Welcome to the first edition of the Nassau Top 10 rankings. Was watching Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski's press conference after his team beat Butler to win the NCAA Tournament, and he asked aloud to the reporters in the room, "Where would you rank Butler to start the season next year? Probably 1 or 2, right?" I don't know about that, but it got me to thinking about these rankings.
1. Garden City (2-0): Junior midfielder Tom Gordon scored with 23 seconds left to lift the Trojans to a 6-5 win over host Smithtown West in a great game Saturday night. Garden City overcame a 4-1 halftime deficit as its defense, led by Stephen Jahelka and Brian Fischer, shut down Smithtown West for the most part in the second half. Sophomore attackman Devin Dwyer, who missed most of the fourth quarter with a bruised shoulder, shouldn’t miss any games going forward. The Trojans are ranked No. 3 in the country by Inside Lacrosse. They play South Side on Tuesday then travel to Baltimore for a game against St. Paul's (Md.).
2. Chaminade (2-1): The Flyers came up short in a 10-7 loss to West Islip, but they are still one of the better teams around. A pair a big defenseman – 6-3, 215-pound John Urbank (headed to Georgetown) and 6-4, 220-pound Mike Ehrhardt (Maryland) -- and Princeton-bound attackman Will Himler lead the group.
3. Hicksville (3-0): Key players return at all parts of the field: senior defenseman James Lang, junior midfielder Brandon Gamblin and junior attack Joe Leonard. The defending Class A county champs are unbeaten, but face a tough Cold Spring Harbor team on Wednesday.
4. Farmingdale (2-1): The Dalers beat Wantagh, 13-6, on April 3, but had a tough time with Smithtown West, losing 15-8, on March 31.
5. Manhasset (3-0): Yes, it’s a new-look team – as in 21 seniors from last year’s group graduated – but raise your hand if you don’t think Manhasset will again make a deep run in the playoffs. (I don’t see any hands raised). The Indians beat South Side, 12-8, on March 26, and took down Northport, 13-3 on March 31. Three-year starting midfielder Drew Belinsky (Penn) and senior faceoff guru Ricky Buhr (Syracuse) lead them.
6. Wantagh (4-1): Yale-bound attackman Brandon Mangan had an 11-point offensive feast (five goals, six assists) in a 20-13 win over South Side on April 1. Wantagh also beat Mt. Sinai, 8-5, on March 27. Its lone loss was to Farmingdale, 13-6, on April 3.
7. Cold Spring Harbor (4-0): Cam Lee scored the winner with 32 seconds left to life CSH to a 8-7 win over Syosset on March 31, and CSH also beat South Side, 6-5, on March 24. The other two wins came during a trip to Florida. Senior midfielder Christian Kennedy (Georgetown) has returned from a torn ACL suffered in the second game of the football season. The CSH staff is bringing him back along slowly.
8. Baldwin (4-0): Baldwin opened the season by edging Lynbrook, 13-12, on March 25 and also had wins over Floral Park, Plainedge and Half Hollow Hills West. Kyle Rebman has 10 goals so far.
9. Lynbrook (3-1): The Owls, who with South Side are the favorites in Conference B-II, have beat Sewanhaka, Long Beach and Floral Park. They lost to Baldwin by one goal.
10. South Side (0-3): What!? A winless team in the Top 10? Yes. Look at the Cyclones’ brutal non-league schedule so far. They’ve lost to Wantagh, Manhasset and Cold Spring Harbor, all teams that are in this Top 10. I’d be hard pressed to find many teams that wouldn’t have trouble with them.
On the bubble: Syosset, Massapequa, Oceanside, Division, Seaford