Westchester War Games Recap

06/25/2018 4:05 AM - hosted the first Tri-State Top 40 Showcase on Friday night at Purchase College, as well as the Westchester War Games and Great American Draw (at Sachem Sports Complex). Click here to see the photo gallery from the Showcase, click here for the Westchester War Games photo gallery and click here for the Great American Draw photo gallery. Follow MLT on InstagramTwitter and Facebook for more updates.

As his team worked the ball around, Bryce Caffrey quietly jogged around near the restraining line, looking to seize his opportunity. 

Once he saw it, the 2019 midfielder darted to open space, caught a feed and easily tossed it into an empty netter. It'd be the first of three first-half goals that the Hendrick Hudson (N.Y.) and Predators midfielder scored in the first half of the 2019 game of the Tri-State Top 40 Showcase

By the end of the night, Caffrey had left his mark on the first-year Showcase. He showed that ability to find open space without the ball, proved that he could take his man on the dodge with regularity, showcased a good shot and helped push transition. If you left him 1v1 with a short stick, this is what happened. 

"(Off-ball movement) is just something that a lot of guys out here don't do, and I'm just trying to strive to do that," Caffrey said. "I'm just trying to get an edge wherever I can. Getting an early one always helps, too. (On the goal above), I was looking for a shot and I saw him overcommitting behind the cage, and I didn't see anyone sliding, so I went hard to the goal."

Caffrey's aggressiveness paid dividends all showcase long. just as it did as part of a strong spring for Hendrick Hudson. Caffrey helped the Sailors post a 16-2 mark, including a 16-game winning streak, and he's hoping to continue to see his game improve with the hopes of landing on college coaches' radars. That started with the Tri-State Top 40 Showcase, where more than 20 Division I, II and III coaches were in attendance. 

"I thought I was solid," Caffrey said. "There were a couple of dropped balls that I'd take back, but I thought it was a solid performance."

It was definitely better than that.

Standouts from the Tri-State Top 40 Showcase

Alex Cottler '20, LSM, Horace Greeley (N.Y.) / Team 91 Tri-State
Take the ball home and you might find Cottler in your driveway, whacking away as you try to get out of the car. Cottler wasn't afraid to press out and stop middies in their tracks before they got a head of steam. He had a beautiful caused turnover just inside the midline by throwing a smart, accurate check and lifting his opponent's stick to free the ball. Cottler is good off the ground, is fleet of foot and is tough on the wings.  

Alex DeBenedictis '20, attack, Yorktown (N.Y.) / Yorktown Ballers 
A big lefty shooter, DeBenedictis was finishing everything in sight at the Showcase. He had a great handle - particularly in traffic - and a quick release. He also was adept at using his size to gain leverage and create a mismatch, and he also does a great job of finding soft spots in coverage. DeBenedictis does very well inside, but can stretch a defense a bit with his range. 

Max Popolizio '19, attack, Hendrick Hudson (N.Y.) / Predators 
Popolizio found different ways to fill up the stat sheet. The tall lefty can finish inside, he's got a little bit of range, he can dodge, and he can find his open teammates. He might not have one dominant trait, but he finds ways to produce. He had a couple of impressive finishes. 

Dylan Rivie '19, attack, Osinning (N.Y.) / Osinning 
Rivie's teammates had to absolutely love him because he was setting them up all game long. An X attackman who quarterbacks the offense, Rivie had great vision and wasn't afraid to throw a pass into traffic if he thought his man was open. He had to have had at least five assists, and most of the time, his teammates didn't have to move too much to catch and shoot in one motion. 

Honorable Mention

James Bringman '19, LSM, Arlington (N.Y.) / 845 
Jack Simon '19, defense, Westlake (N.Y.) / Express North 
Michael Swift '19, attack, New Rochelle (N.Y.) / Team 91 Tri-State
Alex Verni '21, defense, Mamaroneck (N.Y.) / Team 91 Tri-State 
Jake Wolman '21, attack, Fox Lane (N.Y.) / Team 91 Tri-State 

Standouts from the Westchester War Games 

Alex Brown '20, attack, Taft (Conn.) / Express North
Brown is a polished lefty who's calm with the ball when under pressure. He was a productive cog in the JV 2020 champions' machine both as a scorer and a feeder, and he was very active on the ride. Brown shot the ball well and kept turnovers to a minimum. 

CJ Cummings '20, goalie, Christian Brothers Academy (N.J.) / Team 91 New Jersey

Cummings was terrific in a losing effort against a strong Express North team, owning a bunch of high rockets sent his way. He's been improving with every game this summer, is a great communicator and loves to venture outside the crease to start the clear. Cummings is a solid athlete, and oh, by the way, he made the best save you'll see all summer. Need proof? Check this out.

Mike DeMola '19, midfield, Sachem East (N.Y.) / Sachem
A lefty middie, DeMola was doing whatever he wanted all weekend. He produced a ton and also displayed good vision when feeding his teammates. He also thrived in transition and can always bump over to attack if needed. 

Eddie Dunhill '20, midfield, Pelham Memorial (N.Y.) / Team 91 Tri-State
Dunhill had a terrific early goal where he slalomed through the entire defense and dunked it, and from there, he continued to pile up the points. He's a big, strong, righty power dodger who can get going downhill, but he also likes to lean into his man before stepping back and letting it rip. He was solid in transition, too, and he was accurate with his shots. 

TJ Komosa '19, goalie, Ossining (N.Y.) / Team 91 Tri-State 
Komosa was particularly impressive against Team 91 New Jersey, making a bunch of impressive saves, including a handful of high stops. He was almost unbeatable high, and he doesn't take long to get the ball out once he catches it. His outlet passes were on point, and he was a strong communicator. 

Stephen Sommo '20, FO/M, Floral Park (N.Y.) / LI Hitmen
Sommo had a great day at the faceoff X, routinely claiming the clamp and winning the faceoff to himself. He could go forward or retreat with a defensive exit, and he showed off a solid handle with the ball in his stick. He even took some O-middie runs and flashed an offensive touch, including a sweet high bouncer against Sachem. 

Dylan Vitale '19, attack, Lacey (N.J.) / Team 91 New Jersey 
A quick, shifty attackman with plenty of change-of-direction skills, Vitale put on a show against Team 91 Tri-State, showing off an ability to turn the corner well and a strong, accurate shot. He also showed that he can put his teammates in a position to make plays with his vision, and he did well in the riding game. 

Honorable Mention

Grey Allen '19, midfield, Pelham Memorial (N.Y.) / Team 91 Tri-State
Julian Caplan '20, defense, Weston (Conn.) / Express North
Jack Esse '20, midfield, Fairfield Prep (Conn.) / Express North
Sam Harney '20, defense, Fox Lane (N.Y.) / Team 91 Tri-State 
AJ Kiernan '19, FO/M, Sachem East (N.Y.) / Sachem
Drew Wasacz '21, FO/M, Southern Regional (N.J.) / Team 91 New Jersey 

Westchester War Games Champions

Varsity Cruz: Sachem
Varsity Freeze: Rock Lax
JV 2020: Express North Brameier
JV 2021: Team 91 Tristate Select
2022 Cruz: Fighting Ducks 
2022 Freeze: Team 91 Tristate
2023 Cruz: Predators Black
2023 Freeze: Predators
2024 Cruz: Team 91 Orange 
2024 Freeze: 24 Lax East
2025 Cruz: 24 Lax East
2025 Freeze: Broome County Bandits 
2026 Cruz: Team 91 Orange '27
2026 Freeze: Landsharks
2027: Team 91 White 

Great American Draw Champions

JV: Title Nine 2020
2022: Title Nine 2022
2023: Long Island Empire Green Nassau
2024: Brookhaven Bandits 
2025: Team 91 Orange Fury
2026/27: Legacy Blue

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