Westchester War Games Standouts

06/25/2019 2:45 PM -

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The Westchester War Games have a tendency to bring out the best from a lot of local top programs. 

This year's edition featured teams from the Tristate area, looping in squads from different parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and while it was a one-day event, it still brought forth a bevy of skilled uncommitted talent. 

Here's a look at some of the top players from the event. CLICK HERE for a photo gallery from the day. 

2020 Standouts 

Tyler Beverly, defense, Ballston Spa (N.Y.) / Ballston Spa 
Beverly was a huge reason why the game went to overtime as he baited E3's Jackson Hulse into having a step on him before smashing the ball out of his stick with a well-placed check. He then picked up the ground ball, got it downfield and Ballston Spa drew a penalty, on which it scored to tie the game. Beverly covered a lot of ground and was a consistently active presence on the back end. 

Jack Naglieri, defense, Westhampton Beach (N.Y.) / E3 
Naglieri made an early impression in the title game, dropping a hammer on an attackman's stick at GLE to cause a turnover, and that was a theme for the weekend. He takes the ball away with regularity by throwing precise checks, and he's also a big-time asset in the clearing game once he picks up the ground ball. Naglieri also seems like he's a leader on the defensive end, constantly talking and putting guys in the right place. 

Kofi Samuels, goalie, Riverdale Country Day (N.Y.) / Team 91 Tristate Select 
Samuels is the loudest goalie that you might ever hear. You can probably hear him two fields over from wherever he is, because he's constantly communicating with his defense and he has all of the makings of a terrific field general who controls the entire defense. The game matches his talk, though, because he showed extremely quick hands and an excellent ability to track the ball. He can make very difficult saves look easy because of his body control and footwork, and he'll stop almost every routine shot. 

Honorable Mention

Connor Cecala, LSM, Ballston Spa (N.Y.) / Ballston Spa 
Alex Cottler, LSM, Chappaqua (N.Y.) / Team 91 Tristate Select
Eddie Dunhill, attack, Pelham Memorial (N.Y.) / Team 91 Tristate Select 

2021 Standouts

Christian Ard, defense, Middletown South (N.J.) / Team 91 NJ South
Ard is a tough defenseman to go against because he combines a big frame and an excellent stick to cover and cause turnovers at the same time. He's constantly knocking the ball free, and even more impressively, he's great at picking the ball up and fueling the transition game. 91 NJ South loves to play an uptempo game, and Ard fits in perfectly with his penchant for running by the ride on the way down. He was consistently good all weekend long. 

Aidan Cassara, midfield, Westhampton Beach (N.Y.) / E3 
You can always use a midfielder like Cassara, because he likes to get involved in everythign. He'll buzz all over the field, chipping in offensively, defensively and in the clearing game, and he had a really nice assist on a draw-and-dump in the championship game. 

Ryan Challice '22, attack, Pleasantville (N.Y.) / Team 91 Tristate Select
Challice has been making goalies turn and rake with consistency all summer long, and he kept that play up yet again. He's a dynamic lefty attackman who does really well off ball as he consistently finds dead spots in coverage, and he doesn't need much time to get the ball out of his stick. That being said, he's not afraid to go to high-contact areas and finish, and he can initiate the offense from the wing. Given time and room, he can let it rip from distance, too. 

Jackson Hulse '21, midfield, Westhampton Beach (N.Y.) / E3 
Hulse was the best player for the tournament champs, and it's no surprise that he was the one to end the 3v3 Braveheart. 

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Jackson Hulse in a Braveheart to give @e3lax the varsity division championship at the Westchester War Games!

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Hulse had a beauty of an on-the-run bouncer early in the title game, and he uses his quick feet to get open on sweeps. He does a nice job of changing angles on his shot, and his athleticism helps draw an early slide on nearly every dodge. He also grabbed a pole late in the game and immediately knocked down a pass and picked it off, showing that he can do a little bit of everything. 

Ethan Pakola '22, midfield, Irvington (N.Y.) / Team 91 Tristate Select 
Pakola is 91 Tristate's faceoff guy, but he stays on the field and thrives as an excellent two-way midfielder. He is no stranger to the cage and finds a way to get to the rack, but he will also go into any scrum and often come out with the ground ball. He helped lead the charge for the co-champion '22 Select team. 

Liam Pakola, attack, Irvington (N.Y.) / Team 91 Tristate Select 
Pakola showed the ability to contribute in a few different ways from his attack spot. He can initiate and create offense from X, but he's also very good at popping into coverage holes to make an impact off ball. Pakola also rides hard and was able to turn a few 50-50 ground balls into extra possessions for his team. 

Antonio Rossetti '21, attack, Ballston Spa (N.Y.) / Ballston Spa 
A big-bodied attackman who plays a power game, Rossetti was able to bulldoze his way to the net on more than a couple of occasions, and he had an impressive goal in the final by turning the corner and using his body to shield himself from the defender before scoring. Rossetti is a creative player who's comfortable at and slightly above GLE, and he also showed that he can make some good passes, including a nice EMO skip pass that was unfortunately dropped. 

Joey Schwarz, goalie, Hillsborough (N.J.) / Team 91 NJ South 
Schwarz is the rock for the 91 NJ South team, and he's like having a coach on the field with his command of the defense. He was particularly stout in a one-goal loss to eventual tournament co-champion Team 91 Tristate Select. Schwarz has the ability to come up with some gamebreaking saves with his ability to match sticks in tight. Once he corrals the ball, he's excellent at getting up and out to kickstart the transition game. Perhaps most importantly, he showed an innate ability to make sure that everyone is in the correct position. 

Brandon Stedry, goalie, Ballston Spa (N.Y.) / Ballston Spa 
A consistent force for the tournament runner-up, Stedry was outstanding all tournament long and made some terrific saves in the final, coming away with a couple of huge stops. He was particularly good on inside attempts, using his frame and stick to get in the way of shots. 

Alex Verni, defense, Mamaroneck (N.Y.) / Team 91 Tristate Select 
A rangy defenseman, Verni was wreaking havoc on attackmen all day long. He gets right up on guys and makes them uncomfortable when they have the ball in his stick, and he's also very good at kickstarting transition with other way with his stick skills and passing ability. 

Honorable Mention

Jake D'Andrea, goalie, Newtown (Conn.) / Team 91 Tristate Select 
Luke Marro, faceoff midfield, Southampton (N.Y.) / E3 
Tyler Nocito, attack, Lakeland Panas (N.Y.) / Lakeland Panas 
Darren Smalley, midfield, Brick Memorial (N.J.) / Team 91 NJ South - Highlights

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