By Mike Dougherty
Goals were coming from every conceivable angle back in April when North Rockland paid a visit to White Plains for an early-season test.
It was not a good evening to be a goalie.
The Red Raiders lost a lead in the final minutes, suffering a humbling 21-20 loss that quickly increased the level of locker room stress. Kyle Michella filled up the scorebook. The junior attackman left the field with five goals and 10 assists, wondering if there was something else he could’ve done.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” North Rockland coach Greg Grasso said. “I mean, 15 points in a game from one guy. Never. And somehow, we still managed to lose the game.”
The effort ranks among the best single-game performances in state history.
“It was so frustrating to lose a game like that,” said Michella, who is The Journal News Boys Lacrosse Player of the Year in Rockland County after finishing the season with 42 goals and 73 assists. “It seemed like every time I got a touch, something good happened for us. That part was cool, and having a game like that was good for my confidence.”
Michella also won the award last season.
And he got a lot more attention this spring from opposing defenses. Some teams opted to lock Michella off, but that often gave trusty sidekick Tyler Senatore more room to operate.
There are very few scoring tandems capable of matching them.
“It’s unbelievable what Kyle does for us,” Senatore said. “I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like playing without him someday.”
They have one more season together.
Michella is already working to get ready. It’s perhaps what he does best. He is only carrying 160 pounds on a 5-foot-8 frame and is not a supremely gifted athlete. Colleges have been slow to notice that he usually finds a way to make a play.
He’s beginning to make a number of campus visits.
“I’m trying to bulk up, and height-wise, I hope to get a few more inches before I’m done growing,” said Michella, who commutes across the river to play with some of the best in Westchester on a Prime Time squad. “I’m working out a lot in the offseason, running and lifting on my own. I may not be the most athletic player on the field, but I’m usually more skilled so I can still move the ball or get a shot off.”
At the next level, he is likely a facilitator.
“Kyle’s game is feeding the ball,” Grasso said. “He sees the field so well, and he plays the game so much that he keeps getting better at keeping the ball moving. Kyle might be a step behind a quick defender, but he just works so hard and that enables him to get the job done.”
The other first-team all-county selections made by the Rockland coaches are, Dylan Senatore of North Rockland, Deighton Anderson of Suffern, Tyler Senatore of North Rockland, C.J. Greco of Suffern, Joe Mayernik of Pearl River, Zach Shapiro of Clarkstown South, Aeden Lombardo of Nanuet, Harley Jotso of Suffern, Jack Lyons of Nanuet, Will Ramos of Nyack and Brian McGreevy of Nanuet.
Jayson Whalen is the coach of the year after leading Nanuet to a 14-5 record as well as a Class C semifinal appearance.
2015 Journal News Rockland County All-Stars
A – Kyle Michella, North Rockland, Jr.
A – Dylan Senatore, North Rockland, Fr.
A – Deighton Anderson, Suffern, Sr.
MF – Tyler Senatore, North Rockland, Jr.
MF – C.J. Greco, Suffern, Jr.
MF – Joe Mayernik, Pearl River, Sr.
LSM – Zach Shapiro, Clarkstown South, Jr.
D – Aeden Lombardo, Nanuet, Jr.
D – Harley Jotso, Suffern, Sr.
D – Jack Lyons, Nanuet, Sr.
G – Will Ramos, Nyack, So.
FOGO – Brian McGreevy, Nanuet, Jr.
Coach of the year – Jason Whalen, Nanuet
A – Kyle Wanamaker, Nyack, Sr.
A – Matt Haggerty, Clarkstown South, Jr.
A – Matt Bosco, Pearl River, Sr.
MF – Tristan Moreno, Clarkstown North, Jr.
MF – Tom Schember, Suffern, Jr.
MF – Isiah Van Dunk, Suffern, Sr.
LSM – Matt Sassoon, Nanuet, Jr.
D – James Morina, North Rockland, Jr.
D – Mike Korongy, Suffern, Sr.
D – James McKenna, Pearl River, So.
G – Chris Chondris, Tappan Zee, Sr.
FOGO – Tom Berrigan, Tappan Zee, Sr.
Dean Baumann, Clarkstown South. So. MF; Liam Burke, Pearl River, Sr. LSM; Tom Chiapperino, Tappan Zee, So. A; Tom Fay, Nanuet, So. MF; Brendan Fee, Suffern, Jr. MF; Nelson Figueroa, North Rockland, Sr. D; Cullen McElligot, Tappan Zee, So. D; Mark McElroy, North Rockland, Sr. D; Brian Nicpon, Suffern, So. D; Brendan O’Sullivan, Nyack, So. A; Luke Schedler, Suffern, Sr. MF; Joey Tokarczyk, Clarkstown South, Sr. A.
Based on voting by fans on the lohud boys lacrosse blog.
A – Matt Bosco, Pearl River
A – Dylan Senatore, North Rockland
A – Kyle Michella, North Rockland
MF – Tyler Senatore, North Rockland
MF – C.J. Greco, Suffern
MF – Tristan Moreno, Clarkstown North
D – James Morina, North Rockland
D – James McKenna, Pearl River
D – Matt Sassoon, Nanuet
G – Chris Chondris, Tappan Zee
Player of the year – Bosco (8,545 votes)
Coach of the year – Greg Grasso, North Rockland (559 votes)