Joey Terenzi Honoring Late Friend Michael Farrell During Senior Season


There might not have been a better candidate in recent Manhasset (N.Y.) history to wear the cherished No. 32 jersey than Joey Terenzi.

The number is annually awarded to the program’s top senior midfielder in memory of Johnny Driscoll, a former All-American who went on to play at the University of Virginia. Driscoll died in 2002 after a six-year battle with brain cancer.

Terenzi ticks all the boxes and even mirrors Driscoll’s collegiate path by choosing the Cavaliers early in his junior season.

But Terenzi, who has a great understanding of Manhasset’s rich tradition, had a different number in mind when he met head coach Keith Cromwell ahead of the 2022 season.

Terenzi asked to wear No. 4, honoring his friend and former teammate Michael Farrell, who was among five killed in a head-on collision in the Hamptons last summer.

Farrell, his older brother James, as well as Ryan Kiess, who all died in the accident, were all former Manhasset lacrosse players.

The news of the fatal crash, in which a man who was reportedly driving more than 100 mph left his lane and slammed into the Uber the Farrell brothers, Kiess, as well as Brianna Maglo, a former Garden City lacrosse player who was critically injured, were passengers, rocked the Manhasset community.

It hit home especially hard for Terenzi, who said Michael Farrell took him under his wing when Terenzi was a freshman and Farrell was a senior.

That year, Terenzi scored a dramatic overtime winner against rival Garden City in the Nassau Class B final at Hofstra University. It was a goal that elevated Terenzi’s name, and it was Farrell who set it up.

“I want to make him proud, more than anything. Winning a state championship for his family and everyone involved with the crash would be pretty cool,” Terenzi said. “My ‘why’ for this year is a little different than every other year. This year is for my former teammate and one of my really good friends. Freshman year, he showed me how to be a great teammate more importantly than being a great player.”

Cromwell said Farrell and Terenzi shared an immediate bond because of similar personalities.

“Joey was obviously a freshman and Michael was a senior at the time, but both happy-go-lucky kids, always playing with a smile and had that goofy look on their face,” Cromwell said. “And I think they kind of blended together and their personalities kind of brought them together.”

That season, which included a Long Island championship game win over Harborfields, ended short of the ultimate goal with Manhasset losing to John Jay-Cross River by a goal in the state semifinals.

Still, it was a journey Farrell planned to revisit with Terenzi when their lacrosse careers were over.

“He would always say when we’re 30 and we’re older, we’re all going to come to his house and watch our run my freshman year and watch every playoff game,” Terenzi said. “It leaves a great memory, but an unfulfilled memory because unfortunately he’s not here anymore. You want to make him proud as best as you can. Wearing his number, I hope I can do justice in a way.”

Added motivation for Terenzi comes from the end of his junior season, when Manhasset lost to Mount Sinai 14-13 in an instant classic of a Long Island Class C championship game. It snapped a 15-game winning streak and ruined a perfect season.

It was also Round 1 of the Joey-v-Joey high school rivalry between Terenzi and Joey Spallina.

The Syracuse-bound Spallina is the top-rated recruit in the Class of 2022, while Terenzi is No. 3. At East Islip High School that afternoon to watch the showdown were newly-hired Syracuse coaches Gary Gait and Dave Pietramala and UVA coach Lars Tiffany, which added to the big-time spectacle feel.

Terenzi acknowledged the rivalry but said it is a respectful one between friends rather than adversaries.

That game, Terenzi had a pair of goals. But Spallina struck for six, including the winner in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter. It wasn’t their first encounter on the lacrosse field. That, Terenzi recalls, came a week after that fabled freshman season ended when Terenzi’s Express squad lost to Spallina’s Team 91 Smash team in the club circuit. That was also a one-goal defeat.

There’s surely future clashes in the ACC and maybe beyond, but before that, Terenzi is hoping for one more shot in high school with both teams favored to meet again in this year’s Long Island Class C final.

“I would love it, actually,” Terenzi said. “I want a Round 2. We’ve got unfinished business with them.”

Most Recent

USA Lacrosse High School Girls' Players of the Week

The USA Lacrosse Players of the Week honors the top performers from each region.

USA Lacrosse High School Boys' Players of the Week

The USA Lacrosse Players of the Week honors the top performers from each region.

Nike/USA Lacrosse High School Girls' Regional Top 10 Rankings

Loyola Academy (Ill.) and Jesuit (Ore.) prevailed in marquee games.

Nike/USA Lacrosse High School Boys' Regional Top 10 Rankings

Mountain Vista (Colo.) and Torrey Pines (Calif.) avenged regular season losses in the West.

Twitter Posts