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Senior-laden Midwood set to reclaim PSAL boys lacrosse crown

Midwood has tasted defeat more than it would have liked the last two seasons.

The Hornets own nine PSAL boys lacrosse city championships, but have come up empty in title games the last two seasons. They weren’t even expected to get there a year ago with some inexperience and a thinned out roster. But with 16 seniors returning, including All-American attack Artur Zych, the Hornets are again the favorites.

“Our big thing is act like we have been there before,” first-year coach Andrew Shipman said. “Our goal is not to win scrimmages, but to make it back to Aviator [Sports Complex]. We want to see the seniors go out with a championship.”

After being an assistant with the school’s girls team, Shipman takes over for longtime coach John Murphy, who is now the PSAL lacrosse commissioner. Shipman inherits a team hungry and ready to win. Zych is a super talent who can dodge his way to the net against multiple defenders, score from the outside or set up teammates. He scored 36 goals and handed out 21 assists last season.

“He is more of a quiet leader,” Shipman said. “He lets his play do the talking. He is just a kid that loves lacrosse.”

Zych will also enjoy having his offensive weapons back. Speedy senior attack Blake Koch, who had 27 goals and 18 assists in 2010, gives Midwood a formidable 1-2 punch with Zych. Classmates Joseph Madrazo (21 goals, 13 assists) and Joe Chazen (19 goals) can also find the back of the net for what should again be a high-scoring and even more balanced club.

“I don’t think we necessarily have to rely as heavily on Artur,” Shipman said.

There will be a new face in goal as junior Albert Dmochowski beat out last year starter Billy Ardamis, who will be the backup, thanks to his aggressiveness and vocal leadership. The rest of the defense is a veteran one starting with lockdown long pole Leon Zavos, who will play alongside athletic junior Chris Doyle, Khaled Mohamed and talented sophomore Ronny Sawwan.

“We have depth, we have size, we have all the ingredients for a special defense,” Shipman said.

He and his team are hoping for a special year as well. The Hornets want to be back at Aviator Sports Complex, but this time leave with the trophy that has escaped them the last two seasons.

“They want to go back and they want to be winners this year,” Shipman said.

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