All-time even series at five games each
The 2017 season already had a story set in the minds of the players of the Chaminade Varsity Lacrosse team, a thorough narrative that spoke of comebacks, of redemptions of the failed 2016 campaign that saw Reg’s Rock—their memorial trophy that honors a fallen alumnus—claimed for the first time since 2011 by the Manhasset Indians in a 10-5 thumping and a blowout in the championship game by arch-rival St. Anthony’s.
Now senior-laden (the roster boasting 30 in all), last Saturday’s game—the 10th anniversary of the matchup—reeked of comeback for the Flyers; a perfect plot-line that would encapsulate their season-long mission and unfold on their own field in Mineola after the yearly meeting had been held at Manhasset the past two years.
The annual game is named for Chaminade alum and Manhasset native Jimmy Regan, Jr., a Duke University graduate and a national championship lacrosse player for the Tar Heels, who forewent a lucrative Wall Street career to enlist in the armed services in 2004, becoming an Army Ranger in the 3rd Battalion and completing two tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq before an IED took his life during his second Iraqi tour of duty. Today, his father, James Regan, Sr., heads the Lead the Way Foundation, a non-profit which serves to support disabled U.S. Army Rangers and their families and survivors.
In a season that has seen Chaminade (8-2) steamroll over many of its fellow Catholic League schools—including their first meeting with St. Anthony’s—this was a physical battle between the varsity squads that had the Indians (11-2) take and hold an increasing lead after the Flyers opened the scoring less than one minute into the game. A week after the Indians had come away with a huge victory over Garden City in the 131st Wood Stick Classic, senior middie Steven Schneider put Manhasset on the board and was followed by a shot from Logan Hyde while Kevin Mack got past Chaminade goalie Brendan Krebs twice in a 49-second span to put the score at 4-1 at the end of the first quarter.
Chaminade’s Patrick Kavanagh, Joseph deLyra and Jake Sexton breathed new life into the Flyers in the second with each goal, but Mack and Schneider connected again with the back of the net to make it 6-4 at the half.
An agonizing 21 minutes and 35 seconds then proceeded to bleed off the clock, only resulting in pushing the score to 7-5, still in favor of Manhasset. Then, senior Flyers captain Regan Quinn fed junior attackman Aidan Byrnes for a goal to bring the Flyers to within one. Moments later, Sean Kuttin fired one past Indians senior netminder Brendan Haggerty to tie it at seven-all.
The most perfect bookend for Chaminade would have been to have deLyra—who wears Regan’s No. 19—to score the game-winner, but his shot at the net went just wide; a follow-up by Kuttin was rocketed to Haggerty, who lobbed it out to midfield. From there, Mack took it around the back of the Chaminade cage, and fed Schneider who fired it in for the 8-7 game-winner and evening the all-time Reg’s Rock series at five games for each school. Manhasset had a three-year winning streak in the game from 2009-11. It is Schneider who wears a number equally revered at Manhasset—32—once donned by Johnny Driscoll, a midfielder during his time with the Indians and who played with the New York Saints in the Major Indoor Lacrosse League.
“He’s No. 32 for a reason,” Manhasset head coach Keith Cromwell said of Schneider. “He plays with such heart, such passion…and we rely on him a lot in big spots. To be able to grind out a win against these guys, anytime you can get Reg’s Rock, it’s nice to have it for the next 12 months. (The players) know it means so much to all of us out here.”