- Last Updated: 1:00 AM, May 25, 2012
- Posted: 12:59 AM, May 25, 2012
NYPost.com lacrosse beat writer Joseph Staszewski breaks down Friday’s NYCHSAA Class AA and A boys lacrosse finals.
Class AA final – Fordham Prep at Iona Prep, 5 p.m.
Class A final – Archbishop Stepinac @ Monsignor Farrell, 4:30 p.m.
Iona Prep Gaels
Head coach: Rick Trizano
Player to watch: Shane Fee
Fordham Prep Rams
Head coach: Len DeLucia
Player to watch: Ben Andreycak
Outlook: The longtime, bitter rivals meet for the third time this season with ultimate bragging rights and a spot in the CHSAA downstate final on the line. They split the two regular-season contests with each team winning on the other’s home field.
The two games couldn’t have been any different. The Gaels dominated the first three quarters on their home field only to see Fordham rally late led by goalie Conor Gowan and Ben Andreycak in the first contest. Rob Grinnell scored the winner to give the Rams a thrilling overtime win. Iona returned the favor by thoroughly outplaying Fordham in The Bronx. The Gaels, who got attack Luke Wooters back from injury, led 5-0 before securing a comfortable 10-4 win.
The victory ended a four-game losing streak to Fordham that included last year’s title game. Like it was in its victory, ball control will be the key for Iona. The Gaels have plenty of scorers in Shane Fee and Billy Trizano, among others. Patience should lead to plenty of quality chances. Keeper Steven Bonalle has come into his own. He was the difference the last time and could be again.
For Fordham to regain the crown, it will need to score in transition and that means a strong game from Conor Gowan and a J.C. Sullivan led defense. The Rams have some offensive punch and Andreycak, arguably the league’s top player. But he can’t do it alone, needing help from the lines of Grinnell and Taylor Smith.
Expect a tight, close thriller as always.
Monsignor Farrell Lions
Head coach: Steve Lyman
Player to watch: Mark Reni
Archbishop Stepinac Crusaders
Head coach: James Goldman
Player to watch: Spencer O’Toole
Outlook: Farrell waited a whole year to get back to this game after falling to Mount St. Michael in last year’s final. The Lions earned the home game by topping Stepinac 11-9 during the regular season, the Crusaders' only league defeat. That will mean nothing to Farrell if it doesn’t bring the crown back to Staten Island.
To do so, John Grillo, Mark Reni and Co. will need to navigate around a physical Stepinac defense that includes Caleb Gilligan-Evans and Dylan DeMuro in front of goalie Bobby DiNapoli. Farrell could have the edge in net with Joseph Lio between the pipes. Spencer O’Toole was a pleasant surprise on the offensive end for Stepinac, which moved back into the 'A' after going winless as a 'AA' last year. O’Toole opens things up for his teammates around him like Andrew Murray, Dom Vallario and Christian Lopez.
It should be a battle of clubs that saw a title in their future from Day One.Follow @NYPostsports