CROSS RIVER, N.Y.— The top-seeded John Jay boys lacrosse team rolled to an 18-4 victory over No. 5 Greeley in a Section 1 Class B semifinal on May 23, setting up the game everyone has been waiting for.
The win put the Indians in Tuesday’s Class B championship game, where they faced perennial champion Yorktown on May 29. The two rivals have met in six of the last seven Section 1 championship games. The Huskers will be looking for their seventh straight title.
Indians veteran coach Tim Schurr said his team has been playing at a high level.
“We’ve been playing well on both sides of the ball lately,“ Schurr said. “The kids have been working really hard and we think it’s paying dividends. We might be playing our best lacrosse of the season right now.”
The Indians (13-4) picked up their first regular-season win over Yorktown in eight years earlier this spring, edging the defending champs, 7-6, on April 6.
And the Indians know the Huskers have had this date circled on their calendar since that loss.
Schurr said that with Yorktown’s history—and Jay’s longtime struggles against the team—not much needs to be said.
“I don’t think a whole lot needs to be said about it,“ Schurr said when asked about Yorktown itching to avenge that last loss. “They are the best program in the area. We haven’t been as good as them, but we’re not so different from them.”
John Jay’s last sectional title came in 2010, and the last time the Indians beat Yorktown in the final was 2006. Jay has only defeated Yorktown twice since Schurr became coach nine years ago.
“It’s definitely a big deal to be able to compete with them,“ Schurr said. “Some years we’ve had a really good team and have not done well.”
Against Greeley (13-4), senior attackman Sean Nolan led the Indians with five goals and two assists. Mike Minard added a goal and four assists. Bryce Ford added three goals and two assists. Mikey Tedesco (1G) won 15 of 24 face-offs.
Jack Gorman (2G, 1A), Dean Ford (1G, 2A), Matt Lee (2G), Charlie Horan (1G, 1A), Thor Adamec (1G) and Matt Shapiro (1G) all chipped in.
“We really have strived on getting everyone involved in our offense especially with all the talent we have,” Bryce Ford said. “Moving the ball against teams and keeping our heads up, with all the assists that reflects on the sharing of the ball.”
Chase Goldman and Shahe Katchadurian split time in net, with Goldman coming up with 10 saves in the first half. Katchadurian had one save in the second half.
What also helped John Jay is the return of senior All-American long-pole defender and Duke University-bound Braden Burke, who returns after an ACL injury suffered in last year’s sectionals.
Burke played against Greeley and also in John Jay’s 18-1 opening-round win against Brewster two days earlier.
“Braden brings something else to the table talent wise but seeing him put the pads on and always have a smile on his face it’s something you can’t replace,” Bryce Ford said. “Braden hasn’t had it easy with unfortunate injuries but he’s going to have to work harder than ever leading up to the section championship.”
Nolan (4G, 2A), Minard (1G, 4A), Luke Mercer (2G, 1A), Dean Ford (1G, 2A), Max Kesicki (2G), Gorman (2G), Tedesco (17 of 21 face-offs), Bryce Ford (1G, 1A), Lee (1G, 1A), Dan Matthews (1G, 1A), Charlie Horan (1G, 1A), John McKeon (1G) and Patrick Horan (1G) led the way against the Bears.
“Mikey (Tedesco) has been working very hard on his craft all season, he has been playing well for us and his confidence is very high,” Nolan said. “I believe he will be a dominant force for us throughout the rest of the playoffs.
“Michael Minard had a tough time finding his groove but I believe he has found it. He has been playing extremely well sharing the ball getting people involved in the offense and being our leader on offense. He is very confident in his game and will help us a lot later on in the playoffs.”