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A familiar foe for Garden City
Garden City (19-2) vs. Jamesville-DeWitt (21-0)
State Class B final, 1:30 p.m. on Saturday at Cicero-North Syracuse High
With West Islip out of the mix, this game is between arguably the two best teams in the state.
The Trojans have won 15 in a row by a combined 178-46, including Wednesday night's 10-8 semifinal victory over Yorktown in the sweltering White Plains heat. They are 4-2 all-time in state finals, with the last win coming in 2000.
Jamesville-DeWitt, which has won two of the last four Class B titles, has won a state-best 43 straight, including an 11-5 win over Garden City in last year's final.
J-D has an equally stout defense to the Trojans, allowing only 74 goals in 21 games, (3.52 per contest). Only one team, New Hartford, scored in double figures against the Red Rams, and they held nine opponents to two goals or less. Was it against the same caliber competition as Garden City faced? No, but it wasn't far off.
J-D midfielder Jordan Evans is one of the country's top sophomores. He leads the Red Rams with 100 points (55 goals, 45 assists), while junior attack Deke Burns leads the team with 64 goals, and Syracuse-bound middie Alex Hatem has scored 39 goals.
It'll be interesting to see how coach Steve Finnell plans to deploy All-American defenders Stephen Jahelka and Brian Fischer. Wednesday night, he put Fischer on Yorktown stud Ty Schuldt, and Fischer held him to just one goal. Jahelka is still recovering from an ankle injury, which may prompt Finnell to go with Fischer on Evans and Jahelka on Burns or Hatem.
On the J-D defense, three Division I recruits lead the way -- Davi Sacco (Virginia), longstick middie Matt Kopp (Binghamton), and Nick Firman (Mount St. Mary's). They also boast All-American goalie Dan DiStefano (Vermont), who has a save percentage over .700.
So Devin Dwyer, who leads the Trojans with 93 points (33 goals, 60 assists), second on Long Island only to Farmingdale's Sal Tuttle, will certainly have his hands full.
And if that wasn't enough, J-D has a lights-out faceoff man in Tim Edwards (Canisius), who has won nearly 80 percent of his draws. GC had problems on faceoffs last night, losing 14-of-20, so this is an area worth watching.
Tags: Garden City , Steve Finnell , Stephen Jahelka , Brian Fischer , Devin Dwyer , Jamesville-DeWitt , Jordan Evans , Deke Burns , Alex Hatem , Davi Sacco , Matt Kopp , Nick Firman , Dan DiStefano , Tim Edwards