Being successful in the sport of lacrosse hinges on winning faceoffs.
And no one understands this better than Yorktown, which boasts Section 1's premier faceoff man in Luke Palmadesso.
The Villanova-bound senior was nearly flawless at the dot on Tuesday against host Bronxville, going 23 for 27 to carry the Huskers (3-0) to a 13-10 victory.
"I was just locked in today and have been working hard in practice every day," said Palmadesso, who also notched a goal and four assists. "I was feeling it, got in a good groove and thought my wings played really well helping me out, too."
It took all of six seconds for Palmadesso to put his stamp on the game. He won the opening draw and set up Connor Vercruysse for a goal to give Yorktown a 1-0 lead.
The Huskers built on the early momentum and led 5-1 after the first quarter. They kept pouring it on the second quarter, getting back-to-back goals from Matt Gonzales and Vercruysse in the span of seven seconds to make it 7-1.
"A good start always helps," Palmadesso said.
Unlike last year's 15-3 setback to Yorktown, Bronxville managed to weather the storm and fight back. The Broncos, who trailed 9-4 heading into the fourth quarter, outscored the Huskers 4-1 over the final 12 minutes of action.
"We obviously aren't satisfied with the loss but it was closer (than last year)," Bronxville attackman Henry Grass said.
Half of the Broncos' goals came via man-up opportunities, a statistic that wasn't lost on Yorktown.
"We have to learn to stay out of the box because they are calling the game a lot tighter than they used to," Huskers coach Dave Marr said. "We just have to adjust and get better checks. Bronxville had good shooters."
Grass was the best of the bunch. The Hopkins-bound junior ripped a team-high four goals and added an assist to pace the Broncos' offense.
"(Grass) is a great kid, has great skills and is a good shooter," said Marr, who coached Grass years ago during summer ball. "Pretty much the name of the game was not letting him get the ball and making someone else beat us."
Vercruysse was similarly dominating for the Huskers. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound attackman overpowered Bronxville's close defense, bullying his way to a game-high five goals. He now has a team-high 12 goals on the year.
"He's a big strong kid and this is his senior year," Marr said of Vercruysse, who will play at Rutgers next season. "He shoots well, has a big body and is tough to cover."
Nick Bonitatibus (4A), Nick Del Bene (2G, 1A) and Mike Dedvukaj (2G) also had multi-point games for Yorktown. Kris Alvarado and Ryan Baker added one goal apiece. Austin Graham started in net and was sharp with six saves. Liam Donnelly played the second half and stopped one shot.
Ted Forst (2G, 2A), Michael Crawford (2G, 1A), Will Duncan (1G) and Aidan Walsh (1G) contributed offensively for Bronxville, which saw its 15-game winning streak against Section 1 opponents snapped. Sophomore goalie Andrew Harwood entered after the first quarter and impressed with 10 saves.
Yorktown will now focus its attention toward Saturday's titanic matchup at defending NYS Class A champ Ward Melville. The two state powerhouses renew their annual rivalry game after a three-year hiatus. The Patriots have won seven straight in the series, with Yorktown's last victory coming in 2001.
"It's exciting and fun," Marr said of the matchup. "Last year, (Ward Melville) was the best in the country and this year they are in the Top 20. It's an opportunity for us to go out there and make a name and see what we can do."
Yorktown 5 4 3 1 13
Bronxville 1 3 2 4 10
- See more at: http://www.msgvarsity.com/hudson-valley/palmadesso-carries-yorktown-past-bronxville-1.1590651#sthash.KWxUPmrl.dpuf
YT (11:54) Connor Vercruysse from Luke Palmadesso | 1-0 YT