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Cross Town Quandary – Commack vs. Northport PREVIEW

Neighboring towns, Commack and Northport will face it off on April 18th at Northport High School. Sitting at LI Lax Journal Preseason Poll #11 and #12 respectively, these two teams have been battling it out all year, trying to make their campaign as forces to be reckoned with in 2018. This games winner will be decided by whose Senior class is more determined to come out on top. Both squads return strong cores who are willing to go the extra mile for their teammates.

As stated by Coach Bryan, “3 pillars of our culture – respect, inspire, support. All about respecting each other, supporting and inspiring each other on and off the field,” these Commack guys are a tight knit group. It all starts at the face off x, with Fogo and defensive midfield specialist Logan Tobias (Coast Guard). This is a guy who is poised and ready at all moments. He’s a guy that prides himself on winning the “games within the game,” and loves to get after it against his counterparts. Senior Midfielder Bobby Abshire (Army), a two way threat, is a warrior, possessing the ability to take control and get his team organized and in the right spots to make plays and win ball games. Other notables for the Cougars are senior defenseman Gus Hueber (Binghamton), the backbone of Commack’s defense, senior attackmen Liam Walshe and junior Blake Behlen, and senior midfielder Nick Guaglione.

Also returning a small but strong core, Northport is ready to fight and defend their home turf. Led by senior defenseman Jason Aiello, he is having a great year thus far. According to Coach Searing, “Aiello is a role model and a young man that all the kids look up to.” The Tigers also return, notables junior midfielder Max Napoli, senior goaltender Lucas Alper (Wingate) and fogo Matt Cannon (Marquette).

Whose claws are sharper, The Tigers or the Cougars. I think this game will boil down to the number of possessions. It will definitely prove to be an all out brawl at the X with Cannon vs. Tobias and whoever can win the ball for their team. I think Commack will prove to have the edge. We shall see next Wednesday.

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Straight A’s – Long Beach vs. Syosset PREVIEW

Preseason ranked number 6 and 7 respectively in the Nassau County coaches preseason poll, the Syosset Braves will travel from the North Shore down to the southern waters of Long Beach to face off against the Mariners on Saturday April 14th.

A ‘Conference A’ showdown, these two teams have had early season success however only one team will prevail. A 3-0 start to the 2018 campaign, The Braves are led by a strong senior class, who have had experience on the varsity level since their freshman year. Senior Midfield trio, Taylyn Stadler (UPenn), Sofia Afkam (Binghamton) and Nicole Rizzo, dominate from endline to endline, all over the field, making plays needed to win games for the Braves. Long Beach, 2-2 on the year is ready for the challenge to defend their home turn against power conference foe. Coming up short in 2017 to GC in the Nassau County Class B Championship, the Mariners are setting sail in search of a title this year. Returning a stellar upper class, Long Beach is led by goalie Sarah Reznick (Florida), attackers Emma Pfaff (Boston U), Jillian Canner (Colgate), midfielders Hannah Lewis (Drexel), Lexie Correia (Bryant), Fiona Rafferty, and defenders Daisy Willard (Binghamton) and Charlotte Kile. Keeping their eye on the prize, make sure to check out the Long Beach Mariners as they take on the Syosset Braves on the water.

 

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Crosstown Quandary: Commack vs. Northport

Neighboring towns, Commack and Northport will face it off on April 18th at Veterans Park. Sitting at LI Lax Journal Preseason Poll #11 and #12 respectively, these two teams have been battling it out all year, trying to make their campaign as forces to be reckoned with in 2018. This games winner will be decided by whose Senior class is more determined to come out on top. Both squads return strong cores who are willing to go the extra mile for their teammates.

As stated by Coach Bryan, “3 pillars of our culture – respect, inspire, support. All about respecting each other, supporting and inspiring each other on and off the field,” these Commack guys are a tight knit group. It all starts at the face off x, with Fogo and defensive midfield specialist Logan Tobias (Coast Guard). This is a guy who is poised and ready at all moments. He’s a guy that prides himself on winning the “games within the game,” and loves to get after it against his counterparts. Senior Midfielder Bobby Abshire (Army), a two way threat, is a warrior, possessing the ability to take control and get his team organized and in the right spots to make plays and win ball games. Other notables for the Cougars are senior defenseman Gus Hueber (Binghamton), the backbone of Commack’s defense, senior attackmen Liam Walshe and junior Blake Behlen, and senior midfielder Nick Guaglione.

Also returning a small but strong core, Northport is ready to fight and defend their home turf. Led by senior defenseman Jason Aiello, he is having a great year thus far. According to Coach Searing, “Aiello is a role model and a young man that all the kids look up to.” The Tigers also return, notables junior midfielder Max Napoli, senior goaltender Lucas Alper (Wingate) and fogo Matt Cannon (Marquette).

Whose claws are sharper, The Tigers or the Cougars. I think this game will boil down to the number of possessions. It will definitely prove to be an all out brawl at the X with Cannon vs. Tobias and whoever can win the ball for their team. I think Commack will prove to have the edge. We shall see next Wednesday.

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FLG Spring Training RECAP #4

Hey All,

Last Sunday was the 1st ‘somewhat’ Spring Day. The sun was out, the weather started to warm, the air was calm, and the ball was flying around. It was a super productive day on all fronts. Personally, I thought it was the most productive FLG Training session since the teams had their first training session in September of 2017. From Small Group Training to practice, all our teams & participants training looked great.

Below is a RECAP of Sunday’s Spring Training. We focused on a ton of skills and implemented some great drills. If you have questions on anything we do, don’t hesitate to reach out! I’ve gotten some great calls and answered some great questions as it relates to youth training.

Good luck to everyone in their PAL games this Sunday as well!

See everyone on the fields,

Corey

Boys

Ground Ball Stations: 2, five minute stations focusing on 2 different types of ground balls, Man-Ball & Boxing Out. 2v1 GB’s is a classic GB drill that works on man-ball. Advantage box out is a classic GB drill where players start back to back with a ball between them. Every man for himself.

3v0 Give and Gos – Player 3v0 with 1 point player and two low players. Have players execute two give and gos before they take a shot. This drill teaches players to give, cut, and replace. Off-ball movement is key here to maintain balance and get the offense to re-set.

6v6 Scramble: Organize six lines of offense all slightly outside the box (2 at X, 1 on each wing, 2 above the top the box). The first player at each line must have a ball in their stick.  Defensive players are in one line directly at X. Start drill with a 2 v 2 anywhere on the field. Once ball is shot, turned over the coach blows the whistle and points to the line that will join the drill. The defense adds a player from X but he cannot mark the offensive player entering the drill. Build up to 6v6.

Attack

Shooting Variations: Below are the differnet types of moves and shots we worked on this past Sunday at small group training. All are 100% applicable to attackmen.

  • Finalizers – using a double move directly at X to get a step on your man for a shot. Key is to make your moves so the defensemen are forced to hop over the back of the cage.
  • Low Wing Dodges – dodging from the low wing is a growing trend in college lacrosse. A great way to get your hands free for a shot, feed, or simply to get the defense to start sliding and rotating.
    • V-Dodge
    • V-Dodge into a Split Dodge
    • S-Dodge

Challenge 1v1s with Attackman: Pick a guy you want to go 1v1 against, approach the man, defend to a shot

Defense/Goalie 

Defend the Cone: focus on approach, positioning, hand placement, and defending guys from up top. Don’t use your stick, use your hands when defending above GLE!

Three-man Approach Drill

Challenge 1v1s with Attackman: Pick a guy you want to go 1v1 against, approach the man, defend to a shot

Midfield 

Marquette Shooting Drill: 2-man games from the wings, cutting the field in half, and working on getting your hands free for a shot.

  • 2 Variations to work on
    • Pass to razor pick → Dodge to alley shot
    • Pass to razor pick → Dodge to alley hit slip

2v1 Dodges from High Wings: Great way to rep the two-man game and put the shooting variations to practice with a defender in the drill

2v2 Razor Picks: The Razor pick is a great pick variation to give the dodger an opportunity to dodge down the alley or to the middle.

Girls

Defense

  • V Shuffle in Alley – Focus on Footwork, Form, stick position
  • Ladders into GB’s, then into Breakdown and Contact (6 min)

Vary the foot patterns, stress ABCD’s

  • 1 v. 1 in Alley

Attack & Midfield

  • Dodging and Shooting from the Wings
    • Face Dodge under, Face Dodge and Roll, Split to top side.
    • Demonstrate and then have them rep. it from alternating sides, do from right side then left side.  Focus on footwork, change of direction, stick position.
  • Shooting – if release is early (before mid-crease) aim for far pipe, if release is late (after mid-crease) shoot back.

Practice Drills 

3 Lady Passing – Right, Left, Catch left throw right, Catch right throw left, gb’s (center person changes every min.)

Crazy 8’s – one of our favorite Fusion games that includes a 2v2 ground ball into a 3v2. Whoever earns the GB gets the extra player. Play to a shot and stay inside the 8 meter. Players on the outside of the drill are responsible for keeping the ball in play.

4 Corners 1 v. 1’s – 1v1s from 4 popular dodge locations around the 8 meter.

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Smithtown West vs. Hills East PREVIEW – Birds or Bulls?

Preseason ranked number 4, The Thunderbirds of Half Hollow Hills East will take on number 2, Smithtown West Bulls on Thursday, April 12th at Smithtown West High School. Struck by lighting, Hills East is electric when they take the field. Under new management, Coach Paul Benway and Justin O’Connell, have managed to get these boys flying higher than ever as they are off to a 4-0 start in the 2018 campaign. Hills East returns talent all over the field on both ends including midfielders Drew Martin (Air Force), Brett Martin (Hopkins), Mike Monitto (Lehigh), attackmen Ryan Doran (St. Joseph’s PA), Zach Cosentino (Catholic), LSM Sal Pascarella (St. Joseph’s PA), and defenseman Mike Gomez (Hopkins) and Conor Caiazza (Ithaca). Equally combatting Hills East’s strengths, Smithtown West is shaking up the competition all over the Island as the Bulls are 5-0 on the season. A philosophy built on focusing “One at a time,” Smithtown West is dialed in, ready for any challenge 2018 brings. Senior leadership is a huge aspect working in West’s favor. Talent in all positions, Smithtown West returns midfielders Matt Cattigan, Conor Calderone (FOGO- Maryland), Brandon Meir (Siena), Andrew Arce (Binghamton), attackmen Kyle Zawadzki (Yale), John Hoffman, Matt Miller (Quinnipiac), defenseman David Gonzalez (Christopher Newport) and goaltender Kyle Walker (Army). What is sharper, the horns of a Bull? Or the beak of a Bird? It all goes down today, Smithtown West vs. Half Hollow Hills East.

Check out the interview we did with senior midfielder Drew Martin (Air Force) of Half Hollow Hills East:

1) New year, new management, discuss what’s it like so far to play for Coach Benway and Coach OC?

Fun! I really like the enthusiasm and commitment they are bringing to the table. They are letting us play with our individual skills within their coaching scheme.

2) Please discuss team dynamic, it seems like you guys are a more offensive oriented team, what are some things you guys have been doing to be successful on the field?

Playing fast, pushing the tempo from the defensive end to the offensive side. One of the keys to our success so far is the majority of us have been playing together since 1st grade. Because of our strong lockdown defense we are able to play fast and more aggressive on the offensive side of the field. Another key factor of our successful offense is not only do we get along on the field, but we are very close off the field as well.

3) Congrats on the commitment to Air Force! What are some things that influenced you making the decision to attend US Air Force?

Thank you. I’ve always really wanted to fly. I feel very influenced from my grandfather who served in the US Army. I felt a strong connection when I went on my visit. I really liked the coaching staff and the players on the team. The campus is very beautiful and knew right away this is where I would be going.

4) Big game coming up against Smithtown West, what will it take to win?

A total team effort. We have to play solid defense, fast on offense and try to create 50/50 ground balls off the face off. Energy effort and attitude will be our motto for the season

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Massapequa vs. Wantagh PREVIEW ‘South Shore Showdown’

A BIG week in the LI Lacrosse world. FLG Lacrosse will be covering top A schools competing all across the island. Keep an eye out for these games and make sure you follow the along as high school lacrosse begins conference play.

The South Shore Showdown: Massapequa vs. Wantagh

Sitting as preseason poll 2 and 3 respectively, The Massapequa Lady Chiefs will battle it out against power conference foe The Wantagh Warriors. A south shore showdown, these two teams will take the field on Wednesday April 11th at Massapequa High School to claim their territory as the dominant program south of Merrick Road. Coming off a Class A Nassau County Championship in 2017, Massapequa returns a skilled and experienced upper class. Possessing a plethora of threats, the Chiefs are dominant in the offensive half. At the midfield, ‘Pequa is led by senior Jackie Gatti (Hofstra), followed by junior trio Kate Fiola (Hofstra), Sophie Macchia (JMU) and Cara Sciano (Hofstra) as well as sophomore Alexa Gentile (UNC). Making plays all over the field these girls have the ability to put the ball in the net, as well as transfer to senior attackers Laura Callahan (Army) and Jordan Taylor (Binghamton). Can the Warriors of Wantagh match the intensity that ‘Pequa brings? In her inaugural season, Coach Lauren Schwalje brings the energy to compete at the highest level. The Warriors are led by seniors Kayla Conway (Pace) and Anna Kauffman (Hofstra), alongside junior Danielle Carson (USC). It all goes down today in the South Shore Showdown.  

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Public Vs. Private

With both teams recording win streaks to start off their seasons, Massapequa will face off on their home turf against parochial powerhouse Chaminade on Wednesday April 4th. A Public vs. Private match up, these two programs are arguably the best in their league. While they both have started off their seasons on the right foot, only one victor can be named. It all goes down next week on the south shore of LI.

Massapequa was unanimously voted the top lacrosse program in Nassau County. Working hard in the offseason, the Chiefs have built a winning tradition predicated on skill and finesse. Head Coach Tim Radomski accompanied by legendary NCC Coach George Powers, have truly built a powerhouse program, year after year proving that they are at the top of the totem pole in Nassau County Class A. Working hard in offseason training, ‘Pequa returns talent on both sides of the ball. Starting on the offense, All-County attackman Timmy Ley (Boston U.), controls the pace, owning the hash and stretch shooting through defense on the left side. He is accompanied by an insane amount of talent at the midfield including key notables Garrett Gibbons (Maryland), Kevin Lynsky (Wesleyan), Sam Lufti (Hofstra) and fogo Angelo Petrakis (Cornell), all possessing the ability to come up with big plays all over the field. On the defensive end, The Chiefs are loaded, defending the knowns and protecting the house. In the cage, All- County goaltender Mike Venezia (Lehigh) is surrounded by defensemen All- County Griff Hawthorne (Notre Dame), Brian Leneghan (Bowdoin) and Kenny Brower (Duke).

For 39 seasons, Head Coach Jack Moran, has built one of the most competitive lacrosse programs in the country. Built on three pillars “God, Family and Teammates,” Chaminade brings energy and effort like no other when they play. Settling for nothing less than excellence, the Flyers walk into every game with the same mojo, playing to the best of their ability. For the 2018 season, Chaminade is stacked on the offense end. At the midfield, seniors Sean Kuttin (Yale), Will Kusnierek (Princeton) and Chris Nicholas (UNC) all know their roles and get their jobs done. At attack, Aidan Byrnes (Army) and Pat Kavanagh (Notre Dame) are dynamic, controlling the ball, translating their skill into points on the scoreboard. Piloting the defense, the Flyers are led by Andrew Bonafede (Duke) in the cage and Frank Marinello (Duke) and Anthony Trangredi (Lehigh) at defense on the low bases. Chaminade prides themselves on playing and extremely strong schedule. They are motivated to rise to the challenge and fly over their opponents.

Based on my analysis, and key returners of both squads for the 2018 season, I believe that Chaminade will come out on top of this game. The Flyers, are Boeing 747 powerful on the offensive end, maybe a little too much to handle for the Chiefs. I believe that Massapequa will have the edge with Petrakis at the face-off X, which will definitely be a factor in order to keep them in the game however Chaminade will get to 10 and take home the victory.

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Hewlett vs. Lynbrook PREVIEW

Midweek Match-Up, separated by a few streets the Hewlett Bulldogs will face off against the Lynbrook Owls on Wednesday March 28th. Named “The Seawane Cup” these two Nassau County powerhouses will look to get their second wins of the 2018 season. Longstanding rivals in all sports, Lynbrook vs. Hewlett is something that you will not want to miss. When these two varsity lacrosse programs take they field, prepare for an absolute battle for 60 minutes. Can the Owls maneuver past the bite of the Bulldogs yet another time? It all goes down today at 4:30PM.

Hewlett returns an overall young team, led by two standouts, Alex Vadaro (Princeton) and Gavin Adler (Cornell). These two guys are tough, willing to lay it all out on the field for their teams. “Do it all” type players Vadaro and Adler are seen all over the field at every position. Gavin isn’t afraid to make plays on the defensive end, and even showcases his stick skills on man up with the pole. Alex is the commander on the offensive end, and he even takes wings on the face off and locks it in as a man down shorty. Trying to fill the void of Hewlett 2017 standout Ethan Grossman, who amassed 60 goals a season ago, these two guys will be doing everything in their power tomorrow and in every game this season to ‘win.’ A key link that will definitely lighten the load on these two guys is senior goaltender Max May. All- County a season ago. Max is lights out in the pipes. If the Bulldogs want a shot at taking home The Seawane Cup, these guys must be on fire in tomorrow’s game.

Combatting Hewlett will be next door neighbor Lynbrook. Known for having a plethora of team spirit and Lynbrook town pride, the Owls are proud to represent their team, their school and their town. Since 2013, The Owls have had their head on the swivel, taking home The Sewane Cup over the Bulldogs. Only losing twice to the Bulldogs, once in 2012 and another way back in 2004, Lynbrook is for sure the dominant team in this matchup. After making the Nassau County Class C final a season ago, the Owls are geared up looking to claim their second win of 2018, and build up momentum in order to take them back to that moment. A true ‘brotherhood,’ the Lynbrook way focuses on building team chemistry off the field in order to have more success on the field. It all starts with great leaders as Lynbrook returns a tough senior class. Offensively, the Owls return some weapons. Starting with senior midfielder Tommy O’Brien, who stepped up big and made a great campaign in 2017, followed by senior attack trio Mike Bouhall, Garret Handel and Matt Renz. Locking down the low bases, senior defenseman Tom Urena and junior defenseman Joe Demonte will be the backbone of the Owls, focusing on getting stops, creating havoc and getting the ball to the offense to finish the job.

Predictions are difficult to make as both teams are relatively young, losing many standouts in 2017 due to graduation. It should definitely be noted that the Seniors of both squads will absolutely need to step up if they want to take home The Seawane Cup. While Lynbrook may have the advantage on the offensive end, I believe that Vadaro and Adler will be able to rally the Bulldogs and combat Lynbrooks strengths. This game will for sure be an absolute dog fight, and a score separated by no more than 3 goals. Hewlett vs Lynbrook, see you there.

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FLG Spring Training RECAP #3

FLG Families,

It was a treat getting a chance to move indoors this past Sunday. We are doing our best to not let the elements effect our development this Spring. Sunday was a great chance to not only work on skills and positional work, it was a chance to learn and get those “mental reps!”. Eliminating the shivering from the equation, we always get more focus and attention from our athletes. Personally, I thought Sunday was a super productive day for our boys and girls in small group training, as well as, practice for our 8th grade and down teams.

Below is what we worked on, enjoy!

Girls Small Group Training

Station 1

Dodging from High Wing

  • -First sequence→ attack coaches top foot to same side split dodge to to shot
  • -Second Sequence→ Push middle and roll down alley
  • -Third sequence → dodge underneath and shoot off roll back

Station 2

  • Ladders into approaches and retreats
  • Move through ladder or full sprint
  • Approach the ball, proper fundamentals, stick back, match-feet, communicate, read pass, retreat

Station 3

Coach Chris footwork

  • Variation of footwork drills to free your hands for a pass, re-dodge, shot!

Girls Practice

Ladders to Ground Balls

  • Vary foot pattern, explode into and thru gb
  • Ladders into ABCD (explode out of ladder into the Approach, decelerate and lower your body to Breakdown, establish low legal Contact on the hip of the ball carrier, position yourself so as to take something away and Direct her where you want her to go.

Dodge, Retreat

  • (in triple threat position), Re-Dodge to Shot (I saw Robyn do this in the fall)

Figure 8 One v. One’s

  • Defender and O player start back to back
  • On whistle both players run around cone in front of them
  • O player receives the ball or starts with it
  • Initiate a 1v1 to goal
  • Defense working on approaches
  • Offense works on reading approach and dodging to goal

Dodging the Alley

  • Focus on dodgin north south
  • Getting into your defender and creating separation
  • Girls dodged down an alley with a defender on them the whole way

4 Corner Shooting

  • Work on moving to the ball
  • Catching and squaring up to the cage
  • Using left and right hand on the crease
  • Looking at the goalie and shooting to a good spot
  • Players on the crease have to move and cut in and out to receive a pass for a shot

Fusion Game: 3v2 Side By Drill 

  • Set-up two cages facing out
  • Cut the field in half
  • 3v2 on both sides. Blue team offense on one side, White team offense on the other side
  • Defense clears the ball to opposite side of the field when they get it
  • When ball goes out of bounds or goal is scored, roll new ball into play
  • Drills works on moving without the ball, playing in tight spaced, and finishing with an extra player.
  • Ball movement is key in this drill
  • Defensively we are sliding recovering constantly

Fusion Game: 3v3 Give and Go Drill 

  • Play 3v3 half-court above the goal
  • Offense set should be in a triangle, with point player top center
  • Players must execute 1 give and go look before they can go to cage
  • One they get good at it, put rule into play that they must execute 2 give and go looks before they go to cage
  • Drills works on moving without the ball, playing in tight spaced, and finishing with an extra player.
  • Ball movement is key in this drill
  • Defensively we are sliding recovering constantly

Boys Practice

6 Line Passing

  • Full field stick work drills
  • Working on catching over shoulder
    • Breaking out
    • Using both hands
    • Communication
    • Goalie outlet passes
    • Coming to the ball

4 Line-drills

  • Working on cradling 2 hands
  • Cradling 1 handed
  • Split dodges
  • V Dodges
  • Roll Dodges
  • Studder steps
  • Fake shot face dodges

4v3 Fast Breaks

  • Working on reading the defense
  • Scoring on fast breaks
  • Moving to the all
  • Reading the slides
  • Decision making
  • Shooting to score
  • All the spots on the fast break

Teaching Midwest & Atlanta – 6v6 Set

  • 2 variations to our 2-1-3 motion offense
  • Midwest is a midfielder initiating from the high wing
  • Atlanta is an attackman initiating from the high wing

Small Group Training Drills

Defense Drills

  • Duckwalk Checking
  • Dodge→ Bounce→ Redodge
  • Push→ check, push → lift, push→ wrap

Attack Drills

Dodging from High Wing

  • -First sequence→ attack coaches top foot to same side split dodge to to shot
  • -Second Sequence→ Push middle and roll down alley
  • -Third sequence → dodge underneath and shoot off roll back

Midfield Drills

Dodging & Shooting

  • Marquette Shooting Drill
  • Emphasize looking back to slip and giving hitch fake to freeze defenders
  • Pass to razor pick → Dodge to middle shot
  • Pass to razor pick → Dodge to middle hit slip