Thursday - Island over Valley 9-8

- Long Island remained undefeated with their win over Hudson Valley 9-8 although, much like their earlier game against Western, it was not a run away. Long Island played their style of lacrosse and remained consistently strong throughout the game. While Hudson Valley capitalized on a number of extraordinary goals to keep them close and used sheer force of will to tie the game with 0:11 remaining.
Long Island`s first goal was scored by Connor English with a rocket to the top corner from outside, top right. Four minutes later, Jeff Froccaro drove straight through a double team and found the back of the net. With 3:30 remaining in the first, John Brandofino caught the ball at on the crease and was knocked to the ground by his defenseman. Still on the ground, Brandofino managed to get off a brilliant shot across the crease to Ryan Zaremba`s left side. Zaremba made an outstanding kick save, but, Tyler Perrelle was on the other side of the crease for a quick ground ball and shot for the first Valley goal of the game.

li-hvThe second Valley goal was equally as entertaining as Joe Marasco, who finished with 4g-1a, scored his first goal during EMO. John Ranagan started with the ball on the outside and looked inside to the crease where Marasco was cutting and Ranagan fed him the ball. Due to the defensive pressure, Marasco was unable to get a regular shot off and forced the ball upwards from below his waist (like a shovel pass) past Zaremba. Zaremba played the first two quarters and finished with 5s/4ga (56%). He was the only goalie above 50% in the game on Tuesday. The first quarter ended with the score 2-2.

Long Island came out of the break and scored three goals spanning the first half of the quarter. Andrew Hodgson scored off an assist from William Manny who scored two goals of his own; the first from a drive from behind the cage and the second only 0:13 later on a face-off fast-break. Steven Murphy won the face-off, and having picked up the ground ball himself, ran the ball to the goal and found Manny on the crease. Murphy finished with 3/9 at the face-off. Jeff Froccaro also took face-offs and finished 4/11 (a disappointing show after going 7/7 during the first half of the Western game).

Long Island-ValleyLong Island led 5-2, but before the half ended Hudson Valley scored two more goals. The first occurred in EMO with Perrelle receiving the ball on right-side of the GLE and ducking (as his defensive slid past him) finished with the goal. The last goal of the first half was scored as Marasco drove into traffic and drew a triple team from Long Island and found J.P. Garry on the inside for the goal.

The Long Island defense was all over the field. They slid early and often and on numerous occasions doubled or tripled the ball for a take (or allowing the ball to be passed to an open man). The Long Island defense was physical (as usual) and liked to throw their weight around to keep the Valley team down and tired. However, Valley kept taking the hits and kept on coming after The Island as if to prove that they they could compete. At the half, Long Island held a one goal lead 5-4.

English scored the first goal of the third quarter to take the Long Island lead to two, but Marasco scored the next two to tie the score at 6-6 as the third quarter ended. Marasco`s goals were both sweeps from the top; the first bounced off the ground and two pipes before finding its way inside and the second was straight shot to the back of the net.

As with every other quarter this game, Long Island scored the first goal. Steven Murphy scored his first of two goals with a coast to coast fast-break from a clearing attempt. Murphy, showing his athleticism, ran all the way from restraining line to goal with little defensive pressure. He scored the next goal as he powered his way past defensemen to force the ball to the back of the cage. The Island held an 8- 6 lead with 5:32 remaining.Long island- Hudson Valley

At 4:00, Marasco brought the game back to within one goal with a play that started with Connor Brown breaking a clear and quickly pushing the ball back up field. Brown passed the ball to Brandofino who found Marasco in front of the net. Marasco finished the shot with a behind the back shot as he passed the crease from left to right.

The tying goal was scored by John Ranagan, who forced his goal in with only 0:11 remaining. Ranagan knew the stakes and after Bellairs stepped up for a save from Garry. Ranagan got the ball and put it away. The Hudson Valley team stormed the field and pilled onto Ranagan to celebrate tying the game. The officials talked, but decided against a penalty for excessive celebration.

With 0:11 remaining there was time for one last face-off and play. Jeff Froccaro (after his strong performance earlier against Western) took the draw. Froccaro flipped the ball forward from the x with little impediment. He flipped the ball from the back of his stick and picked it up as he ran towards to cage. He found Murphy near the middle of the field about 10 yards out and Murphy put it home to keep Long Island undefeated and in the hunt for their fourth consecutive gold medal.

Bellairs played the second half for the Island and finished with 3s/4ga. Michael Bonitatibus played the second half for Valley and was in the cage when the final goal was scored. Bonitatibus finished with 3s/4ga as well. Luke Haggerty played the first half for Valley and finished with 3s/5ga.

Cole McCormack was a major factor in Valley`s play. McCormack was 12/19 (63%) at the face-off. Leading the charge in GB`s for Valley were McCormack-5, Marasco-4 and Santangelo-4. Both John Fennessy and Bonitatibus had two takes.

Michael McCormack, a Long Island defenseman led his team with 4 ground balls; with three ground balls were Murphy, Manny, Hodgson, Froccaro and John Duvnjak.

Scoring for Long Island were English (3g), Murphy (2g-1a), Manny (2g-1a), Frocaro (1g-1a) and Hodgson (1g).

Scoring for Hudson Valley were Marasco (4g-1a), Perrelle (2g), Ranagan (1g-1a), Garry (1g) and Brandofino (1a).