Lacrosse Magazine's annual season-end high school top 25 boys' and girls' lacrosse rankings appear below and in greater detail -- including regional top 10s -- in the August issue mailing to US Lacrosse members this week. Don't get the mag? Join USL today to start your subscription.
Lionized Again, West Islip Tops LM Rankings
by Brian Delaney | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online
North Carolina-bound Nick Galasso leaves West Islip with a legacy as Long Island's all-time leading scorer that includes four New York State Class A titles in five years.
© Joe Rogate
The team that finished the 2010 high school boys’ lacrosse season as Lacrosse Magazine’s No. 1 team in the country began it with a turned-over roster, questions that needed answering and a stunning loss to Sachem North (N.Y.) on opening day.
But over the course of 10 weeks, West Islip (N.Y.) synchronized its pieces in all three thirds to cruise to its fourth New York State large-school championship in five years with a methodical 13-5 victory over a loaded Fairport squad June 12 at Stony Brook University.
West Islip’s attack, with North Carolina-bound Nick Galasso at the head, received the Lions’ share of attention. But it was the Lions’ defense that made the difference between a team that could outscore opponents versus a team that could beat you in a multitude of ways.
“Obviously, we knew going into the season we were going to be fine offensively,” West Islip coach Scott Craig said. “We had to figure it out defensively. We didn’t know how we were going to fare on that end.”
The 13-12 overtime loss to Sachem North on March 31 “bit us in the butt,” Craig said. In hindsight, it “was a major blessing.”
A first-year starting goalie with a broken thumb and a cast of new defensemen took time to come together – but not too much. The Lions immediately faced fellow Long Island power Chaminade four days after the Sachem North loss, and rebounded for a 10-7 victory.
En route to the state championship, the Lions beat the likes of Smithtown West, Connetquot (twice), Ward Melville, Farmingdale, Lakeland/Panas and finally Fairport. Tied 5-5 at halftime of the title game, West Islip took a commanding lead by scoring seven goals in the third quarter. Leading the way was Craig’s defensive unit, coached by assistant Bill Turri.
Goalie Kyle Turri had “an outstanding season,” Craig said, and the grouping of Ed Ryan, Kyle Carrick, Kyle Kerrigan and Liam Byrnesar became a strength.
“When it came to playoff time, that unit really played as a unit,” Craig said.
Together, they overcame the loss of a deep and talented senior class that won the 2009 championship. The junior varsity program has remained strong, Craig said, and despite the heavy offensive losses of Galasso and Towson-bound Andrew Hodgson, Craig believes the Lions will stay in contention in 2011.
“Any time you lose a Nick Galasso and Andrew Hodgson, you’re obviously not going to be the same team,” he said. “But I think we’ll be better defensively and viable offensively. People will have to keep our eye on us.”
Without question, they will.
LACROSSE MAGAZINE'S NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL BOYS' TOP 25 RANKINGS
1. West Islip (N.Y.)
2. Manhasset (N.Y.)
3. Jamesville Dewitt (N.Y.)
4. St. Paul's (Md.)
5. Haverford School (Pa.)
6. Conestoga (Pa.)
7. Summit (N.J.)
8. St. Anthony's (N.Y.)
9. Landon (Md.)
10. Georgetown Prep (Md.)
11. Fairport (N.Y.)
12. Chaminade (N.Y.)
13. Darien (Conn.)
14. La Costa Canyon (Calif.)
15. St. Stephen's & St. Agnes (Va.)
16. Boys' Latin (Md.)
17. Cherry Creek (Colo.)
18. St. Andrew's (Fla.)
19. LaSalle College (Pa.)
20. St. Ignatius Prep (Calif.)
21. Mercer Island (Wash.)
22. Highland Park (Texas)
23. Ward Melville (N.Y.)
24. St. John's Prep (Mass.)
25. New Trier (Ill.)