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The 2014 PSAL boys lacrosse regular season is officially in the books. Playoffs start up next week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, depending on Division. Tottenville (12-0 in the “A” Division) and Eagle Academy (11-0 in the “B” Division) finish the year with perfect records, and Noah Kramer (Stuyvesant HS) finishes the year with 100 goals. Yup, that’s in ONE season!
In the first round, the 8 best teams in the “A” from the North and South will be seeded accordingly and play in a 1 game elimination playoff format. Stronger seeds will have home field advantage until the Championship game, which will be played at the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn.
Championship Division Playoff Preview
North #1 seed Cardozo Vs South #4 seed James Madison. Earlier in the season James Madison lost to Cardozo by only 2 goals. After a strong first half from Madison, Cardozo proved to be a better team in the 2nd half. Amit Ramsarran, Ryan Mook, and Justin Dong accounted for all the points for the Judges, meanwhile Kyle Marino, Micheal Morgan, Rovert Dinome scored all the points for Madison in this game.
Players to watch - Justin Dong, he initiates the offense for the Judges, if Madison can contain him and limit his chances on this end of the field, they have a strong chance. Kyle Marino, the dangerous inside finisher for the Knights will need to have a big day in order knock off the #1 seed.
Thanks to Megan Dong for the great photos!
North #2 Frederick Douglass Academy Vs South #3 Curtis (at Randall’s Island). FDA does not have a home field so most of their home games are at Randall’s Island. Earlier in the season, Curtis handed FDA their first loss of the season. Curtis is going into this game on a 3 game win streak while FDA is going in with a 2 game losing streak. This game will feature a lot of physical play and fast breaks. The big question mark in this game is probably goaltending.
Players to watch - Uchenna Akusobi is the top point man for the Lions, he will need to led the offense and play more efficient in order for FDA to see success on offense. Jason Veney is a catalyst for the Warriors with his scrappy style of play from close defense and at the midfield. He will probably match up with Kenneth Davis or Uchenna Akusobi, if he can stay out of the box and get the job done in between the lines, Warriors win.
North #3 Herbert H. Lehman Vs South #2 New Dorp. I like this matchup. I think it’s one of the more even matchups in this playoff system where anything can happen. Lehman is a better team than their record shows, players like Aaron Garcia, Lewis Ortega and Richard Mameli are really starting to develop and blossom. New Dorp enters this game coming off of a strong win against FDA to cap off the regular season. New Dorp has shown better goaltending, and has come together better defensively as the season progressed. That needs to continue in the playoffs in order for the Cougars to make a run, but make no mistake about it, New Dorp is very capable in 2014.
Player to watch - Dawayadah Winn may unofficially be the quickest player in the PSAL. If he can continue to dodge the way that he’s been dodging, nobody can stop him. Lehman will look to Michael Aguilera to scrap at the midfield. He does it all for the Lions, he plays hard, feeds, scores and is a ground ball machine. Paired up with Philip Nguyen (Billy’s little brother), these 2 will need to carry the offensive load in order for Lehman to advance into the semi-finals.
#1 South Tottenville Vs #4 seed Hunter. This game has some potential for an upset. Though Tottenville is the heavy favorite, there is an exciting match up in this game. Tottenville will most likely matchup arguably the best LSM in the PSAL, Alexander Beccera against arguably the fastest player in the PSAL, Jeffers Guthrie. If Hunter can somehow hold Tottenville’s explosive offense to under 10 points, I like their chances. But if Tottenville continues to play their disciplined brand of lacrosse, they will continue on to the semi-finals by a solid margin.
Player to watch - Nicholas De Meo, this kid has been lighting it up all year long. Fantastic feeder and shooter. Unquestioned leader on this offense. He plays extremely fundamental and makes everyone around him better. Jeffers Guthrie is lightning inside of a bottle. If he does not burn himself out against Tottenville’s deep bench, look for him to run the Hawks all the way to the semi-finals.
Bowl Division Semifinals
In the Bowl Division semifinals, which go down Wednessday. Eagle Academy (11-0) hosts Midwood (7-5), but this game will definitely be tight. Eagle won their first game against Midwood 9-8 on the road. The teams met last week and Eagle won 7-6 in OT. If any team can knock off Eagle, it’s the Hornets.
Stuyvesant hosts Bronx Science in the other semifinal. Stuyvesant won their first match up 13-12, but lost the second match up 13-8. Both semifinals are anyone’s game, and it’s great to see so much parity in the Bowl Division this year, with four legitimately competitive teams.
Other NYC Lacrosse News:
Outside of the PSAL, Doc’s NYC JV team won the Pro Player tournament last weekend. Here are photos from Kevin Coleman.
Brooklyn LC is going into the playoffs next weekend to play Lacrosse Unlimited in the A.L.L. Learn more about the club here: www.BrooklynLacrosse.com.