The Harrison boys lacrosse team went into the year knowing the 2010 season would be one of growth and rebuilding.
With only five seniors on the team, coach Bruce Kinisky and the Huskies needed to rely heavily on several juniors, including Brandon Bonistall, Alex Acompora and Duke Alvora.
The team's junior class is special boosting several of the squad's best players and the majority of the starting line up. The Huskies got their first crushing loss in the preseason, when the team's captain, Duke Alvora, tore his ACL against Arlington.
"I got the ball and I went to dodge a member of the other team. I heard a pop and I immediately went down," Alvora said of his injury. "The doctors immediately knew I tore my ACL, and without even a question they said we have to have surgery if I wanted to be ready for football."
With Alvora out of the line up for the reminder of the season, Harrison got even more inexperienced. But several of the players on the team preformed better than expected.
Sam Gioseffi was key for Harrison. Gioseffi preformed remarkably for the Huskies as Harrison's go to guy on every face-off.
"We always thought he was good, but [he was] winning around 75 percent of his face-offs in addition to consistently coming up with some important ground balls," said one of the seniors on the team, Jordan Brandes, "I think it really sets him apart from the other guys on the team."
Harrison was also pleasantly surprised by the play of Brian Lauro. Lauro was a sophomore in his first year on varsity.
"We did not know what to expect from Brian this year," said Alvora, "but from day one he excelled and played very well."
The team got the majority of their offense from Acompora and Bonistall. The two juniors were the leaders of the Harrison attack. Acompora was the team's leader in goals with thirty five and Bonistall led the team in assists with eighteen.
The team continued to come together throughout the season and each individual player improved. Even though the team was not adding wins to their record, it was obvious that each player was getting more comfortable on the varsity level.
"This was the outcome we were expecting from the regular season," said Harrison's captain Alvora. "We only had two starting seniors, but we excelled and we played with the best teams. Next year we are all expecting one of the best years in Harrison Lacrosse."
Even though the team only won five games, Harrison got the opportunity to go to Ossining in the first round of the playoffs, and the Huskies played their best game of the season. It was a hard-fought battle that ended with Harrison on the wrong end of the 11-10 score. But the players still saw it as a great achievement.
"Even though we lost, the game against Ossining was the high point of the year," said Alvora. "They were a great team and they were ranked very high in the section, we only lost by one, but it was definitely the best game we played all year."
The loss to Ossining was a great game played by two good teams, but it marked the last game for Harrison's five seniors. The team's seniors are Jordan Brandes, Yasu Miyajima, Leonny Abreu, Justin Potts and Michael Galimore.
Brandes is a scholar athlete who is busy during every season playing both football and bowling. Come spring time he helps the Husky attack, this year he had ten goals and ten assists.
"Jordan did a great job for us this year," said Alvora, "he is a very good player and he preformed very well in his role."
Leonny Abreu only played limited time for the team but his work in practice and scrimmages earned him the 2010 coach's award.
"Leonny is probably the most improved lacrosse player on the team. When he first started out during modified he struggled but now as a senior he has really come into his own." Brandes went on to say, "Leonny was a major help to our teams offense because he would stand in the cage and just take shots that were ripped at him from all directions."
Yasu Miyajima only played lacrosse this season, but his passion for the sport was felt by all his teammates, coaches and community.
"Whenever I see him he is wearing some sort of lacrosse apparel and re-stringing his stick" said Jordan Brandes. "He is a very versatile player and all his help with the youth league has been great for the program."
Though he suffered through several injuries in his senior season, Justin Potts played threw adversity and preformed well.
"Justin had a rough year," said Alvora."He even changed positions this season and he did a great job in the time that he did play. When he was healthy he proved to be a valuable player for us."
Michael Galimore was one of the better players on the team's defense.
"Mike is a great defensive player," said Brandes, "he matched up against some of the sections best attack men and he always held his own."
The five seniors will be missed by the team, but the maturation of this year's junior class should be fun to watch next season.
The Huskies went through some growing pains this season and they were still able to make it to the playoffs, but they will definitely be better for it in the future.