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State Semifinal Preview from Inside Lacrosse

Posted Wednesday, June 08, 2011 by Inside Lacrosse - Casey Vock


Class B Upstate – Jamesville-DeWitt Red Rams (Section 3) vs. Irondequoit Eagles (Section 5)

Jamesville-DeWitt (20-0) has won two state championships in the previous four seasons, and looks to make it 3 of 5 heading into the big rematch with Irondequoit. Last season, the Red Rams defeated the Eagles 9-5 on their way to a perfect 22-0 record and Class B state title. Again, J-D is undefeated, only one of two remaining unbeaten teams left in the state. While J-D is as stacked offensively as it has been in years past, it’s the team’s defense that is perhaps most remarkable. Led by several Division 1-bound defenseman – LSM Matt Kopp (Binghamton), Nick Firman (Mount St. Mary’s), Davi Sacco (Virginia) – and the sensational sophomore defender Scott Firman, the athletic Red Rams defense has allowed just 3.4 goals per contest, the best of any team left in the state brackets. Jamesville-DeWitt senior goaltender Dan DiStefano (Vermont) was recently named an All-American, and he’s made 125 saves this season. Tim Edwards (Canisius), the Red Rams’ face-off guru, was also named an All-American, winning upward of 80% of his draws this season and putting up 58 points in the process. J-D has one of the nation’s best sophomore’s in attackman Jordan Evans, who leads the way with 55 goals and 45 assists. The smooth and savvy quarterback is accompanied by talented playmakers and finishers, including Syracuse-bound middie Alex Hatem and junior attackman Deke Burns, who leads the team with 64 goals. Head coach Jamie Archer is now the owner of a 42-game winning streak. The Rams haven’t scored less than 15 goals in their last 5 games, which included the Section 3 title run, and state playoff wins against Vestal and St. Lawrence. The challenge now for the Red Rams is to remain focused on execution.

Jamesville-DeWitt Leading scorers: Jordan Evans (SO, A/M – 55G, 45A), Deke Burns (JR, A – 64G, 27A), Tim Edwards (SR, M/FO – 30G, 28A), Alex Hatem (SR, M – 39G, 8A), McLaren Brady (JR, A – 32G, 11A), Steve Aziz (SR, M – 15G, 13A)

Irondequoit (17-3) – without question – looks like a team that can and will most likely give Jamesville-DeWitt all it can handle in the looming rematch. The Eagles, coached by Craig Whipple, dismantled Niagara-Wheatfield 20-7 in the state quarterfinals, with 13 different players registering points. Irondequoit is deep and fields two of Section 5’s All-Americans in senior middie Greg Coholan (Virginia), #47 on IL’s Top 50 Young Gun Rising Seniors, and junior attackman Nick Doktor (Penn). Look for a great one-on-one matchup should the Red Rams assign Scott Firman to Doktor. The only team to defeat Section 4 champ Ithaca, the Eagles are athletic and relentless on both ends of the field. Hobart-bound senior Emmy Poccia leads the team in goals with 49. The talented Doktor has the quick and shifty Max Kostyk (Bowdoin) on one side, and 6-3, 230-pound junior Jake Schmidt on the other side of the offense. Between the lines, the Caples brothers – middie Briele and LSM Loren – form a strong, fast one-two punch with the twin athletes coming into their own as lacrosse players. Senior Matt Wolfe is a groundball machine, and is explosive off the face-off. Junior Andrew Cordes and senior Colby Wehner (Canisius) lead the defense, which is backed by junior Eric Fischer (140 saves, 55.3%). Irondequoit’s only losses this season came to Duxbury (MA) and Class A opponent’s Pittsford and Penfield. The Eagles appear poised to seek revenge on the Red Rams. Irondequoit hasn’t appeared in the state finals since 1993, a 9-6 loss to Yorktown. To get there, the Eagles will have to overcome an incredibly stingy Rams defense and shut down an offense that has averaged more than 15 goals a game this season.

Irondequoit leading scorers: Nick Doktor (JR, A –46G, 41A), Emmy Poccia (SR, M – 49G, 6A), Max Kostyk (SR, A – 32G, 25A), Greg Coholan (SR, M – 22G, 8A), Jake Schmidt (JR, A – 20G, 10A), Briele Caples (JR, M – 24G, 4A)

Class B Downstate – Yorktown 'Huskers (Section 1) vs. Garden City Trojans (Section 8)

Yorktown (14-7) has quietly scored 96 goals in their last 5 games on the way to the Section 1 Class B title, the play-in win over Section 9 champ Saugerties and the dominating 20-3 rout of Burnt Hills in the quarterfinals. Yorktown has faced some of the toughest competition in the Northeast, including Darien (CT), Chaminade, St. Anthony’s and Ridgefield (NJ). Though they lost to each of those opponents, and a few more, three of those losses were by only one goal, and certainly have built character in this team. The ‘Huskers are playing their best lacrosse of the season in recent weeks.  The owner of six state championships, Yorktown has appeared in the semifinals five times since the Huskers last title in 2003. Coach Dave Marr’s defense has not allowed more than 7 goals in the last seven games. The ‘Huskers’ domination of Burnt Hills produced the most lopsided score of all of the state’s quarterfinal matchups. Yorktown is led by senior attackmen Justin Mabus (Towson) and Tyler Schuldt (Hartford). Junior Conor Gately leads the team in assists with 57, while junior Frankie Fusco (64 points) and sophomore standout Nick Mariano (62 points) have had made big contributions this season. Hopkins-bound sophomore LSM Trevor Koelsch (Hopkins) leads the Huskers defense along with senior goalie Matt Sialiano, who has posted 136 saves this season.

Yorktown leading scorers: Justin Mabus (SR, A – 30G, 33A), Tyler Schuldt (SR, A – 47G, 10A), Conor Gately (JR, A – 19G, 57A), Nick Mariano (SO, A – 44G, 18A), Frankie Fusco (JR, A/M – 42G, 12A)

Garden City (18-2) is loaded with Division I talent, including multiple defensive stars. Towing the line for Garden City are two of the top defensive recruits in the nation in seniors Brian Fischer and Stephen Jahelka (both Harvard commits). Jahelka battled back from an ankle injury to help lift the Trojans down the stretch. Fischer and Jahelka, #9 and #16, respectively, on IL’s Top 50 Young Gun Rising Seniors, and are both recently announced Under Armour All-American selections. They’re assisted by another outstanding defender in JP Burnside, an aggressive and speedy player who helped lead the Long Island Empire team to gold in 2010. Junior netminder Dan Marino (Virginia) has been solid all season, posting 126 saves and giving up double-digits just once. Head coach Steve Finnell’s defense has allowed just 3.5 goals per game this season – shutting down teams like Duxbury, Wantagh, Manhasset, and Shoreham-Wading River on the way to the Section 8 Class B title, the team’s second in as many years. On offense, junior attackman Devin Dwyer, #13 on IL’s Top 50 Young Gun Rising Juniors, leads the way on 29 goals and a healthy 58 assists. Senior Tim Gordon (Hopkins), juniors Liam Kennedy and Pat Berkery and sophomore Justin Gutterding round out the Trojan offense. Coach Finnell’s players want a shot at redemption after falling last year in the state final, 11-5, to Jamesville-DeWitt. Garden City and J-D have the two best defenses remaining in the tournament.

Garden City leading scorers: Devin Dwyer (JR, A – 29G, 58A), Tim Gordon (SR, A/M – 42G, 5A), Liam Kennedy (JR, A – 32G, 10A), Pat Berkery (JR, M – 25G, 13A), Justin Gutterding (SO, A – 9G, 18A), Jack Spencer (SR, M – 16G)

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