Day One Roundup from 2013 US Lacrosse Northeast Championships
by Paul Ohanian | LaxMagazine.com
|Strong defensive play led Long
Island Express to an 8-1 win over Plymouth (Mass.) 1620 in Friday's
opening round of pool play at the USL Northeast Championships,
powered by Lacrosse Unlimited.
© Matt Risley
AMHERST, Mass. — Eight games
highlighted day one of the US Lacrosse Northeast Championships,
powered by Lacrosse Unlimited, under blue skies and warm
temperatures on the University of Massachusetts campus Friday.
All teams in both the boys’ and girls’ five U15 divisions — representing seven different states — played at least once in the pool play format, which will resume at 8 a.m. Saturday.
The desire to compete and test themselves against regional opponents appeared to be the theme of the day for coaches and players, alike.
"We're looking to measure ourselves against the best," said Steve Hunter, one of the coaches for the boys' Plymouth 1620 team. Hunter's team, the only one from Massachusetts in either of the U15 divisions, battled hard against Long Island Express before falling 8-1.
Mike Karwoski is coach of the Express, which includes a number of players from Long Island private school powerhouses Chaminade and St. Anthony's.
"I told our guys that we were sub-par today," Karwoski said following the game. "We did a few good things, like run our offense well and play good man-down defense, but I challenged them. We can be better."
Despite the loss, Hunter and co-coach Jon Scott were excited with the effort by Plymouth.
"I'll take that for the first one," Hunter said. "We're not deep, but we play to win and we gave it all we got."
"We're focused on building a better program," Scott said. "I told these guys that the goal is a national championship."
The top four finishers in both the boys' and girls' U15 divisions earn invitations to next month's US Lacrosse U15 National Championship, powered by Lacrosse Unlimited, at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
The most impressive opening day was recorded by the only team that played twice, the Yellow Jackets (N.Y.) 2017 girls team. The girls won their two games by a combined 36-2 score and seem destined to clinch one of the top seeds for bracket play, which begins Saturday afternoon.
Yellow Jackets 2016 also opened with a strong effort, besting Tri-State Elite (N.J.) 12-3.
The only competitive game on the girls' side came in the clash between Ultimate Elite and BBL 2016, a pair of New Jersey entries. The game was knotted 6-6 with about 10 minutes remaining before Ultimate tallied the final five markers to clinch the opening victory.
Michele DeJuliis, a former collegiate All-American at Penn State and a 2013 National Lacrosse Hall of Fame inductee, is one of the coaches for Ultimate, a new travel team that pooled players from two different clubs in an attempt to compete for a national championship.
"We have a mix of kids, but they have come together very nicely, which is great to see," DeJuliis said. "We're here to compete and we want to play against great teams."
Ultimate faces Yellow Jackets 2016 in a marquee pool play game at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Pool play continues through 1 p.m. Saturday, after which teams will be reseeded for the start of bracket play. Semifinal and final rounds will be contested Sunday morning.
For full scores and standings from the US Lacrosse Northeast Championships, powered by Lacrosse Unlimited, visit www.uslacrosse.org.