Triad Elite (N.C.) U15 Makes Good on First Impression at US Lacrosse Southeast Championships
|Attackman Rob Wallon scored two
goals to help top-seeded Carolina Lite (N.C.) defeat ninth-seeded
Geronimo White (Va.), 13-2, in a U15 quarterfinal at the US
Lacrosse Boys' Southeast Championships, powered by Lacrosse
Unlimited, Saturday in Raleigh, N.C. Carolina Lite also earned an
automatic invitation to the US Lacrosse U15 National Championship
next month in Orlando.
RALEIGH, N.C. – When making a first impression, timing can be everything. Triad Elite (N.C.) coach Ian Vanterpool decided a tie warranted time for a pep talk. Attackman Jack Maginnes later decided a quarterfinal was the time for a hat trick.
Both proved valuable Saturday at the US Lacrosse Boys' Southeast Championships, powered by Lacrosse Unlimited, as Triad Elite, an inaugural program based in the Greensboro area that's playing in its first tournament, became one of three in-state teams to clinch a spot in the U15 semifinals tomorrow as the three-day tournament concludes at the WRAL Soccer Center. Triad Elite joins top-seeded Carolina Lite, second-seeded Winston-Salem and sixth-seeded New Jersey South recipients of this regional championship's four automatic invitations to the fifth annual US Lacrosse U15 National Championship, powered by Lacrosse Unlimited, July 26-28 at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista.
"We came together at a good time," said Maginnes, who scored three goals in the first half of his team's 9-2 win over Cannon (Ga.) in the quarterfinals. "Some of the games before this, we played more as individuals and tried to do our own thing. After our talk at the last game, we came together and it worked."
Maginnes, not unlike others here, is a baseball convert. He's been playing lacrosse for five years.
Triad Elite, relegated to the fifth seed following a 7-7 tie with Tar Heel (N.C.) to conclude pool play, jumped on the Georgians early and will draw Charlotte-based Carolina Lite, whose 13-2 win over ninth-seeded Geronimo White (Va.) in the quarterfinals represented its closest margin of victory. Zachery Hutchko led Carolina Lite with three goals.
"It's fun to watch them settle down and improve in each game in this tournament," said Vanterpool, a former midfielder at Syracuse. "We had a slow start this morning, but we're improving."
Winston-Salem, a 10-5 winner over Tar Heel, and New Jersey South, a 14-4 victor over third-seeded Geronimo Blue (Va.), will meet in the other semifinal.
The awarding of automatic invitations with free or discounted registration to the US Lacrosse U15 National Championship highlighted a day that also included bracket play for the U13 and U11 divisions, both of which will likewise crown Southeast champions tomorrow.
New Jersey South earned the top seed at the U13 level and advanced to play fifth-seeded Ironclads Blue (Va.) in a semifinal tomorrow. The other semifinal features a local matchup between second-seeded C2C Raleigh and the third-seeded Carolina Cannons.
The U11 division made it through its semifinals today. The top-seeded Carolina Cannons will face the third-seeded Ironclads in the championship game at noon. The regional champions in all three divisions will receive championship medals in a postgame ceremony at the Lacrosse Unlimited tent adjacent to the stadium.
This is the first of four regional championships this month. Next weekend, the US Lacrosse Central Championships, powered by Lacrosse Unlimited, head to Madison, Wis., where four more automatic invitations will be extended at the U15 level. Though a trip to the national championship is on the table, Vanterpool wants to make sure his team is focused on the task at hand.
"[The U15 National Championship] is in the back of our minds, but we're just worried about this one for now," he said. "We're going to need these guys to be disciplined, to give all the hustle they have, and to lay it all on the line."