Categories: clam_chatter Date: Nov 13, 2012 Title: Results from HarvardThree of the teams repeat their 3-0 performance from UMASS the Sunday prior; program goes a solid 15-6 on the day.
The depth of the Harvard Fall Crimson Classic has steadily improved over the past three or four years to where it has now become, arguably, the most "must-attend" event in the fall in New England.
Our 2014 A, '15/'16 A, and 2015 AA Prep teams led the program all finishing the day 3-0 helping the program to a 15-6-1 record on the weekend. As can always be said in one and two goal games, that record could have been a few wins better or a few losses worse. Again, a testament to the overall competitiveness of this event.
Game 1: W 6-4 vs. Bridgton
Next up for the Seasoned Clams were the boys of Brady Bunch. A team that pulls players from around the country together for a good cause, they came at us with a heck of a roster and energy to boot. Unfortunately we were not able to match their energy, and these guys got us. Afterward, learning a little more about what Brady's Bunch was all about made me feel a little better about the loss. Formed by a father of a young boy who has acute myelogenous lymphoma, a dangerous form of cancer otherwise known as AML, all the proceeds go toward the son's fight against the disease. Sometimes this all gets put in perspective. And it's nice when this occurs after a loss - kinda removes the sting a bit. In this game, Nick Desisto (Rivers/Loyola), Dan Mini and Chris Pauzer all had a goal apiece; Mini also added an assist.
In the last game, we went up against 3D, a competitive team who mostly committed players who had all hands on deck, according to their coach (a former player of mine), who I spoke to before the game. Still, we came at ‘em hard, and fought them to a 4-4 draw in the first half. And we were able to keep it within a couple goals right up the very end, when they wore us down. In this game, I give tremendous credit to the Seasoned group in their final outing together. I really felt they left it on the field. Given what we had with us today, and that this was game #3 on the day, it would have been easier to lie down. Our opponent was loaded, and we knew it. But still, this ended up being a very competitive game, in my opinion far closer than the final score suggests. Much of this was due to the perseverance of defensemen Bryan Uva (St. Johns Prep/Providence), David Shektman (New Hampton/St. Michael's), Tim Lauwers (St. Johns Prep), and goaltenders James O'Leary (St. Sebastians) and Kyle Moynihan (Brewster/Wittenberg). In short, it was a fitting game to end on in terms of the effort our ‘13’s displayed. I was proud of them. So it was that the 2013 class ended their run.
We kind of take it year by year with our Clam seniors (or Seasoned Clams as they’ve come to be known), and each year we kind of suspect it’ll be our last to bring the graduating class out in the fall. They no longer need the exposure. And given the caliber of athlete we carry, by the time they’re seniors, so many are Captains of their various fall school sports that we’re not even sure it’s right to go up against their school sport responsibilities. But then the summer ends, and the pattern repeats itself. We just enjoy coaching the guys so much that we don’t we don’t want the "end" to actually be the end. So even though our mild frustration with our overall roster numbers led me to believe going into yesterday that this might have been the end for the “Seasoned Clams”, I felt very differently at the end of our final game. It’s just a great group of young men, and a great group of parents, and all came over and expressed gratitude and enjoyment for our time together. The feeling was completely mutual. So now, one day after the Seasoned’s conclude their run, it’s hard to imagine we’ll be able say good bye to our 2013’s in July. And around and around we go.
(Seasoned Clams last picture together)
Game 1: W 12-1 vs. Tomahawks '14 Purple
Our first game of the day at Harvard may not have helped at the end of the day as we matched up with a skilled Tomahawk 2014 squad that was coached by a former college teammate of mine. We came out flying, building a 6-0 half time lead and didn't look back en route to a 12-1 win. Danny Seibel (Belmont Hill/Villanova) led all scorers with three goals while Drew O'Connell (St. John's Prep/Princeton), Joe Delaney (Belmont Hill/Colgate) and Andrew Gallahue (St. John's Prep) notched two goals apiece. Colin Orr (The Rivers School) picked up where he left off last week at the face off "X" going 10/15 on his way to another great day at the "X" (see below for all stats). The big red flag that raised up was that only two of our goals were assisted.
Next was Brady's Bunch 2014, a charity team for a young boy who has acute myelogenous lymphoma, a dangerous form of cancer more commonly known as AML. After building a small two goal lead at half on unassisted goals by Parker McKee (Nobles/Michigan) and Drew O'Connell, Brady's Bunch stuck two goals to knot the score at two in the second half. The true story of why this game remained close was the Brady's Bunch goalie who, according to my unofficial count, had thirteen saves.
Then, with time running down, we found ourselves with a favorable match-up as attack Tyler Breen (Taft/Virginia) got a short-stick match-up. After a bit of patient testing, Tyler came hard to the right side, drawing a quick slide and found Parker McKee cutting hard behind the slide who finished the feed with authority giving us the 3-2 win. In a tight game like this, you always need solid defense to give yourself a chance to get the win. Our defense behind Eamon O'Leary (St. John's Prep) and Max Gustafson (Belmont Hill) and shorties Brendan Gates (The Rivers School), Parker McKee and Austin Gaiss (Phillips Andover) stood strong both in 6v6 and on the handful of man-down situations put in front of us.
Our last game was against 3D. From the perspective of a fan, I could watch these two teams play every day and not get tired of it. Great team and individual performances at such a high level almost made me want to simply watch. Going back and forth with multiple led changes finally saw us with a lead with under five minutes. Then one of those individual performances I mention happened. Scoring five of their seven goals, a lefty attack (#40) had one of those days that just had you shaking your head. Your defense played him right, but he still stuck the shot. Not much you can do.
As a team, we played balanced with nine different players tallying a point. Unfortunately our play was also a little frenetic, which I think was a result of winning big in so many games recently. Defense Max Gustafson tallied our openning goal and grabbed a team leading five ground balls in the contest. Dustin Vitagliano (Hanover HS/Drexel) and Josh Gordon (Newton South HS/Delaware) had big goals to help grab momentum at key moments.
To put the day into a bit of perspective, after the game I was talking to Coach Rowley of 3D about how the rest of the day went and he mentioned that they went to a "Braveheart" overtime with the Tomahawks 2014 team we played earlier in the day. As I said in the begining, there is great talent and parity in the lacrosse world and college coaches are fans like us all; they just want to see high level games. This team gives it to them every time.
Am I happy we didn't go 3-0? No. Am I disappointed with this team? Not a chance.
Game 1: W 11-1 vs. NE Elite
The Clams '14 A's really have been the unsung heroes of the fall. But seeing how many coaches were watching in the part of game 2 that I caught on Sunday, the "unsung" part of that description really is not pertinent anymore. The writing had been on the wall that this was a special team even coming out of last summer, where one of the two '13/'14 teams that comprised the core of this '14A group went undefeated twice.
It continued throughout the fall, where this '14A group looked sharp at practices, and actually defeated our very highly regarded '14AA group in the final pre-fall scrimmage by a goal. It would be easy to play the well-he-was-missing-and-he-was-missing game, but that could be done both ways. Bottom line: overall, through team play and high skill and lax IQ, our '14A team was practicing at a level nearly comparable to their AA counterparts. But the question was our coaching staff was: will it continue when the live action begins? The answer, now two-thirds of the way through the fall, is a resounding yes.
At Harvard this past Sunday, the '14 A Clams outscored opponents 24-6. And this was coming off a UMASS tournament where they outscored opponents 24-7. How is that for consistency! Only one team has come close to getting the best of this '14A group this fall. And I suppose in many it's fitting that it is Laxachusetts, a team we've have some good matchups with over the last couple years, and whose participants seem to be high school teammates of our players more than with any other program.
In this game, Shawn Waldron (St. Johns Prep) was a monster, really taking charge and notching a much-needed hat trick. This wasn't the most beautiful game. And the game-winner was befitting the grinding nature of the win; Kaelen Fitzpatrick (Gould), who played tough throughout this game, and the tournament, shot from the outside on a man up, and the shot ricocheted off a shaft and into the net. The defense was very strong in this one, starting with the scrappiness of Colin Fahey (St. Johns Prep), and extending right into the cage, where Matt D'amore (Duxbury HS) turned aside 4 shots and allowed just one goal in the victory. On the whole (and pardon the cliche), but it is tough to highlight individuals with this group that has played so effectively as a team. So if you want to see the top statistical leaders, scroll down (or if you're reading this on bostonlax.net, go to our website www.topgunlax.com, where we provide statistical coverage). But really, I'd prefer to steer clear of individual mentions for the duration of the event, and for that matter the fall. This team plays as a team, and largely as a result of this, they have not yet lost. This is not coincidence, and it is a very refreshing thing to see out on the recruiting circuit. And believe me, coaches are taking notice!
One more to go, and this will undoubtedly be the toughest event yet for the '14A's - the Up Lax Tournament down in Annapolis. Everything tends to ramp up when we step outside of New England. And in many ways this event will truly show if this '14A group is a very good one, or indeed a truly special one. Because if they sweep the two days of Up Lax, nothing shy of the "special" descriptor will suffice. What a great way to end the fall recruiting that'd be for this group. And what a victory it would be for the concept of team play, a thing that can be a little tough to come by when those coaches, clipboards in hand, start to populate the sidelines.
Game 1: W 6-4 vs. Brady's Bunch '15/'16
The ‘15AA Public group started off the day with a come from behind victory over Brady’s Bunch – a club program based out of AZ to support Brady Wein, a young man courageously battling cancer. Brady’s Bunch has many ties to players and coaches here on the East Coast and it was an honor to be able to share the field with them at Harvard. The ‘15AA Public team put together a 6-4 win against the Bunch after trailing 2-1 at the half. In the next 2 games, the Clams saw extremely talented local opponents in NESLL Black 1 and Laxachusetts ’16. Joey Manown (La Salle Academy) paced the offense throughout the three game stretch with 4 goals and 3 helpers. Will Christiansen (Weston HS) led the midfielders with 3 goals while Jake Foster (Westborough HS) and Clay Goldthwait (Natick HS) chipped in with 2 tallies apiece. Nick Albano (Beverly HS), Cam Jung (Masconomet), Kerry Lyne (Wellesley HS) and Ryan Caley (Governor’s) put one in the back of the net during the afternoon. With FOGO Zach Elkinson out with an injury, the Clams got a great effort from Matt O’Connor (Nobles) at the X. Matt secured 11 of 18 draws for a 61% winning percentage.
Game 1: W 8-2 vs. 207
The 2016 AA’s had another very successful day at Harvard on Sunday. We played a much tougher schedule than we did at UMASS the weekend prior, but we rose to the occasion and ended the day 2-1, which puts us at 5-1 on the season thus far.
We were led offensively by Brian Gillis (BB&N), Ryan Parsons (The Rivers School) and Harrison Gray (Fessenden). Our defense was led by Josh White (Nobles) with 9 GB’s and Reese Nickerson (Weston HS) with 6 GB’s. Both McCrae Williams (Weston HS) and Caleb Getto (Norwell) played exceptionally well in net for the duration of the day, holding combined a 4.6 goals against average.
We started off the day beating an athletic 207 team from Maine. The 2016 AA’s held the lead this whole game and really worked the ball around making sure everyone was contributing, leading to seven of our eight goals being assisted in an 8-1 win.
Our second game of the day was against a very talented 3D 2016 team. We lost this game 1-8 marking our first loss of the fall, but we never let up and this game was fought all the way till the last whistle.
Our final game of the day was against an older Homegrown team under the lights. This was another dogfight that saw a few lead changes and some hard hitting. The 2016 AA’s pulled this one out 5-4, due in part to great face off play by Chris Rota (Roxbury Latin) and Brian Gillis.
The 2016 AA’s now sit at 5-1 heading into their final tournament down in Baltimore this weekend. They have had a very successful fall so far, but it is not over yet.
Game 1: W 9-2 vs. Team Central U17
Sunday was a very good test for the poise of this team right out of the gate against Team Central U17. With a little bit of mix up by scheduling, our refs were a few minutes late to the game and then, to catch up, we played without a half time. Team Central seemed to come out more focus for the start than us, putting on a lot of pressure, but strong play from Dylan Rovers (Ashland HS), Lee Petrini (Dover-Sherborn HS), and Will Fokas (Lowell HS) as well as goalie Lee Grinspoon (Weston HS) held the fort while the offense gathered themselves. When they clicked, it was led by Matt Glynn (Bemont Hill) with three goals and an assist while Jay Messina was keeping pace with two goals and an assist on the way to an opening 9-2 win.
Our second contest was against a Tomahawks '15/'16 squad. This time, we wasted no time establishing ourselves en route to a 9-1 victory. If anything, we were stronger in all areas. Both goalies, Nick Connelly (Thayer) and Lee Grinspoon were outstanding, allowing only one goale between them while combining for eight saves. Matt Glynn again led the offense, this time with four goals plus an assist while John Hincks (Belmont Hill) had four points (1G, 3A). When I looked at the score sheet after the game I was not suprised to see that six of the nine goals were assisted in the game.
We finished the day with Cape Cod's 2016 team. Like our last game at UMass, it ended up being a tight two goal game in the end, but this time we found ourselves on the winning side. Jay Messina was huge in this one, tallying only a (game-winning) goal, but dishing out two impressive assists. Adam Lee (Natick HS) was the benificiary of those two assists, notching two goals in the game helping us to a 5-3 win and a 3-0 day.
Coach Walker said it best when he talked to the team after our last game when he said while the "flash" might not be a part of this team, the "substance" definitely was. Nice job, guys!