Game Preview – Jaspers vs. Johnnies Classic presented by LILJ | Sat. February 11th @ West Islip High School

The Manhattan vs. St. John’s Men’s Men’s Lacrosse game is set to take place on February 11, marking the beginning of the 2023 season. Both teams have been preparing for this exciting match-up, and fans are eager to see what the new season has in store. The game will be played at 1 p.m. at West Islip High School marking the first time these teams have faced-off against each other at a neutral site.

The Manhattan Jaspers finished the 2022 season with an overall record of 8-7, and a conference record of 4-2, all while going 1-1 at neutral sites. The Jaspers coming fresh off of its first MAAC championship victory in 20 years earning them a trip to the NCAA Tournament are ready to set the tone for the 2023 season and the future of its program. 

“The big message we’ve had for our team now is, ‘Was winning the championship what the 2022 team did, or is that who we are now,’” John Odierna, head coach of Manhattan Men’s Lacrosse said to the Long Island Lacrosse Journal. “This is the first group that has the opportunity to decide where we are as a program.” 

Manhattan will have two key players returning in the 2023 season including their team-leading goal scorer and points leader from last season, Kyle Gucwa, Senior Attackman, and Liam Walshe (Commack native), fifth-year Attackman, who tied for second in points last season. 

As for the St. John’s Red Storm, they ended the 2022 season with an overall 2-12 record, an 0-5 record in conference, and 0-1 at neutral sites. While the 2022 season was one to forget for the Red Storm, 2023 gives the team the opportunity for a fresh start to rebound under newly hired Justin Turri and his new coaching staff. 

“We are taking a step in the right direction,” Caleb Zuhoski, Riverhead native and starting Attackman for St. John’s said to the Long Island Lacrosse Journal. “Bringing in the new coaching staff, they’re amazing. I think this program can do great things. I see us winning a lot of games this year.”

The players are ready to get going and are hungry for the new season as Sophomore Defenseman, Jack Schirtzer (Mt. Sinai native), followed closely with Zuhoski’s comments.

“We’re looking forward to what St. John’s can do. We’re gonna be on the map this year and we’re coming different.” 

The Red Storm also has some key players returning with Brian Kelly, Sophomore Attackman, who was second in goals, points and assists in 2022, Caleb Zuhoski, Junior Attackman, who was fourth in team points and Jack Lutfi, Junior Midfielder, sixth in team points. 

The last time these two teams faced off resulted in a win at DaSilva Memorial Field for St. John’s over Manhattan by a final score of 9-7. The Red Storm outshot the Jaspers 47-38 and dominated faceoffs over the Jaspers by 17-3. St. John’s propelled itself toward victory taking the lead with three goals in just over 1 minute. The defense sealed the win for the Red Storm allowing just a single goal in the fourth quarter earning the first win of the 2022 season. 

The rematch on Long Island will be a homecoming for a lot of players from both teams with plenty of family and friends in the building. The matchup between these teams in West Islip, NY allows players and coaches to return to where they grew up playing the game, all while showcasing each respective program to younger players looking for where they can take their game to the next level.

The Long Island Lacrosse Journal will be sponsoring the game with a live stream including play-by-play, commentary, and media coverage for the highly anticipated match. Both teams will look to start the season on the right note on February 11 at 1 p.m. at West Islip High School. Tickets are only $5 cash at the door for anyone 12 and up. Kids below the age of 12 come with your families as well! Make sure to keep up with the Long Island Lacrosse Journal for all updates and streams. 

Game Details

Date: Saturday, 2/11/23
Location: West Islip High School – 1 Lions Path, West Islip, NY 11795
Start Time: 1PM
Admission: There will be a $5 admission fee (CASH ONLY) to help cover costs for the game with all of the staffing needs
Live Steam Link:

Watch the complete interview with newly appointed Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach of St. John’s Men’s Lacrosse Justin Turri below!

Watch the complete interview with newly appointed Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach of Manhattan Men’s Lacrosse John Odierna below!


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