FINAL RECORD 15 - 7
Western Mass Finals LHS-6/South Hadley-7 (Overtime)
Sometimes a happy ending isn’t in the cards. LHS, which battled South Hadley all evening in front of a huge Garber Field crowd in the Western Mass championship game, fell in sudden death overtime by a score of 6 to 7. The team put forth an incredible effort and came up just short in its attempt to win the Western Mass title for a third straight time. For LHS, it was the final time that seniors Rob O’Reilly, Billy Scott, Kyle McDermott, Niko Sierra, Griffin Wagner, Dan Cresci, Connor Dendievel, Alex Scyocurka, Steve McKenna and Kyle Smith would wear the white and black. These ten players distinguished themselves over the course of their careers and leave an indelible mark on the program for the underclassmen to emulate. Billy and Griffin will go on to play at Drew and Bates, respectively, and have many more games ahead of them. Niko, who won all eleven of his face-offs in the title game, finished his career with 106 points, the 11th highest career total for an LHS midfielder. Good luck to Niko and Alex Scyocurka as they pursue their football dreams. For Robbie O’Reilly, Kyle McDermott, Dan Cresci and Connor Dendievel thanks for the hustle and intensity. Do well in college. Congratulations Steve McKenna on your academic All American award. Most deserved! And lastly, for Kyle Smith, good luck at UMass! I have a feeling that it will be awhile before somebody challenges your LHS career point total of 413! Thanks for the memories. Since fourth grade, you’ve all been great to watch!
Goals: Gagne (2), Smith, Sierra, Scyocurka, Wagner
Assists: Smith (2), Sierra, Volk
Senior leadership provided by Kyle McDermott, Niko Sierra, Rob O’Reilly and Kyle Smith led LHS to a dramatic come from behind 11 to 6 win over Minnechaug in the Western Mass semi finals. Trailing throughout the game, the team appeared to ignite after two sensational Kyle McDermott saves on Minnechaug shots fired at point blank range with less than 9 minutes remaining in the game. Had either shot scored the momentum may have swung to Minnechaug and been enough to propel them to victory. Instead, off of a successful clear, Niko Sierra hit Rob O’Reilly for the game tying goal with 8:29 to play, setting the stage for one of the best big game finishes in LHS history, as the white and black struck for 4 goals in 60 seconds to take command of the game. At 3:59, Kyle Smith scores unassisted, 7-6 LHS. At 3:44, Kyle Smith off a Niko Sierra assist scores on a terrific top shelf shot, 8-6 LHS. At 3:24, Joe Volk scores off a Kyle Smith assist, 9-6 LHS. At 2:59, Kyle Barsalou scores off a Garrett Gagne assist, 10-6 LHS. Bang, bang, bang, bang. Amazing! This run was the result of an overpowering faceoff performance by Niko Sierra, who won thirteen of sixteen draws in the game. Niko was ably backed by Griffin Wagner, Nathan Brooks and Connor McGoldrick, each of whom also won all their face-offs in relief. Connor Samuelson and Justin Conniff again played huge games. Justin filled in for the injured Alex Scyocurka, trading in his traditional long pole for a short stick for the first time this season. Rob O’Reilly also stood out with many ground balls and “jet” clears, in addition to his big goal, just his third of the year. The starting defense of Will Spallino, Connor Dendievel and Tom Wheaton continually harassed the Minnechaug attack and held them to well below their season scoring averages. Next Monday at 7pm, under the lights at UMass’ Garber field, the program will go for its 32nd Western Mass lacrosse title against South Hadley, a surprise 5-4 overtime winner against top seed Westfield.
Goals: Smith (3), Volk (2), Barsalou (2), Sierra, Gagne, O
Assists: Smith (3), Sierra (3), Gagne, Volk
Playoff time! LHS began its defense of the 2008 state lacrosse title with a 15 to 6 playoff win against a tough East Longmeadow squad. East Longmeadow, playing very well, had the game tied at five at the half and provided a stiff challenge to LHS. Eventually, however, the greater talent of LHS won out and exploited the gaps in East Longmeadow’s shut off defensive scheme. Long stick defensive midfielders Justin Conniff and Connor Samuelson stood out with their play on both face offs and in the transition game. Conor McGoldrick also made a big contribution with four straight second half face off wins, killing any chance of an East Longmeadow comeback, and Niko Sierra equaled his career high in assists with four as he continually found the open man.
Goals: Smith (5), Gagne (3), Sierra (2), Volk, Barsalou, Cresci, O Reilly, Kelleher
Assists: Sierra (4), Volk (2), Scyocurka, Gagne, McGoldrick
Playing the last regular season home game of the 2009 season, LHS honored its ten graduating seniors and their parents today, with a brief pregame ceremony, saying goodbye to: Kyle McDermott, Dan Cresci, Steve McKenna, Niko Sierra, Alex Scyocurka, Connor Dendievel, Kyle Smith, Rob O’Reilly, Griffin Wagner and Bill Scott. During the contest, won by LHS by a score of 9 to 7, the play of Kyle McDermott and Griffin Wagner, in particular, stood out. The team now awaits its seeding and first round opponent in the State tournament as it goes for a Western Mass title “three-peat” and a return to the State title game for the 32nd time.
Goals: Smith (3), Gagne (2), Volk, Sterritt, Cresci, McKeown
Assists: Smith (4), Sierra (2), Wagner, O Reilly
LHS, behind Garrett Gagne’s 4 goals and Niko Sierra’s six point game, defeated Agawam, on the road, by a score of 16 to 7, improving its record to twelve wins and six losses. During the game Steve McKenna and Jake Heger teamed up on nifty “give and go” for a score, Kyle Barsalou had a wicked sidearm goal and a career high 3 assists, Conor McGoldrick at one point won seven straight face-offs and Bill Scott turned in his long defense pole for a short stick and made the most of it, as he recorded his first goal of the season! Up next is Senior Day and the final game of the regular season against South Hadley.
Goals: Gagne (4), Sierra (3), Kelleher (2), Volk, Barsalou, Heger, McGoldrick, Mckeown, Scott, McKenna
Assists: Sierra (3), Barsalou (3), Scyocurka, Heger, O'Reilly
LHS rode the play of goalie Kyle McDermott to an 8 to 7 win over tough Minnechaug today to virtually assure itself the top seed in the Western Mass playoffs. Kyle had a career high sixteen saves, earning many cheers from the big crowd, as he went save for save with Minnechaug’s Connor Kearney. Both players put on a goalie clinic, continually frustrating the shooters from either team. Garrett Gagne came up big for LHS with 3 points, including the game winning goal with 2 minutes to play.
Goals: Scyocurka (2), Gagne (2), Smith (2), Sterritt, Sierra
Assists: Gagne, Smith, Scyocurka, Kelleher, Volk, McKeown
You never know who the hero is going to be. Dan Cresci’s five yard bounce shot with four minutes to play capped a dramatic second half comeback from five goals down as LHS defeated Algonquin, on the road, by a score of 8 to 7. The score was just Dan’s second of the year. Playing with a competitive fire that refused to quit, LHS won its second game within 20 hours, having beaten one-loss Westfield the day before. With its loss today, Algonquin, an outstanding team, saw its record fall to fifteen wins against just two defeats. Justin Conniff, Rob O’Reilly, Griffin Wagner and Nathan Brooks stood out all game for their play between the restraining lines, hawking ground balls and leading the transition game. Garrett Gagne also played well and scored during the decisive second half run. Jake Heger had a beautiful assist to Kyle Smith, on the game tying goal in the fourth quarter, when he hit Kyle in stride enabling him to launch a fifteen yard rocket past the Algonquin goalie. Tom Wheaton, with the game on the line, intercepted a dangerous cross crease pass with his long stick in front of goalie Kyle McDermott (who also played great!) and then effortlessly led an important clear in the fourth quarter. Finally, if Niko Sierra looked faster and quicker than usual it may have been because he borrowed Mr. Smith’s cleats (which actually haven’t covered that much ground in years!) Up next, on Tuesday, is rival Minnechaug. Win and LHS will almost certainly lock up the number one seed in the Western Mass playoffs.
Goals: Smith (3), Sierra, Gagne, Kelleher, Volk, Cresci
Assists: Scyocurka (2), Smith, Sierra, Heger
Mercy, mercy, mercy! Westfield, which had celebrated heartily after their dramatic 12 to 11 win over LHS just two weeks ago, was reduced to watching the clock run without stoppage when Longmeadow led by twelve at the start of the fourth quarter and the MIAA mercy rule was imposed. Many plays stood out during the game; Justin Conniff had a key ground ball pickup and clear in a two man down situation; Griffin Wagner intercepted a Westfield pass against a Westfield two on one, thwarting an excellent scoring opportunity for Westfield with his great hustle; Niko Sierra did three “360s”, leaving four Westfield defenders dangling, on a scoring play; Alex Scyocurka equaled his career high in goals with three, all on fantastic individual dodging efforts; and, Joe Volk opened the game’s scoring with an assist to Dylan Kelleher after hustling all over the field to gain control of a loose ball. There being no rest for the weary, the team will visit tough Algonquin in less than twelve hours for a game against the #1 team in Central Mass.
Goals: Smith (4), Kelleher (4), Scyocurka (3), Barsalou, Volk, Sierra, McKeown, McKenna, Team
Assists: Brooks (2), Smith, O
What a difference! LHS, which has been looking better and better with each outing, blew up Amherst today by a score of 18 to 4. Just three weeks ago LHS struggled to defeat Amherst, 13 to 9, leading only by a 6 to 4 score at the half. Today’s halftime score was LHS-14/Amherst -1. Niko Sierra, Griffin Wagner, Nathan Brooks and Conor McGoldrick (and numerous line mates) combined to win 24 of 26 face offs in a dominating performance. Defensemen Will Spallino, Connor Samuelson and Billy Scott all had long clearing runs after quick ground ball pickups, with Billy getting his first assist of the year. Rob O’Reilly and Dan Cresci also scored their first goals of the year, a small reward for much hard work and good play throughout the season.
Goals: Smith (5), Kelleher (3), Gagne (2), McKenna (2), Scyocurka, Brooks, Volk, O'Reilly, McGoldrick, Cresci
Assists: Smith (2), Scyocurka, Brooks, Volk, O'Reilly, McGoldrick, Gagne, Scott, Sierra, Wagner
LHS-11/St. John's of Shrewsbury-14
In a possible preview of the 2009 Western Mass/Central Mass state semi-final playoff contest, LHS lost at St. John’s today by a count of 14 to 11. The team played well enough to win but was betrayed by an inability to convert good looks on the cage (leaving many shots wide of the mark), failure to capture key ground balls, inopportune penalties and bounces that just didn’t go their way. The team’s defense strengthened considerably when Billy Scott entered the contest early in the third quarter and from that point forward only yielded three goals to St. John’s. Given the current upward trajectory of LHS, come playoff time it will be one tough competitor, as the benefits of playing the most difficult schedule in the state (out of 174 teams according to laxpower.com) will result in a well tested group.
Goals: Smith (4), Sierra (3), Barsalou, Kelleher, Scyocurka, Volk
Assists: Smith (2), Sierra, Barsalou, Wheaton, Brooks
An improving LHS squad easily handled Minnechaug by a score of 11 to 3 on a muddy LHS varsity field. Many players stood out, with Nathan Brooks, Joe Volk and Alex Scyocurka each recording career highs in points. Joey and Nathan teamed up on one beautiful goal with tenacious riding by Joe leading to a turnover and assist as he found a cutting Nathan for a big score. Niko Sierra and Griffin Wagner, despite not figuring in the scoring, played major roles in the game’s outcome with their hustle. On defense, Connor Dendievel played his best game ever as he stalked and harassed his Minnechaug opponent(s); Colin Whitney also had a nice play when he stabbed a Minnechaug pass out of mid-air preventing a good scoring opportunity. Kyle McDermott, after surrendering consecutive goals early in the first quarter to Minnechaug star, Alex Lagovich, settled down and held Minnechaug to a single score, recording nine saves (many difficult) over the remainder of the game.
Goals: Smith (4), Volk (2), Sterritt (2), Brooks, Scyocurka, Kelleher
Assists: Brooks (3), Scyocurka (2), Smith, Volk, Barsalou, McGoldrick
In a game that was closer than the final score would suggest, LHS lost to #1 Medfield by a score of 13 to 4. Throughout the game, the team hustled and worked hard, however, Medfield’s faceoff advantage (they won all but four), and an undisciplined approach by LHS with regards to penalties, proved too much to overcome. In the second half alone, LHS was assessed 10.5 minutes of penalties and probably thirteen or fourteen minutes of penalties were assessed for the game against LHS in total. For its part, Medfield, who played their starters to the final whistle, (amazingly) did not receive a single penalty during the contest. Senior Kyle McDermott in goal, with his first career start, played well with thirteen saves.
Goals: Volk (2), Brooks, Barsalou
Assists: Smith, Sierra, Barsalou
An inability to convert on numerous shot opportunities, many one on one with the Westfield goalie, cost LHS its game against undefeated Westfield in front of a big crowd at Westfield High School. Afterwards, Westfield celebrated its hard earned victory as though they had won the Western Mass title, smiling broadly for a team photo. Alex Scyocurka, Connor Dendievel and Niko Sierra stood out in defeat. Up next on Sunday is a state title game rematch with Medfield, who will be bringing their 12-0 record and #1 ranking in the state to LHS for a 2pm faceoff. Good luck and play well.
Goals: Smith (3), Sierra (3), Scyocurka (3), Barsalou, McKeown
Assists: Smith (2), Heger (2), Kelleher
Playing in arguably the “longest” game in school history, LHS defeated East Longmeadow by a 16 to 3 count. The game was picked up in process, with Longmeadow leading 4 to 1, 27 days after it was stopped due to a lightning storm on April 2nd. Looking and playing nothing like that “old” team, new look LHS played explosive lacrosse in its second strong outing in a row, evidenced by the fact that all but one of the twelve goals scored today was assisted. With his three assists, Kyle Smith became the school’s all time assist leader with a total that now stands at 144. Smooth freshman attackman Dylan Kelleher, making the most of his playing time, had a big game scoring three quick goals and adding an assist during his third quarter run. The team will get to gauge just how much progress it is making in the next six days as it takes on undefeated Westfield, powerhouse Medfield in a rematch of the past two state title games, and always strong Minnechaug.
Goals: Kelleher (3), Smith (2), Gagne (2), Barsalou (2), Brooks (2), Sierra, Heger, Scyocurka, McGoldrick, Volk
Assists: Smith (3), Sierra (2), Heger (2), Barsalou, Greiner, Wagner, Kelleher, McGoldrick, Brooks
On a very hot 94-degree day, LHS easily played its best game of the year against South Hadley, winning by a 13 to 4 count. Goalies Dave Walen and Kyle McDermott played well with five saves each and strong outlet passing. Freshman Dylan Kelleher played well and scored his first varsity goal off a slick pass from Niko Sierra. During the game one play stood out as Billy Scott stripped his man of the ball, smartly passed it to Kyle McDermott, which lead to - in rapid succession - passes to Andre Gagne, Tom Wheaton and Joe Volk on a beautiful clear which ended with a penalty as Joe was slashed by his South Hadley opponent entering the Longmeadow offensive end. Football star Alex Scyocurka, who looks increasingly comfortable in a lacrosse helmet, had the first multi-goal game of his career with athletic unassisted efforts. Neither goal, however, was as nice as the one his younger brother, Nate, scored in the J.V. game on the next field. On that goal Nate went side arm, top shelf, against the South Hadley goalie on a well- executed fast break.
Goals: Smith (6), Sierra (2), Scyocurka (2), Kelleher, Sterritt, Barsalou
Assists: Sierra (2), Heger (2), Smith, Cresci, Wagner
Too many unforced turnovers (twenty) and too many penalties cost LHS as it lost on the varsity football field by a 17 to 8 count to Pinkerton Academy, New Hampshire’s number 1 ranked team. In defeat, Kyle McDermott stood out making many saves after he entered the contest, shutting out Pinkerton for the final fourteen minutes of the game.
Goals: Heger (3), Smith (2), Barsalou, Volk, Sierra
Assists: Smith, Volk, Scyocurka
Looking out of synch and playing poorly, LHS was hammered today by the score of 14 to zero on a very cold and windy day at the Hotchkiss School. Success or failure usually comes down to the little things; intensity, protecting the ball, finding the open man, catching, throwing and shooting. Hopefully the team will regroup, focus on the little things and stay positive. Up next on Saturday is Pinkerton, New Hampshire’s number 1 team, looking to avenge defeat in each of the last two years.
Playing inspired lacrosse, hustling all over the field and refusing to quit, Amherst pushed Longmeadow to the end before losing 9 to 13 on a very muddy and rain soaked Amherst H.S. field.
Goals: Heger (4), Barsalou (2), Smith, McGoldrick, Sierra, Brooks, Volk, Syocurka, Wagner
Assists: Smith (5), Heger
LHS had a chance to get measured against the best today and fell by a 19 to 5 count to Deerfield Academy, perhaps the best prep lacrosse program in the country. During the game the hustle and fight of Niko Sierra, Alex Scyocurka, Griffin Wagner and Nathan Brooks stood out and prevented an even more lopsided outcome.
Goals: Smith (2), Brooks, Heger, Sterritt
Assists: Sierra (2), Scyocurka, Heger
LHS burst out to a 5-0 first quarter lead, playing its best lacrosse so far in 2009, on its way to a 14-10 victory that was not as close as the final score indicated. The team continues to improve and for long stretches today looked like a team on the rise. Griffin Wagner, recovered from a preseason ankle injury, played great, scoring once and assisting on two others. His first assist on a nifty fast break pass to Kyle Smith put Kyle atop the career point list at LHS. Dave Walen played a strong game with 10 saves before leaving for Kyle McDermott in relief. Alex Scyocurka, looking like the running back he is, had a terrific run, shoot, score sequence to get his first goal of the year. Garrett Gagne got his first two varsity goals and Joe Volk had a nice play when he assisted on Griffin’s goal early in the game. On defense, Tom Wheaton had an amazing play where he stabbed a shot out of mid air and proceeded to clear the ball up field in a tense man down situation. Up next, on Wednesday, will be undefeated national power, Deerfield Academy. LHS traditionally plays Deerfield tough and will have to be at its best to keep the score close.
Goals: Smith (6), Brooks (2), Gagne (2), Wagner, Scyocurka, McKeown, Conniff
Assists: Wagner (2), Brooks, McGoldrick, Sierra, Woodward, Volk
LHS, on a cold and windy afternoon, struggled to find a rhythm before finally putting Westside away by a 19 to 8 count. The first half, in particular, was marked by many errant passes and missed catches and if not for the face-off abilities of Niko Sierra and Nathan Brooks, LHS may have gone into halftime behind on the scoreboard instead of leading, 7 to 5. Niko and Nathan combined to win all fourteen first half face-offs and 22 of 27 for the game. On one play, which brought images of years past, Tom Wheaton intercepted a pass and quickly got the ball to Andre Welch, who hit a streaking midfielder up field. Classic LHS lax! During the game, Rob O’Reilly looked like a jet motoring up and down the field, Nathan Brooks scored his first career hat trick and Conor McGoldrick and Ben Sterritt got their first varsity points. Kyle Smith with his first goal of the game became the all time leading goal scorer at LHS, his total now stands at 193.
Goals: Smith (5), Heger (3), Brooks (3), Volk, Sierra, McGoldrick, McKeown, McKenna, Sterritt, Woodward
Assists: Heger (4), Smith (3), Volk (2), Sierra (2), McGoldrick, McKeown, McKenna
A new edition LHS boys’ lacrosse team opened defense of its 2008 state title with a convincing 14 to 9 win against outgunned Cathedral. LHS, with only three returning starters (including Griffin Wagner, who did not play due to a sprained ankle), received contributions from many new faces and rolled out to a 6-0 score at the end of the first period, stretched it to 11-2 at the half and coasted home. Leaving right off where the 2008 season ended, Niko Sierra and Nathan Brooks were dominating on face-offs, winning all but two of the fifteen first half draws, turning the game into a make it/take it contest for LHS. The starting defense of Billy Scott, Connor Dendievel, Dave Wheaton and goalie Dave Walen played a strong half and became increasingly aggressive as their playing time increased. In the second quarter all three defenders simultaneously crunched a Cathedral attackman leading to a sharp ground ball pick up by Connor and a trademark LHS fast break opportunity. The halftime score allowed coach Rauseo to give valuable minutes to all players and much hustle was evidenced in the second half by many new to the varsity program. During the game long stick midfielder Andre Welch stood out. Andre was a hawk on defense and in the transition game.
Goals: Smith (4), Heger (4), Sierra (2), Barsalou, Conniff, McKenna, McKeown
Assists: Smith (4), Heger (2), McGoldrick, Cresci, Woodward,