YORKTOWN - John Ranagan and Kevin Interlicchio are back in the picture.
They were on the field posing for photos with the Murphy Cup in hand after leading Yorktown to an 11-8 win over neighboring Lakeland/Panas last night in the most important game of the regular season for both teams.
It had been a few games since the Yorktown catalysts had ganged up on anyone. But Ranagan and Interlicchio combined for nine goals last night.
The silver trophy awarded to the winner of the matchup is named in honor of the late Charlie Murphy, who is essentially the patron saint of lacrosse in northern Westchester. The victory was Yorktown's 18th in the 20-game Murphy Cup series.
"Me and Kevin grew up real close to Mr. Murph, so we understand how important playing well in this game is," Ranagan said. "This cup has to stay in Yorktown. There is absolutely no question it has to stay here with us."
That was apparent in the early going.
Interlicchio came around the back of the net less than a minute into the game and calmly ripped a left-handed blast into the net. Justin Mabus quickly followed suit. Interlicchio added to the lead when he powered in and scored less than three minutes into the game.
The visiting sideline was nearly silent.
"It seems like they always go up four or five goals in the beginning," said John Fitzpatrick, who finished with a goal and two assists for the
Shawn Honovich sliced into the defense and got Lakeland/Panas on the board, and seven seconds later James Bugeya scored. It was all even, 3-3, after Honovich scored again with 6:06 left in the first quarter.
"I guess there is a history of us getting out to a pretty good lead and them coming back," Interlicchio said. "We definitely had that in the back of our minds."
Ranagan stopped the rally and redirected the momentum. He scored in the final minutes of the first, then netted two more in the first six minutes of the second quarter.
Interlicchio curled in for a score, too, giving the 'Huskers a 7-3 halftime lead.
"Ranagan is all over the place," Fitzpatrick said. "He's going around people. He's jumping over people. They've got Interlicchio, too, and they just run with them."
There was some back and forth, but Yorktown was up 10-5 heading into the fourth.
Fitzpatrick scored while Lakeland/Panas was a man up three minutes into the final period. 'Huskers coach Dave Marr got hit with a pair of penalties for arguing a call, and Connor Prunty converted. He then intercepted a clearing pass and moved the ball up to Chris Monteferante, who made it a 10-8 game with 5:39 to play.
"Coach loves the game so much," Ranagan said. "He's got a ton of emotion, which is good in some ways and bad in some ways. They fed off it for a little while there, but we had to step up and finish the game off."
And Ranagan did, scoring his fifth goal with 2:15 remaining off Interlicchio's feed.
Marr was ejected with 1:19 to go for continuing his pointed conversation with the officials. He must serve a one-game suspension when the 'Huskers play Bronxville on Tuesday.
"We had to maintain our composure," said Yorktown goalie Michael Bonitatibus, who made 27 saves. "We got a little full of ourselves early, but they brought us down to where we needed to be. We just had to keep going."
Despite leaving without the cup, the Rebels weren't completely discouraged.
"I think we made a statement," said Jack Doherty, who had two assists. "We really wanted to win the game, but not many people thought we could run with them. I think we proved a point."