H.S. Boys Lacrosse: Lake Shore takes another step forward; Hamburg flexes muscle to Section V
Though Lake Shore didn’t quite measure up to a Hamburg team enjoying one of the program’s best seasons when the two met Tuesday (May 15), this regular season has marked another step forward for the Eagles.
Behind one of the best returning classes the program has seen in seven seasons as a varsity, the Eagles eclipsed last year’s new mark of eight victories in a season with 10 this year and the possibility for more exists with the playoffs starting later this week.
Lake Shore actually started the season at 9-1, but a few injuries and sub-par performances have the Eagles entering the playoffs 10-6 overall and 7-5 in Class B action.
“This was the first time we had a lot of solid returning players,” Lake Shore head coach Joe Migliaccio said after his team fell to Hamburg 22-2. “Before this, the guys would just kind of come and go.”
Migliaccio thought it might be difficult for Lake Shore to take that next step this year, having to fill a gaping hole in net, where four-year starter Alex Govenettio became the first Eagles’ boys lacrosse player to move on and play at the Division I level. He also led the program to its first playoff win last year. This season, he was a member of Canisius’ MAAC championship-winning team.
But the Eagles were able to fill that void with the continuity of having three returning long poles in Dennis Rammacher, Blaise Merk and Ronnie Thompson and a goalie in senior Clayton Chachulski that Migliaccio said basically “came out of nowhere.” Migliaccio noted Chachulski worked hard from the summer time and on to make an impact and in order to feel more part of the team.
Up front, it’s been seniors Patrick Gilman and Rory Jimerson doing much of the goal scoring, while state-qualifying wrestler Joe Catalano returned to the program this year to contribute in the midfield. Migliaccio said Evan Fuller and Anthony George have also played key roles in picking up ground balls and getting the Eagles started in transition.
“As a whole, they stepped up and the team’s play picked up,” Migliaccio said. “We have taken a step forward. It was even more noticeable in the first half of the season.”
Just how good is Hamburg? Already with a win against a nationally-ranked team this season and coasting through its Western New York schedule, Hamburg beat Rochester nemesis Canandaigua coming into the game against Lake Shore.
After withstanding a Canandaigua run in the first half, Hamburg dominated most of the second to earn a 13-8 victory May 11 on the road. The Bulldogs have not experienced much luck in beating the Section V power in past years, but this year’s team has shown the ability to rise to the occasion, already having beaten Brother Rice of Michigan, nationally-ranked at the time, 11-10.
“These guys seem to play their best in big games,” said Hamburg head coach Jerry Severino, whose team finished the regular season at 15-1 and will be the top seed in Class B after going 11-0 in league play. “These seasoned veterans know when to be at their best and don’t relax in any situations. I believe that’s the way they’ll finish the season, too.”
Hamburg led 4-0 early and scored the last two goals before halftime to take an 8-6 lead into the break. Ryan Jurek, Pat Nowak and Mitch Shafer each finished with three goals and Max Maxwell added two, while Tom Lipomi came through with 17 saves. Long pole middie Christian Hollfelder kept Canandaigua’s top scorer relatively in check and Division I-bound defender Josh Babcock played another big game. Severino said he did want his team to clean up for the playoffs having been called for seven penalties, which resulted in several Canandaigua goals.
The only other team to break through with double digit scoring on Hamburg was nationally-ranked Gonzaga of Washington D.C., which scored 10 times in handing the Bulldogs their only loss this season.
The Section VI Tournament will open with the pre-quarterfinal round for Class B and C slated for Friday (May 18) and quarterfinals for all three classifications on Tuesday (May 22).