Although baseball was his initial spring sport, it didn’t take Matt Lupinacci long to realized that another sport — lacrosse — was what he wanted to do.
As soon as his older brother Mike picked up a stick, Matt followed suit and began playing in the first grade.
“I saw him make lacrosse his sport and I knew right then that I would go into lacrosse,” he said.
It proved a decision that paid dividends for John Jay lacrosse and for Lupinacci, who recently became the 27th John Jay boys lacrosse player to be named a US Lacrosse High School All-American.
Lupinacci this past season tied the team lead in goals (34) and was second in assists (28), for a team-best 62 points.
He finished his three-year varsity career with 98 goals and 79 assists, and was a two-time all-section player.
The one thing that eluded him and John Jay was a section crown. The Indians fell to Yorktown in the championship game the last two seasons, and lost to the Huskers in the quarterfinals in 2014. This year, it was an 8-5 loss in the section finals that ended the season.
“We had a great year this year. I was very happy (being named all-American) but at the same time we really wanted to win that game and win the section championship,” said Lupinacci. “It’s nice to have the individual honors, but I would trade them for a sectional championship any day.”
Lupinacci followed his brother to John Jay, as Mike was an all-section attackman on the 2011 team that lost in the section finals to Yorktown.
In his first two seasons for John Jay, Lupinacci played on attack with his friend Ryan Lee, a 2015 graduate who also was an all-American honoree. He had 25 goals and 20 assists as sophomore, and broke through his junior year with 39 goals and 21 assists to earn all-section honors.
Lupinacci credited head coach/defensive coach Tim Schurr and offensive coach Jeremy Guski with helping him progress as a player during his time at John Jay, along with his teammates over the years.
“My coaches have helped me a lot. There’s been so many guys who have helped me develop as a player,” he said.
The next stop for Lupinacci is Colgate University, where he will play Division I lacrosse for the Raiders.
“I just felt it was the right choice for me,” said Lupinacci, who doesn’t expect to stop playing lacrosse anytime soon, if ever.
“I don’t think so. I love it too much.”