Categories: clam_chatter Date: Jul 20, 2012 Title: UMBC Shootout Results2013 AA finish 4-4 at Shootout; end summer with a 14-8-1 record.
COMMENTS: I think I can say, without being too much of a downer, that the Shootout didn't go quite as we'd have hoped this year. Coming off a strong push that took a very similar variation of this team all the way to the Final Four last summer, we went down with hopes of going even deeper into the Playoffs.
But this grueling summer took it's toll on the 2013 AA group. A key midfielder and a key attackman dropped due to injury. And then came what proved to be the knockout blow: our two face-off men had conflicting combines that their top college choices were hosting. Please heed this advice if you're ever forming a team to bring down to this exceptionally strong event: do not attempt to go down to this (or any) event without a good face-off specialist!
Now to the positive. After dropping three of our first four, including a one-goal loss to the eventual Champion Lasalle HS, we finally got into gear. We found a capable face-off "alternative" in Loyola-commit Nick Desisto (Rivers), who surprisingly gave us a very strong performance at the X, getting better as he went. It certainly didn't hurt to have Harvard-commit Matt Ryan (Phillips Exeter) & Brown-commit Larken Kemp (Phillips Andover) coming off the wings.
Ultimately, the story of this event for the 2013 AA squad was one of redemption. For even though we found ourselves where we didn't want to be for the event's second half - the consolation bracket - our play during that portion of the event was very good, and I would say at times downright dominant. You really can't mention the offense without prominently mentioning Will Jennings (Danvers HS/Bridgton), who racked up nearly three times as many point as anyone else. While the aforementioned Desisto also performed capably on the offensive end, so too did fellow standouts Jack Sullivan (Duxbury), Kevin Murphy (Brewster/Hobart) and Chris Pauzer (Loomis/Georgetown). On the defensive end, in addition to the aforementioned Kemp and Ryan, one must also give credit to the very strong performances of Ray Horgan (Deerfield/Army), Tucker Mathers (St. Johns Prep) and Jackson Patrican (Pingree).
So the Clams '13 AA's end the summer 14-8-1, vs. the toughest competition we could find. A solid summer for sure. And while it didn't end with the strongest of showings, it ultimately ended on a high note, with three straight wins. And given the caliber of this team, and the overall quality of play they've displayed throughout the last year and half, I'd frankly have been surprised if they didn't end on such a positive!