Nike/LM HS Northeast Report: Longmeadow Growing Pains
Coaching a young team can be both maddening and exhilarating -- just ask Longmeadow (Mass.) girls' lacrosse coach Steve Dudeck.
He experienced that whole range of emotions last week following games against Connecticut powerhouses New Canaan and Darien.
New Canaan cruised to an 11-4 win over the Lancers, but Longmeadow rebounded to post a 12-9 win over Darien two days later.
"Being such a young team, that's what happens -- you play good one day; you play not too well the next day; you can have a great practice one day; you don't have a great practice the next day," Dudeck said. "That characterizes a young team. We graduated 11 seniors last year. So, even though we're toward the end of the season here, we're still trying to figure out our identity. "
The Lancers (13-3) built a 10-5 halftime lead against Darien and then held on in the second half, as junior Olivia Shapiro, a UConn commit, helped control possession by winning some key draws. Shapiro finished with four goals and two assists.
Ally Tetrault added three goals and one assist, and Hannah Valencia recorded nine saves for the Lancers.
Longmeadow started four sophomores and two freshmen in the Darien win.
Nike/LM Northeast Girls' Top 10
1. Manhasset (N.Y.), 17-0
Manhasset (N.Y.) remains on a 31-game winning streak. The 2014 Class B state champs begin their title defense this week as the Section VIII (Nassau County), Class B tournament begins. Potential matchups with Garden City and Wantagh loom.
While most teams keep winning, Darien (Conn.) fell the furthest in this week's Top 10. Its loss to a young Longmeadow (Mass.) caused it to drop a few spots.
"I guess they don't know any different," Dudeck said of the young players. "Maybe if they were seniors, they might've been a little bit more nervous, but they're just so young. They just played very hard."
Longmeadow's other two losses this season are to undefeated Westwood (Mass.) and Notre Dame Academy (Mass.), arguably the two strongest programs in the state.
"Every year being in Western Mass, there's not a lot of those nationally-ranked teams within a half hour," Dudeck said. "So every year, we try to schedule as many difficult non-league games as we can. We'll go down and play Garden City (N.Y.) or try to scrimmage Christian Brothers Academy (N.Y.). We just try to get out and play the hardest teams we can find. Win or lose, it's a positive experience for us."
Dudeck said everything fell together perfectly this year as Westwood, Darien, Glastonbury (Conn.) and Notre Dame Academy each had openings in their schedules.
With so much youth, Dudeck said his team has relied on the senior leadership of Rachel Woods (George Mason), Michelle Nadeau (Merrimack), Michaela Smith and Abby Salvon.
"As a high school coach, you're always fortunate to have kids like that on board, especially with such a young team," Dudeck said.
Longmeadow still faces tough games to close the regular season against Glastonbury, rival Minnechaug (Mass.) and East Longmeadow (Mass.).
Northeast Girls' Players of the Week
Taylor Gebhardt and Julia George, Baldwinsville (N.Y.).
The duo helped Baldwinsville earn a 6-5 win over West Genesee (N.Y.). Gebhardt scored a game-high three goals, and George recorded eight saves, as the Bees avenged an early-season 12-7 loss to the Wildcats. The Section III, Class A tournament should be fun for the top-seeded Wildcats with the amount of depth behind them.
Also notable: Taylor VanThof (Livonia, N.Y.), Olivia Shapiro (Longmeadow, Mass.), Bailey Pilder (New Canaan, Conn.)
Girls' Games to Watch
Section I, Class A semifinals: Lakeland-Panas (N.Y.) vs. Suffern (N.Y.), May 19
The Mounties are arguably the hottest team in the Northeast right now. Following an overtime loss to Garden City, they have won six straight, including a 14-11 win over New Jersey powerhouse Moorestown. Top-seeded Suffern is looking to defend its sectional title and advance to the state Final Four again.
Section III, Class A first round, Tuesday
No. 5 Fayetteville-Manlius (N.Y.) at No. 4 Baldwinsville (N.Y.)
No. 6 Liverpool (N.Y.) at No. 3 Christian Brothers Academy (N.Y.)
The winners of these two first round games earn matchups with top-seeded West Genesee (N.Y.) and second-seeded Cicero-North Syracuse. The team that emerges from this bracket will be battle-tested and ready for whatever it might encounter in the state quarterfinals and beyond. Baldwinsville's Taylor Gebhardt (Georgetown) is one of the best players in the state and leads the Bees with 61 goals and 27 assists. The Bees topped F-M in their two regular-season meetings. CBA was forced to move up to Class A this season and has done well to make it this far.
Nike/LM Northeast Boys' Top 10
Northeast Boys' Player of the week
Kevin McCordic, Medfield (Mass.)
The junior scored four goals to help Medfield secure a 9-8 win against visiting Duxbury, the reigning Massachusetts lacrosse powerhouse. McCordic scored with 1:15 left in the fourth quarter to lift the Warriors after Shane Sullivan scored with 2:18 remaining to tie the game at 8 for the Dragons.
Also notable: Grayson Burns (Jamesville-DeWitt, N.Y.), Cam Peritz (Cathedral, Mass.), Jamie Trimboli (Victor, N.Y.).
1. Massapequa (N.Y.), 16-0
2. Syosset (N.Y.), 15-1
3. Northport (N.Y.), 16-1
4. Ward Melvillle (N.Y.), 15-2
5. St. Anthony's (N.Y.), 12-3
6. Smithtown East (N.Y.), 15-1
7. Chaminade (N.Y.), 12-4
8. Pittsford (N.Y.), 15-1
9. Victor (N.Y.), 16-0
10. Darien (N.Y.), 12-3
Eamon Campbell totaled six goals and three assists to help St. Anthony's (N.Y.) secure wins over two of the best teams in Connecticut. The Friars topped Darien, 10-7, and then earned a 9-8 win over New Canaan.
Two weeks ago, Darien (Conn.) was riding high with a 34-game winning streak, but is 1-3 in its last four games. That includes a pair of close losses last week to St. Anthony's (N.Y.) and Greenwich (Conn.) – the latter of which topped the Blue Wave 12-11 in overtime. Darien has one remaining regular-season game left, against Norwalk (Conn.), before starting postseason play.
Boys' Games to watch
N.Y. Section III, Class B semifinal: East Syracuse-Minoa/Watertown winner vs. Jamesville-DeWitt, May 23
Top-seeded Jamesville-DeWitt, the defending state runner-up, is seeking its seventh straight Class B sectional title. The Red Rams face a potentially interesting matchup in the semifinals with either fifth-seeded ES-M or No. 4-seeded Watertown. ES-M has a losing record (7-8), but played J-D tough in their previous two matchups. Sophomore attackman Ryan Archer leads the Red Rams with 51 goals and 21 assists.
Chaminade (N.Y.) vs. St. Anthony's (N.Y.), May 20
It's arguably the best high school lacrosse rivalry in the Northeast, if not the entire country. Chaminade won the first matchup on April by an 11-10 score. St. Anthony's topped the Flyers, 9-8, in an overtime thriller on May 7. Now they will meet in the CHSAA final again. Expect another instant classic.
Bishop Guertin posted a 14-5 win over host Bedford in a New Hampshire showdown last week. In the process, BG halted Bedford's 72-game winning streak, which started over three years ago.
Charlie O'Brien led BG with four goals.
"We'll remember this for a long time," BG's Tim Hinrichs said to the New Hampshire Union Leader. "I mean (72) wins, ... of course it's huge. There was so much hype, the crowd was full. It was a huge win."
Cam Peritz recorded a monster game for Cathedral (Mass.) in a 23-8 win over East Longmeadow (Mass.). He finished with 10 goals and eight assists in the win. Peritz had nine goals and two assists the game before and had five goals and seven assists in the one prior to that.
Marcellus (N.Y.) teammates Mike McNaney and Ross Filtch each scored seven goals in a 22-5 win over Chittenango (N.Y.).
Matt May finished with seven goals and four assists, and Anthony Ricottilli added one goal and nine assists to lead Cortland (N.Y.) to a 21-7 win over Chittenango (N.Y.).
Nike/LM HS Northeast Report Archive
- May 12: Western N.Y. Thrillers
- May 5: Manhasset Vaults Ahead
- April 28: Long Island Reunion
- April 21: Showdown Looms
- April 14: Garden City's Hot Hand
- April 7: Manhasset Flexes Muscles
- March 31: 'Pequa Takes Early Showdown
- Preseason Top 10 and Players to Watch
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