Categories: clam_chatter Date: Jun 21, 2010 Title: Opening Weekend for Fighting ClamsThe Fighting Clams start the '10 Summer Tour 5-1 at the Rutgers MXP Tournament.
The Clams jumped right into the fire with it's first event of the '10 Summer Tour at Rutgers University this past weekend. Despite not having a practice before this event (though we did have a one-night jamboree the night before we travelled down), the Clams came out clicking.
When all was said and done on Sunday, we found ourselves finishing with a 5 win, 1 loss record, a 5-0 pool-play record, and a semi-finals appearance. Not a bad way to start the summer.
GAME 1: CLAMS (8) vs. L.I. STORM (0)
Comments: We needed to be on our game as our first opponent was a strong Long Island Storm team that controlled the openning ten minutes of the contest, putting very good pressure on our defense and possessing the ball. With strong saves from goalie Pat Wallace (6 saves in the game) and great help defense from close-defensemen Tanner Powers, Ryan Breen, and Pete Willauer, we held the Storm scoreless. After whithstanding the openning pressure, our offense siezed control of the the game. Led by three goals from middie Murph Vandervelde, we came out of the openning night with an 8-0 win.
GAME 2: CLAMS (5) vs. PITTSBURGH SR. ELITE (3)
Comments: This game was won by our defense and in particular our goalie Chase Murphy. With eight saves in the game, six of them were within five yards because of the style this Pittsburgh team was playing. Our first half offense was provided solely by attackman Jimmy Murphy with three goals. Fellow attackman Will Walker spread his three points (1,2) out over the entire game assisting the game-winning goal as well as adding the insurance with just over a minute to play. And while face-offs were hotly contested, it was our face-off specialist Mark MacDonald (with help from the wing play of LSM's Chase Williams and Charlie Finnegan) that provided us with key possessions down the stretch to seal the victory.
GAME 3: CLAMS (5) vs. PATRIOT SILVER (4)
Comments: This was to a large extent a battle of face-off men. Mark was matched up with a bulldog of a middie that pushed Mark to his limit. And while we gained a slight edge with the wing play, the draws were split pretty evenly. And when you have two evenly matched teams, it usually comes down to who gets the last opportunity. Enter middie Chris Garibaldi. With the game tied at 4 and the Patriots with the ball, a quick double from the defense put the ball on the ground. Chris came up with the ground-ball, split two riding attackmen, sprinted down the side-line with a chasing Patriot middie hounding him the entire way and as the defender got one last push on Chris, he was able to fire a pass down low to a cutting Matt Thistle who calmly put the game-winning goal in the back of the net with 20 seconds remaining in the game.
GAME 4: CLAMS (10) vs. ROCKFISH BLACK (1)
Comments: After two tough, close games the we came out not wanting to put ourselves in tight contest. That was achieved with a brilliant team effort. Spreading the wealth was the name of the game and with 7 of our 10 goals being assisted that was accomplished. Attackman Matt Thistle led the way with 2 goals and 3 assists. As you'll see below, we had 10 different players with at least one point in the game.
GAME 5: CLAMS (9) vs. NJ LAX ACADEMY (1)
Comments: I guess as you get older 9 AM doesn't seam that early, but it took us a little time to wake up for this one. Luckily the defense, especially middies Derek Youngman, Jimmy O'Connell, and Dave Nardella woke up quickly to help hold the fort and keep the other team off the score board while putting one in to give us a lead. Fellow middie Brendan NcNeill then jump-started the offense with a great individual clear which ended, after a lengthy possession, with McNeill sticking a goal. Then the offense began running full throttle, this time having 7 of 9 goals assisted.
GAME 6 (SEMI-FINALS): CLAMS (5) vs. TRIOLOGY U-19 MD (8)
Comments: We had a good start to this game building a two goal lead, but as Maryland teams tend to do, they kept pressing and took the lead. With two points apiece from Will Walker (2G), Murph Vandervelde (1G,1A), and Matt Thistle (2A) we were able to close the gap to one goal twice. And despite Mark MacDonald giving us the possessions at the end of the game at the face-off "X" as well as great doubling efforts from Pete Willauer and Charlie Finnegan, we weren't able to over-come this strong team.