You can tell everyone on here has a ton of passion for this game. But you can also tell from the threads who has never played a team sport before. There are some great posts with perspective from parents who have been through this before. They seem to resonate most about what to look for in a Team.
Those around 2027 Girls Lacrosse on Long Island are extremely fortunate. We are all treated to watching a very high level of ball. Not to mention these girls are in 7th Grade. The participation at the age is incredible from the PAL level all the way up to the amount of Club Teams we have in the area. If you are new to the area and your daughter has a passion for team sports, it is never too late. And there are really no mistakes given all of the options in the area. Just talk to families within each program and you will know what makes most sense for your daughter.
The Spring-Summer 2021/2022 Club Season is going to be a fun one. You can already feel the energy from the posts in these chats.
In order of where the Teams “ranked” on USCL.com at the end of the 2021 Summer Season. Because players and parents will say they don’t care about rankings, but there are a ton of people who can’t wait for when they get updated every week. Just another question to honestly ask your daughter and family if that means something to them and will it mean something for recruiting down the line.
#6 YELLOW JACKETS– STADLER-STADLER-GRAZIDEI (Fall 2021 #6) Picks up another great goalie, which was already a strength of the team, and has picked up strong athletes as they always do. Stress levels seem high, but the parents want to see their daughters compete against the best of the best. And they did just that last year showing they could beat anyone when it counted in the Mid-Atlantic. You have to route for this team to do well because it highlights the quality of players we have in this area. You have to feel sorry for the coaches after reading these forums though. But that is the stress when every family expects their daughter to play at a top college program coming off this Team. For those who always ask who is North Shore Elite, they get the majority of their players from this Team and play in tournaments where it is an off weekend for Yellow Jackets. Fear the Bee and many fear battling Carol Rose’s program.
Cons: Constant stress level between parents, players, coaches, etc. When you have so many of the best players on Long Island, you are expected to not only win, but take the game to the next level. Playing time will also be an issue for some who want to play in all of the big games. But you could say that about any Club and that is why it is so important to find a Club where your daughter will play in those big moments. Regardless if they are at the top level of talent or not. That is where they will build confidence.
#9 FLG NAVY (Fall 2021 #8) The 2027 Team carries this entire Club on it’s shoulders and they are doing an incredible job with it and are not phased. They have been very well coached for years. They have always played well as a Team and seem to show up in the big moments WHEN they are put in the right tournaments. Parents and doubters alike always question the tournament choices of this Club. It is always healthy though to see your daughter prove out the hard work and go win some tournaments. This Team has produced some great players and lost a few goods ones this year. The Team seemed to show up this Fall as strong as ever despite losing a top goalie and strong middie to YJA and a good attacker to Top Guns. They battled YJA hard this fall as they always do in Queen of the Island tournaments. It will be fun to see if they can pull off the upset in the Spring. Another positive and what lures some families, is the attachment to LILJ. LILJ has done a great job trying to get as much content as possible across all levels of the game on Long Island. Every parent and player likes to read about out their daughter/themselves in the local rags. Marketing is a key strength of this program. And they are now creating “Select” Teams that will mean something to a lot of people. But FLG has produced talent at this level. But we are fortunate to be able to say that about all of the top 6 Club Teams on Long Island.
Cons: Parents fearful they won’t play in the right tournaments when the girls are older. How much is that the case these days and do you have to worry about it when you have a really good Team? Are you telling me TRADITION 2027 won’t get into top tournaments in a few years. That Team has put a TON of hard work in this Fall Season and have looked aggressive and prepared every time they stepped on the field. The other complaint about FLG NAVY is who is actually coaching the players during the week. Is this really an issue when the Team always seems disciplined and strong when they are put in the “right” tournaments.
#20 LIBERTY BLACK (Fall 2021 #27) Lost one very good middie to Yellow Jackets Stadler and the forum erupted especially after losing another top player to YJ Grazidei in 2020. Players who want to play against the best of the best are commonly lured to YJA as the best team on Long Island for 2027. Yet when you talk to families with daughters on this Team, they all seem to be incredibly happy with the coaching and the experience their daughters are getting. We have all read in the forum there seemed to be some perceived drama last season with this Team, but it sounds like people have moved on for various different reasons and there is a good vibe internally with the Team this season. Liberty Lacrosse has been around forever and some will argue they have not been the same since they lost their pipeline from Manhasset, but this is not Danielle Gallagher’s first rodeo and she has produced some incredible Liberty teams through the years. They have two of the best coaches/players in Danielle Gallagher and Amanda Johansen bringing their knowledge of the game through different lenses and different eras. It sounds like this 2027 team gets their time in both clinics and team practices with both. The starters on this Team seem to go about their business with a chip on their shoulder. Highlighted by their battle with North Shore Elite in the Championship Game of the 2021 Lacrosse by 3 Hofstra Summer Tournament, losing by a goal in the final minute and taking out Top Guns Black & Tradition in the same tournament. The Team seems to have two full time coaches with a lot of experience in the game and parents and players alike seem very happy. But they have a challenge ahead of them playing in many of the top tournaments this season. They will have to prove they should be in the conversation behind YJ Stadler with FLG NAVY, Top Gun, and Yellow Jackets Gaghan. And if they perform well this Spring/Summer you will see good players, not getting to play in those big moments elsewhere, wanting to join the party.
CONS: According to the forum, the Club “has been sold to a sports aggregator”. That uncertainty is not great but with everything being anonymous in these forums, how much weight should a family place on that. But if true, families need to worry about the Club’s strongest asset in Danielle Gallagher checking out. But in a world where Clubs can make a lot of money, I guess we could all be worried about that with any Club if the price was right! Doubters will point to beatdowns this Fall against Eagle Stix, which was the #1 ranked team at the end of the 2021 season. Yellow Jackets Stadler tied that team this fall, which highlights to people the caliber of athletes at both those programs and questions whether Liberty will ever be able to compete. This team has also been knocked as a team of girls that play soccer, which gets them taking hits for missing fall tournaments like Queen of the Island because of prior soccer commitments. But some will say it is better for girls to be more well-rounded athletes and every college coach looks for the three sport athlete. However, it is important with any of these Clubs that you communicate your daughter’s dedication to each sport and match it with the Club.
#31 Yellow Jackets – Gaghan (Fall Season #12) Don’t look now but there is a lot of energy and positivity coming out of this team in the Fall. Making a huge jump in the rankings and feeling confident about running with anyone on the Island. Doubters will point to all their better players ultimately getting nabbed by Stadler’s YJ Team, but we have already seen that with all of the other programs. While I think some parents are hoping they can run with YJ Stadler, it is going to be a lot more fun watching what they can do against FLG, Top Guns, & Liberty Black. It sets up for some battles to start the Club Season at the Spring Queen of the Island.
Cons: Turnover has been a real issue with this team, but something easily solved with a strong Spring-Summer season. You will always have to hear about “your older sister” in YJA, but for those who are strong enough to block that out, you are getting a ton of playing time in all the same tournaments that Carol Rose will get YJA into. But if the positive energy fades because of losses against Maryland teams and top Long Island teams, parents and players may look to move out of the shadow into other programs in the Top 5.
#36 Top Gun Blacks (Fall Season 2021 #21) A ton of buzz coming out of the Shannon Smith led Top Guns Black team already this year. This team is coached by Shannon’s brother and Emma Ward, who is always swarmed at tournaments by girls of all ages. They attracted a ton of great players who wanted playing time and were confident that Top Guns would put them in all the right tournaments. Playing time in top tournaments is important and it has allowed this team to attract even more talent in the off-season. People knock them for loses like the game against Liberty Black in the Hofstra tournament last fall, but this is a different team and have high aspirations. Top Guns could see an influx of even more top players with a great season in 2022.
CONS: Parents have complained about coaching and some sideline antics, but not sure if there has been much attrition of players so it seems like noise that is common in this forum for all Clubs.
#30 Empire (Fall Season #63) You have to LOVE the enthusiasm out of the Empire posts. Pure positivity from someone passionately believing in their Team. Likely will not compete with any of the Teams above, but for many does it even matter if their daughters are having a blast playing the game with friends. It sounds like a nice place for a lot of players on the Island. And the joy they will have if they were able to beat any of the teams above!
I hope this helps those who were new to the area or those who’s daughter might be looking for something better suited to her ability and desire. Let the debating begin. But regardless of your thoughts, everyone will agree that there is some great lacrosse ahead of us this season and we are fortunate to watch it and the girls are blessed to play it.