The 2023 Haldane boys’ lacrosse team features one of the most seasoned lineups the high school has fielded under Coach Ed Crowe.
The Blue Devils return virtually their entire starting lineup from a squad that went 10-8 last year and lost in the Section I, Class D quarterfinals to Bronxville.
On the defensive end, the returning starters include senior Thomas Tucker, juniors PJ Ruggiero and Jordon Henkel (at goal), and sophomores Brody Corliss and Nate Stickle.
At midfield the team returns seniors Will Sniffen, Rowen Kuzminski, Jesse Hagen and Rhys Robbins; juniors Dylan Rucker, Ryan Van Tassel and Frankie DiGiglio; and sophomore Brandt Robbins.
At attack, Liam Gaugler and Evan Giachinta, both third-year starters, are joined by the only newcomer to crack the starting lineup, sophomore Fallou Faye. Others new to the team are seniors defenders August Lee and Jake Mason.
Tucker, Sniffen, Hagen and Robbins are the team captains. The group’s experience and comfort playing together have shown in its first three games, all wins.
“This is probably my most balanced team so far,” Crowe said. “Some of the other teams in Class D, such as Bronxville and Pleasantville, have won sectional titles, and we feel like this year we can compete with them. We have to stay healthy, stay balanced and selfless.”
Haldane vs. Hendrick Hudson (Photos by Skip Pearlman)
On the offensive end, Crowe knew what to expect from Gaugler and Giachinta, and Faye has made his presence known early, scoring 13 goals.
The Blue Devils picked up their first win ever over the consistently solid Hendrick Hudson team on Tuesday (April 4) at home, 16-12.
Hendrick Hudson scored back-to-back goals to tie the game at 8-8 with 7:28 left in the first half, but Haldane answered with a 4-0 run. The visitors closed the gap to two goals in the second half, but the Blue Devils controlled the flow and scored when they needed to.
Gaugler led the offense with five goals and two assists, Faye finished with four goals and Giachinta had a hat trick and handed out four assists. Henkel came up with 13 saves in goal.
“Dylan Rucker and Brandt Robbins won 19 of 27 face-offs, and our defense did a great job,” Crowe said.
On March 29 at Dobbs Ferry, Haldane won 15-1 behind five goals from Giachinta. Faye scored four times, Gaugler had a hat trick, DiGiglio scored twice and Kuzminski had a goal. Henkel made five saves. The Blue Devils won on March 27 against Blind Brook, 14-5. Faye scored six, Gaugler added two and DiGiglio and Rhys Robbins each had a hat trick. Henkel had 23 saves in net.
“The 3-0 start is what we expected,” Crowe said. “Mahopac [on April 6] will be a good test, as will teams like Arlington, Greeley and Wappingers. We’ll go to Long Island for the first time this season, and we’ll also play Chenango Forks [which lost in the state title game]. The idea is to get used to good opposition.”
Haldane, which lost to Mahopac, 13-6, to fall to 3-1, is scheduled to visit Sleepy Hollow on Wednesday (April 12) and host Arlington at 4:30 p.m. on Friday.
Haldane vs. Mahopac (Photos by Megan Powell)