The Gotham Lacrosse league in New York City is easily one of the top summer leagues in the world. With 14 teams all stacked with talent and depth playing on 3 fields at 7pm and 830pm, the competition and skills pretty much as good as it gets until you hit the MLL.
The league is run by Kyle Sweeney of Maverik Lacrosse, the US National Team and the Boston Cannons. Along with Maverik as a sponsor, the league has also picked up sponsorship from Piccola Venezia, a fantastic Italian restaurant located in Astoria, Queens. For those of you not up to speed with NYC neighborhoods, Astoria is about as cool as it gets while remaining pretty affordable to live there. I’m a Brooklyn guy myself but if I were going to leave Brooklyn,I would definitely head for Astoria.
Back to Gotham…
The regular season has finished up with each team playing at least 5 games. Lightspeed Financial is the top seed for the East Side at 5-0 and features players like Bret Caretsky, Trav Nelson, Evan Blum, Mike Bocklet and Chris Atwell. Credit Suisse took home the top honors for the West Side, also with a 5-0 record and featured players like Gavin Petraca, Billy and Matt Bitter, Colin Finnerty, Ned Crotty and Craig Bishko. The playoffs will start on Thursday July 16th and although my Southampton team struggled early on losing all 4 of our first games by less than 3 goals [2 games by one goal each]. We were able to avoid the proverbial “naked lap” by beating Bear Stearns/Bank of America in our final match up to finish at 1-4 with the highly coveted #11 seed.
Bracket courtesy of www.gothamlacrosse.com
Bret Caretsky [UMass] of Lightspeed Financial finished up as the scoring leader for the regular season with Shannon Sturz [Fairfield] of Southampton coming in at a close #2.
Other top scorers included Gavin Petraca [UNC], Mike Hartofilis [Maryland], Pete Janney [UPenn], Christian Gould [Hobart], Chris Zarins[Sienna], Cooper MacDonnell [Loyola], Peter Trombino [Princeton], Colin Finnerty [Loyola], Keith Schroeder [Georgetown] and Billy Bitter [UNC]
I was able to talk to Kyle Sweeney about the league, how it came to be and its seemingly VERY bright future. You can find the brief interview below:
KID: I liked your thoughts about expanding the league to 16 teams over the course of 2 nights as opposed to the 14 teams on one night as it currently stands. Would teams play 2 games a week or would you just split the action? With a large enough roster, does 2 games a week even seem possible?
Kyle Sweeney: If we continue to expand we will likely get to round numbers that allow us to play on all 3 fields twice a night for 2 nights without anyone having a bye. That would require 24 teams which may be a couple years out but as the sport grows it would be nice to aspire for that.
KID: Tell me a little more about the sponsors of the league…
Kyle Sweeney: Piccola Venezia has been an incredible partner with Gotham. Chris from Piccola is an extremely generous man that has one of the best restaurants in NYC. It may be a hidden gem, but if you ever find yourself in Queens (Astoria) make sure you go into Piccola and ask for Chris.
KID: Could you hope for a better facility than Columbia’s? Other than the one goal with the 15 degree lean, of course! (one goal out of SIX has a slight back lean to it… the only way the author was able to actually score 2 goals)
Kyle Sweeney: Columbia has provided great facilities, more than we could ask for. They will likely be resurfacing the field hockey field to a sport turf for the 2010 season. The AD is also purchasing new goals to replace the old beat up ones.
It seems like the league is on pace to keep expanding in scope, quality of play and even the fields! The playoffs should be really exciting with NYC summer lax bragging rights on the line.