Sixty of Long Island’s top lacrosse players in Nassau and Suffolk Counties gathered for the third annual Long Island Lacrosse Showcase at Dowling College’s Brookhaven sports complex in Shirley Thursday night.
Athletes were broken into rising sophomore, junior and senior teams and performed in front of a myriad of college coaches, who sat on the sidelines and watched, but were not allowed to communicate with them due to NCAA recruiting restrictions.
Suffolk won the senior and junior games, while Nassau took the sophomore contest.
West Islip had five players participate in the event; AJ Ilchert played in the sophomore game; Nick Aponte and Ryan Wieczorek played in the junior game, while Anthony Santo and Jack Kelly played in the senior contest.
Nassau opened the night with a 7-6 win in the sophomore game. Ian Kirby scored the go-ahead game-winning goal in the fourth quarter. Suffolk scored four goals in the second half to come back from a 5-1 deficit. Smithtown West’s Ryan Keenan scored one goal and recorded three assists.
Suffolk saved the drama for the second game in an 8-7 overtime win. Shoreham-Wading River’s Tim Rotanz scored three goals, including the game winner off an assist from Brian Ward (Bayport Blue Point). It's nothing new for him considering he led Long Island with 110 points in 2011.
Ryan Mahon (Bethpage) and John Crawley (Port Washington) each scored two goals for Nassau.
Suffolk took no prisoners in the Rising Seniors game, beating Nassau handedly, 11-7. Hauppague’s Sam Llinares, who has a verbal commitment to play at Hofstra University, scored three goals. Locust Valley’s Chris Appell also recorded a hat trick.
“When we picked the team we only took the best athletes,” said Suffolk and William Floyd coach Desmond Magna. “We had a perfect mix of kids. We beat them up physically and were just better athletes today.”
For some it’s rough playing in front of college coaches, balancing performing well and thinking about every move being detrimental to their future
“It’s nerve wracking,” said Thomas Engelken, a rising junior from Sachem East.