Mass.) / Seven Hills White. Highlights.
An All-American in Central Massachusetts who's lodged himself onto a handful of Division I teams' radars, Alford has a unique way about him and an innovative mind at the LSM spot. He has the confidence of his coaching staff to erase the other team's best midfielder, and he has a terrific stick and the ability to get to tough ground balls. On one situation, he freed himself up in a scrum by heel kicking the ball behind him, turning his hips and scooping up the ground ball with everyone else still in the pile.
Dan Barto '20, LSM, Long Beach (N.Y.) / Team 91 Orange.
Barto wasted no time leaving a memorable impression as he kayaked an opponent on the first possession. He had his best weekend yet of the summer as a strong presence at LSM, where he was great on the wing and spurred transition.
Kevin Carron '20, midfield, Mount Sinai (N.Y.) / LI Empire Green.
Carron stood out on the hoof for Empire as a big and strong midfielder who got up and down the field with ease. Once he gets going downhill, he can shoot it on the run with either hand, and he had some success dodging against poles this weekend. Defensively, he looks to take pride in his matchup and enjoys playing defense, and he's solid in the clearing game.
Alex Cottler '20, LSM, Chappaqua (N.Y.) / Team 91 Tristate Select.
A dynamic two-way LSM that vacuums up ground balls and is a legitimate threat on the offensive end, Cottler has an incredible motor and did everything you could ask for from an LSM, whether it was dislodging the ball from stick, taking faceoffs and pushing transition.
Anthony DiMatteo '20, faceoff midfield, Wantagh (N.Y.) / True Blue Engelke. Highlights.
DiMatteo was the MVP for True Blue all weekend long, repeatedly playing, 'make it, take it,' at the X. He clocked in close to 90 percent, using his quick hands and strong, thick frame to name his way of winning. He can win it forward and corral ground balls, or he can also pop the ball out to his wings with ease.
Tommy Dolciotto '20, midfield, Syosset (N.Y.) / Syosset - Stony Brook.
A do-it-all type who shined defensively and in transition, Dolciotto showed out as one of the leaders on the Syosset team by getting involved in a little bit of everything. He had a terrific skip pass to the crease man against the NS Snipers, then later followed it up by using brute strength to cause a turnover in man-to-man defense. Right after the ball hit the ground, he corralled it and brought it down to the attack, leaving a couple of guys in his wake. Dolciotto, who netted 14 goals this spring for the Braves, has the potential to be a consistent scoring threat down the road.
Vincent Gandolfo '20, faceoff midfield, Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.) / Long Island Express - Dartmouth. Highlights.
It's clear that Gandolfo has worked hard on cleaning up his stickwork, and he was a workhorse for Express, taking almost every draw until getting dinged up in the last game. He battles hard and has the brains to quickly come up with counters if he gets beat once. He'll scrap hard for every ground ball, and he's really worked on quickly getting the ball up and out.
Gavin Gregorek '20, midfield, Shoreham-Wading River (N.Y.) / Long Island Express - Navy.
Gregork is coming off of a season where he was the main faceoff guy for the state champion Wildcats, but he's a legitimate midfielder who happens to be good at facing off. He can play defense, he does good work off the ball and has a lot of the traits that you like to see from a glue-type midfielder. He also capably stepped in for Gandolfo when the latter got hurt, winning a bunch of draws.
Hugh Kelleher '20, midfield, McArthur (N.Y.) / True Blue Engelke - Cornell.
Kelleher looks the part of a legitimate Ivy midfielder at about 6-2, 210 pounds, and he'll fit right in with the shot clock era with his ability to get up and down the field as a throwback, two-way midfielder. He has terrific vision when he's dodging and can pop some goals - he had 37 tallies this spring - and finds open guys with ease. Also an Ivy football prospect, the middle linebacker plays short-stick defense like one, using his size to push opponents around.
Nicholas Larsen '20, midfield, Algonquin (Mass.) / Seven Hills White. Highlights.
Noah Larsen '20, midfield, Algonquin (Mass.) / Seven Hills White. Highlights.
The twin brothers helped a shorthanded Seven Hills White squad mow through its opponents thanks to obvious ability to make everyone around them better. The two have exceptional skill sets, but you can also just see that everyone gravitates toward them. They're both adept at scoring, setting others up, running the offense and picking up tough ground balls. They also do an excellent job of taking care of the ball.
Nick LiCalzi '20, defense/LSM, South Side (N.Y.) / Rock Lax - Navy
It was amusing to watch when Rock decided to lock everyone off and have LiCalzi go to work, because there aren't many offensive players interested in taking on the Navy commit. Physically, LiCalzi looks the part of being the five-star recruit that he is, and he's a mean, nasty defenseman who can throw hammers with the best of 'em. For a bigger guy, though, he's fleet of foot and could cover smaller, quicker attackmen, and you can just see that the All-American is the leader of the defense.
Russ Maher '20, attack, Mount Sinai (N.Y.) / Long Island Express - Virginia. Highlights.
Another weekend, another dominant performance by the future Cavalier. When he's on, Maher is absolutely unstoppable, and he finds different ways to bury shots. Get on his hands, and he can beat you with speed and by finding his way around picks. Give him time and room, and well, actually, scratch that. Don't do that. Burn that page from your defensive playbook. Maher showed again that he can change levels well and when he's on, you're in trouble.
Jared Moreida '20, defense, Lynbrook (N.Y.) / South Shore
A quiet cover guy who didn't throw any thunderous checks, Moreida was effective by just matching feet and throwing timely pokes and slaps. He had a great strip just above GLE when an attackman left his stick hanging a little bit, but mostly, Moreida stuck to covering by combining his footwork with excellent hustle and communication.
Trey Sofield '20, midfield, Long Beach (N.Y.) / Team 91 Orange
Once you really watch Sofield work, you get to appreciate everything that he brings to the table. He's a more than capable defensive midfielder who came out looking good after being tasked with covering some big-time midfielders. He takes faceoff wings, but he can also play on the man-up, and he has the size and athleticism to get to the rack.
Colby Suglia '20, defense, Mattituck (N.Y.) / Team 91 Orange - Highlights.
A starter for the Class D Long Island champions, Suglia's play has continued to get better with every tournament, and he shined for 91 at the Lax Fest. He's a big, strong, physical defenseman who does very well in the clearing game.
Thomas Von Bargen '20, midfield, Wantagh (N.Y.) / True Blue Engelke - LIU.
Von Bargen is coming off of a 34-goal, 44-point season for Wantagh, and it's not hard to see how he racked up so many goals from the midfield. His stop-and-go ability allows him to get open on a consistent basis as he keeps defenders on edge with his ability to stop on a dime. His quickness and speed allow him to create his own shot time after time, even when opponents know where he wants to go. He buried a ton of goals for True Blue, particularly when he was able to sweep top side and get his hands free.
2020 Honorable Mention
Andrew Arcuri '20, goalie, Westhampton Beach (N.Y.) / LI Empire Green - Siena
Nolan Burke '20, midfielder, Shepherd Hill (Mass.) / Seven Hills White
Ezavier Brewster '20, midfield, South Side (N.Y.) / Rock Lax
Cory Capri '20, attack, Glenn (N.Y.) / Team 91 Orange
Ryan Gasper '20, defense, Shrewsbury (Mass.) / Seven Hills White
Mike Ingraffia '20, defense, Kings Park (N.Y.) / Kings Park
Jaden Jernigan '20, defense, St. Anthony's (N.Y.) / Long Island Express
Jack Lutfi '20, attack, Massapequa (N.Y.) / True Blue Engelke - St. John's
Jack McCarthy '20, defense, Connetquot (N.Y.) / Team 91 Orange
Jake McNally '20, defense, Massapequa (N.Y.) / True Blue Engelke
Alex Pazienza '20, goalie, St. Anthony's (N.Y.) / Long Island Express - Sacred Heart
Pat Riordan '20, faceoff midfield, Littleton (Mass.) / Seven Hills White
Kofi Samuels '20, goalie, NYC (N.Y.) / Team 91 Tristate Select
Nick Colantonio '21, midfield, Mount Sinai (N.Y.) / LI Empire Green
Colantonio made a lot of smart, simple plays with the ball in his stick, and he also showed the requisite toughness for a midfielder by eating a ton of checks without giving up the ball. He bagged a couple of goals from the midfield against the Road Warriors, showing a very good shot and ability to get to his spot.
Jake D’Andrea '21, goalie, Newtown (Conn.) / Team 91 Tristate Select
D'Andrea was the model of consistency all weekend for 91 Tristate Select. His quick reflexes and smooth stick help him consistently shut down opportunities. He even managed to help out at the other end, dusting people on the way downfield for a pair of goals.
Ryan Jones '21, midfield, Mount Sinai (N.Y.) / LI Empire Green
A tough, gritty midfielder who made an impact all over the field, Jones is the type of midfielder that every team needs. He was consistent for Empire all weekend, generating scoring chances as both a scorer and feeder, and his work ethic is contagious to those around him. You can't help but root for him when you see how hard he plays.
Ryan Kalberer '21, goalie, Comsewogue (N.Y.) / Wogue
Kalberer was terrific for Wogue, making timely save after timely save and showing poise and control in the cage. He has the skill and concentration to come through with some big-time in-tight saves. You can hear him from anywhere on the field, too, and those communication skills helped put his defenders in the right place.
Andrew McAdorey '21, midfield, St. Anthony's (N.Y.) / Road Warriors
Forget the '21 class. McAdorey is one of the top clearing midfielders in the country in any graduation year. He's so explosive and shifty that merely slowing him down on the clear - not even stopping him - is an accomplishment in itself. Offensively, he uses that agility and quickness to split defenders with ease. There won't be many more sought-after '21s than McAdorey once Sept. 1 rolls around.
Brenden McCrary '21, defense, Comsewogue (N.Y.) / Wogue
McRary is the hard-nosed, tough defender that nobody likes to go up against. He set the tone early by getting into it physically, and he's just bigger and badder than mostly anyone out there. He does have finesse to go with it, too, with a great stick and a penchant for the clearing game.
Drew Quinn '21, goalie, Garden City (N.Y.) / GC34 Varsity
Quinn was particularly sharp against True Blue Engelke, making a couple of incredibly impressive saves in tight and giving GC a chance to win until later in the game. He read shooters well and was able to take away shots by mirroring sticks, and his quick hands gave him the ability to take away shots anywhere on cage.
Ryan Smith '21, midfield, East Islip (N.Y.) / Twenty4 Blue
A sophomore starter at midfield who put up 20 points, including 14 helpers, this spring, Smith carried that play over into the tournament. He was Twenty4's biggest offensive threat, showcasing some of that vision to go along with a never-ending motor and the ability to get up and down the field.
Joseph Todaro '21, defense, Carey (N.Y.) / ICON
A tenacious, aggressive defender, Todaro loves to get right up on opponents' hands and not give them any room to breathe. He put on a show against 3d Tri-State, knocking loose a couple of turnovers and playing a very physical brand of lacrosse. He even added a pair of goals to boot.
2021 Honorable Mention
James Araneo '21, midfield, Ward Melville (N.Y.) / LI Empire Green
Efraim Baretto '21, attack/midfield, Lakeshore (N.Y.) / Road Warriors
Jake Deacy '21, attack, Comsewogue (N.Y.) / Wogue
Collin Jennings '21, faceoff midfield, New Rochelle (N.Y.) / Team 91 Tristate Select
Matthew Melkonian '21, attack, South Side (N.Y.) / ICON
Brody Wynne '21, attack, Wantagh (N.Y.) / Twenty4 Blue