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LI Lacrosse Journal

Committed Corner


Johnny Maccarone (2021, Attack, St. Anthony’s)- Ohio State: Maccarone is super quick with the stick. He has the ability to elude defenders and shoot from anywhere on the field. When he doesn’t have the ball he always seems to find himself in the right spots so that when the ball finds him, he’s in position to score. Look for Maccarone to have a huge scoring season in 2021.

Jordan Gangaram (2021, LSM, Manhasset)- Amherst: Gangaram has the physicality and the will to go after the ball. He isn’t afraid to get rough and when he has the ball in the open field, look out. Playing for a great team like Manhasset means they’ll have high expectations going into the 2021 season.

George Panagopoulos (2021, Defense, Friend’s Academy)- Tufts:  Panagopoulos is what you call a shut down defender. He is ranked as one of the top players in the region. When facing the oppositions top goal scorers, he makes it incredibly difficult for them to score. Panagopoulos is physical, tenacious, and has a high IQ for the game. Friend’s Academy will look to have a strong defense next season with Panagopoulos leading the way.

James Laudenslager (2021, Attack/Midfield, Chaminade)- Middlebury: Laudenslager is one with great speed. He has the ability to blow past defenders and also score in traffic. Laudenslager should be able to put up some high scoring totals next season for Chaminade as they try to win another league championship.

Albert Paniccia (2021, Midfield, Friends Academy)- Binghamton: Paniccia is a dual threat offensive player that can score and facilitate. He has great vision on the field and seems to always know when it’s the right time for him put the ball in the net himself or find the open man. He’s been a starter for Friend’s Academy since the eighth grade and should once again have another stellar season in 2021.

Alex Fascilla (2021, Goalie, Huntington)- Babson: Fascilla is very skilled at protecting the net. He always finds himself in the proper stance ready to make a save. Look for Fascilla to be the starting goalie for Huntington next season and be the anchor of their defense.


Anna Spehr (2021, Midfield, CSH)- Middlebury: Spehr is a fierce competitor who is willing to put in all of the work to be the best that she possibly can. She has a knack of knowing where to be on the field to put herself in position to score. At Cold Spring Harbor she has competed in practice with and against some of the best players on Long Island which will help her moving forward as she continues to elevate her game. We hope Anna has continued success at Middlebury.

Isabelle Palladino (2021, Midfield, Pat Med)- Mercy:  Palladino’s great scoring ability always has defenders on edge. She is always active on the field and her high IQ allows her to make quick decisions. The Mavericks will be thrilled to have her on their team.

Alexa Corbin (2021, Midfield/Attack, Miller Place)- Rutgers: Corbin makes scoring look so easy. She is extremely quick and flashy when she has the ball. When she is out in the open field, good luck trying to stop her. Miller Place has a great one in Corbin, and soon Rutgers will too.

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College Coaches Face Challenges With Recruiting Restrictions

The coronavirus pandemic has created many obstacles for college coaches when it comes to getting a look at high school players they are looking to add to their program. For the class of 2021, their is a high level of urgency to find other ways to view players due to the fact this would normally be the time that they are being recruited by college coaches. The traditional way of going to high school games and summer league tournaments won’t be happening this year which means that coaches will have to heavily rely on video from previous seasons to evaluate players.

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Then and Now; Kevin Cassese

Kevin Cassese began playing lacrosse at a young age after being introduced to the game by his travel baseball teammates who played. John Banks, who was a dad of one of his teammates invited him to an indoor practice which is where he first really got into the game. Cassese also played on a Comsewogue youth lacrosse team coached by John Dobias which also helped spark his love for the game. Cassese attributes his love for the game to those two men.

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UNC Star Attackman Chris Gray’s Tips For Success

UNC Lacrosse Star Chris Gray didn’t achieve his D1 dominance overnight. As a Long Island lacrosse prodigy, the college junior spent years mastering his craft at Shoreham Wading River high school. The lethal attack man won multiple awards during this tenure, a status equally matched by his ability on the football field. He would later attend Boston University, where he played two spectacular seasons. In his freshman year, Gray was named a USILA All-American, 2018 Patriot League Rookie of the Year, and First Team All-Patriot League selection. The following season marked even greater heights for the player, as he currently leads the NCAA Patriot League record with a stunning 111 points. As one of 2020’s Inside Lacrosse Preseason Media First-Team All-Americans, Gray is a testament of the hard work and dedication that has been put into the game. We recently asked the star about some tips that he would give to up and coming players. See below to read the full article! Continue Reading

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Then and Now; Rob Molfetta

Rob Molfetta fell in love with the game when he was in the sixth grade. He started out playing baseball, but says once that lacrosse stick was put in his hands he was hooked. He remembers the first lacrosse stick he ever bought was a Brine Superlite for $20. Molfetta was an attacker at Carey High School until his senior year before he switched to goalie. Molfetta went on to play in college for three years, spending two years at Hofstra University and one year at SUNY Geneseo. Not only did he enjoy playing the game, but he also loves teaching the game which is how he knew from a young age that he wanted to be a coach.

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5 Training Tips From Adelphi Lacrosse Star Kerrin Heuser

Women’s Lacrosse star Kerrin Heuser knows a thing or two about training. The two time All-American had tremendous career at Hicksville High School, where she currently holds the record with 225 goals. After five years with the team, the midfielder chose to attend the powerhouse Stony Brook University, but in the fall, she is starting a new chapter in her life as she decided to transfer to Adelphi University.  Heuser is a proven catalyst on any team, providing leadership to her teammates on and off the field. We recently talked to her about some of her favorite training tips for up and coming lacrosse players. Click below tor read the full article!


Being an athlete, work ethic is something that will separate you from the rest of the pack. There is a difference when you get out to practice and either you are that athlete who says they practice everyday, and maybe are outside for 30 minutes total, thinking that’s enough. Or you are that athlete, where you are outside not just for an hour, but most of the day, taking little breaks and getting the most reps in as possible. As I was taught by parents and siblings, there is someone out there who is working harder than you and at that time better than you. Therefore, the question arises, “how hard am I going to work to be the best lacrosse player I can be?” Well, that comes with sacrifices. You got to make lacrosse one of  your major priorities. Plan out your days based on your lacrosse schedule. However this doesn’t mean just hitting against the wall a couple of times, it means taking those extra 50 reps after your arms and legs are beat, running that extra mile, and getting out of your comfort zone. However, this all starts with your work ethic, how will you make the most of your lacrosse career. Never give up, don’t settle, and get better each and every day, evaluate yourself after every practice, and finally make goals for yourself. Remember the sky’s the limit, but it is up to you and your drive to get better!


Personally, I am in my head a lot when it comes to lacrosse. For me, my journey to get better each and every day comes with the type of mentality I have from when I go to bed to  when I wake up in the morning. Speaking for myself and others, the Kobe Bryant mentality is something everybody should strive to have. Lacrosse isn’t just a physical sport,  it is more of a mental sport rather than not. Therefore, the Mamba mentality is the way to go. Specifically I wake up each morning with a drive to be better than the day before. My training consists of running distance in the morning, going to the gym to lift, and then conditioning there. However that’s not it. I then go to the field and do my first part of shooting. Then I go home, have lunch to fuel up for my second workout of the day. That consists of going either to the wall for an hour, or going to the field for my part 2 of shooting, as well as doing tempo runs for at least 3 times a week. I think young athletes really have to start learning and accepting not to settle. If you think you’re playing your best lacrosse you ever have, well good, but now get even better. The greatest athletes in the world today are the ones who are the hardest workers. Finally, their silence, or the training that no one knows about, is what is making them the loudest on the field, through their performance. What you do when you’re younger, will make you shine when you’re older. Have that Mamba Mentality,  always have that drive to get better, and remember why you started in the first place!


Let’s face it, lacrosse is the fastest game on two feet. Therefore, no matter what position you play, midfield, attack, defense, or goalie, speed is one of the most important factors in developing young studs! What I like to do with a lot of the younger girls I train, is to work with cones and the agility ladder. Those drills include acceleration and declaration, fast feet throughout the agility ladder, and change of direction. However, speed training shouldn’t be your conditioning of the day. As I learned with my speed trainer, every rep whether that be sprints, or dodging  through the cones, has to be 100% effort. So this means to go throughout the drills as fast as you can, take a quick break and do as many sets and reps as told. Once you develop speed, your game will be taken to the next level. Speed can be hard to teach, but it’s not an excuse to not do speed training, especially for lacrosse. There is no excuse for not getting faster. The best advice I can give to younger athletes is to do speed training with someone faster than you so it is a challenge. Remember, things that are easy are non effective, when it gets hard, that means you’re making a change. Push yourself to great limits each and every rep! Get Fast!


One of the most important factors, and the first things taught to lacrosse players from the start is how to catch and throw. From experience, when I started lacrosse I didn’t really take into account how important stick skills would be as I am playing lacrosse in college now. Stick skills are the foundation of lacrosse. One you get your stick work to perfection, meaning catching most if not all balls, ground balls, etc, then you can move onto the next steps in developing your lacrosse skills. I always tell the girls that I train to do wall ball every single day when they are home and not training with me. If they miss a ball they have to start over again. Once they get the stick work down, then I don’t need to focus so much on that and waste as much time in their training session. This allows me to move to the more challenging techniques, dodges, and footwork. The thing that made wall ball so enjoyable each and every day when I go is listening to music. Therefore, make a playlist and just sweat it out at the wall. Wall ball should be fun and really will allow you to separate from the pack!


One thing I learned in high school when I was looking at taking my game to the next level, was watching game film and evaluating them. I used to watch my games and write down 3 things that I thought that I did good and 3 things that I thought I could have done better or  improve on. However, for younger players, I suggest watching your favorite team and just studying your position as well as the other positions. Grasp the pros and cons and maybe try doing those moves when you practice. Taking mental notes as well is even more important. Like I said before, lacrosse is a mental game. When you combine those mental reps, game film, and your practice all in one, you are destined for greatness.

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Kayla Downey is Making Her Way to Coastal Carolina

Attacker Kayla Downey was one of the top players in the class of 2019. In her senior season at West Babylon High School, she scored an incredible 60 goals and recorded 31 assists. Downey isn’t just an elite offensive player. She was also one of the most well rounded players in her class, leading the team in caused turnovers, ground balls and finishing third in draw controls. Downey completed her first year of college at Stony Brook University where she played and started in four of the five games they played this season, helping them to a 5-1 record. After one year with the Seawolves, Downey is preparing to start a new chapter in her lacrosse career. She is transferring to Coastal Carolina University where she will look to fit right in with the current team that they have in place and have an instant impact for the Chanticleers. Read more about Kayla Downey below where she talks about what went into her decision to transfer down south, as well as what her best attributes are, and some of the difficulties in transitioning from the high school level to the college level.

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Hugh Kelleher and Nick LiCalzi receive the Inaugural Tom Flatley Award

Earlier this month, the first Inaugural Tom Flatley Award was given to two members of the Long Island Lacrosse community. The award, named after the legendary Garden City coach who passed away in May, will be given to male football and lacrosse student athletes who have shown strength and leadership on and off the field. This year’s recipients are Hugh Kelleher of MacArthur and Nick LiCalzi of South Side. Kelleher will be attending Cornell in the fall, while LiCalzi will be heading to Navy. Their activism within their respective communities was unprecedented.

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Michael O’Connell Commits to Stanford University for Basketball

After initially committing to play lacrosse at the University of Maryland, Long Island’s Michael O’Connell will instead be attending Stanford University to play basketball. O’Connell attended Chaminade High School for three years where he played basketball and lacrosse before transferring to Blair Academy for his senior year. Coming from a family of athletes, O’Connell has an older brother who played lacrosse at the University of Maryland, plus one year of basketball at St. John’s as a grad student. In an interview with the LILJ, O’Connell discussed what went into his decision to commit to Stanford, and how lacrosse, basketball, and football have been a huge part of his life. Check out the full interview down below.

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LILJ’s MCLA All Long Island Team

Over the years, Long Island has supplied the lacrosse world with some of the greatest talent in the country. As a hotbed for the sport, the community continues to influence the growth and production of these young athletes. As of late, we are seeing this talent only increasing, especially at the MCLA level. Long Island’s best are now going above and beyond expectations for their college programs. Their hard work and dedication has shown up time and time again, and is a testament to where they are today. The LILJ has comprised a list of the best of these MCLA athletes that took their play to the next level. Continue reading to see who made our first ever NCAA All Long Island MCLA Boys Team!

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