West Islip’s Nicky Galasso and Manhasset’s Connor English both came through with big games in leading their teams to New York state championships.
But no one could have quite expected this.
Galasso had a hand in all but two of the Lions’ goals in their 10-5 title-game win over Orchard Park in the Class A championship game in Rochester on June 13.
Despite his outstanding individual performance, Galasso said that team chemistry and depth were the difference for the Lions (22-1), who won their third state title in the last four years.
“We have great chemistry,” said Galasso, who had four goals and four assists against Orchard Park. “It’s there every time we come out on the field — and it starts in practice. We have the talent. Everyone can play. That’s what gives us the advantage over other teams. They get tired. We can still play.”
Brian Badolato had three goals and Andrew Hodgson added two for the Lions, who pulled away from Orchard Park (21-2) after the first half ended in a 4-4 tie.
Defense was a big factor in the Lions’ second-half run. Ohio State-bound Jeff Tundo, a big and burly running back on the Quakers’ state championship football team, was limited to one goal in the second half after he scored three times in the first half.
The lone year in the last four that West Islip did not win a state title was last season, when the Lions fell to Syosset in the Long Island championship game.
“It was running through our heads at the beginning of the year,” said Galasso, a junior attackman and four-year varsity member who has committed to the University of North Carolina. “We knew it would be a good season. We had most of our starters back. We just had to pick it up.”
English enjoyed one of the most prolific performances in the 33-year history of the state tournament, scoring nine goals to lead Manhasset past previously unbeaten LaFayette 16-11 to win the Class C title.
LaFayette (23-1), rallied to pull within 12-10 early in the fourth quarter after trailing 12-4.
“This is a great group of kids,” said English, an attackman headed to the University of Virginia. “There’s a great bunch of seniors that lead this team and a great bunch of underclassmen who’ve really stepped up.”
It was the third state championship in program history for Manhasset (20-1).
In Class B, Canandaigua won a state title for the first time in school history by beating previously unbeaten Niskayuna 10-5.
The Silver Warriors (24-1), who set a school record for wins, were denied in their bid to give Section 2 its first boys lacrosse state championship.
Most valuable player Marshall Johnson won 14 of 19 faceoffs for the Braves (22-2), who will start next season with a 20-game win streak after winning their first title-game appearances.
Darien completes drive for five
After falling to Ridgefield in overtime in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference championship game, a resurgent and refocused Darien team bounced back by winning its fifth straight Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Class M state championship.
The Blue Wave downed rival Wilton 17-11 in the championship game at Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk on June 13. Chas Brickman and John Bolton each had four goals for Darien. Freshman Case Matheis added three goals.
Fairfield Prep wins fourth straight
Chase Bailey had five goals and two assists to lead Fairfield Prep to its fourth straight CIAC Class L state title, 15-3 over Simsbury.
Griff McGoldrick had four goals for the Jesuits, who defeated the state’s top-ranked team, FCIAC champion Ridgefield, in the state semifinals.
St. Joseph’s takes first title: St. Joseph’s edged Weston 12-11 to win the CIAC Class S championship for the first time in program history. Joe Bacarella scored four times and had four assists for the Cadets.
Joe Lombardi, who has been a fixture on the lacrosse scene during the sport’s rapid growth in the New York metropolitan area, produces editorial and video content for LaxLessons.com. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.