Cannon Fire: Carolina Takes U15 Boys' Title in Overtime
|Van Parker scored six goals,
including the game-winner with 2:54 left in overtime after teammate
Tyler Carpenter intercepted a clear, to lift the Carolina Cannons
(N.C.) to the US Lacrosse Southeast Championships title with a
12-11 win over Dominion (Va.).
RALEIGH, N.C. – Carolina Cannons (N.C.) coach Sam Carpenter had been teaching his players they need to get deep on rides after a turnover or a save. They did so today, and they're heading home with gold medals as a result.
Tyler Carpenter intercepted top-seeded Dominion (Va.) goalie Evan Arents' clearing pass and fed a cutting Van Parker for the game-winning goal with 2:54 left in sudden-death overtime to deliver the second-seeded Cannons a 12-11 win and the US Lacrosse Southeast Championships U15 Boys' Division title at the WRAL Soccer Center today before a live web audience at coachesaid.com. The dramatic ending capped off an event that saw Eagle Stix Atlanta (Ga.) win the U15 Girls Division and Big 4 (Pa.) win the U13 Boys Division as teams from eight states competed over three days.
"We got down early. We battled back. I couldn't be more proud of them," Sam Carpenter said.
Arents had just saved a previous attempt by Parker, but Carpenter dropped as taught. Parker caught the pass, turned, and beat Arents for his sixth goal to set off a wild celebration – the second such in as many years for some Cannons who won the U13 Division here last year.
"I got behind my man a little, but I saw the goalie start to throw it to him," Tyler Carpenter said. "This year was better than last year, because we had to come from behind in a ton of games."
Indeed, the Cannons looked up early again, as Dillon Powell scored twice to help the Virginians jump ahead, 4-1. But Dominion had no answer for a soft-spoken Parker, who let his actions speak with five goals to put Carolina ahead 10-8 after three quarters.
The Cannons proved their own worst enemy in the final frame, as non-releasable penalties by Benson Easley and Jack Curtice gift-wrapped three extra-man goals for Dominion. Jason Goodwin converted a Ben Boykin feed to tie the game at 10, and Nicholas Thompson put the Virginians ahead, 11-10, with 4:20 to play. Carolina goalie Hayden Switzer made a key interception, and the Cannons made good on the possession for the equalizer when Parker found Tyler Carpenter at 2:10. Powell, equally unstoppable at times with five goals of his own, tried to move against defenseman Edward Huffstetler with less than :10 left in regulation, but the collapsing Carolina defense did not allow a shot, forcing overtime.
"Tyler's great at picking off the ball and getting it back for a score," Parker said.
In the third-place game, Bamalax (Ala.) edged Big 4 (Pa.), 6-5.
U15 Girls: Eagle Stix Atlanta (Ga.) 9, Stickbenders (Fla.) 4
Sumner Santivanez scored three goals and semifinal hero Lexie Morton added a goal and an assist to lift third-seeded Eagle Stix to a 9-4 win over top-seeded Stickbenders in the final. Santivanez scored twice in the first half, an effort matched by Gracie Martin of the Stickbenders as the Georgians took a 4-3 halftime lead. Santivanez started a 6-0 run with :49 before the break, and Morton scored unassisted just 16 seconds into the second half. Santivanez added a free-position goal, and the Eagle Stix defense kept the Stickbenders, who averaged 12.5 goals in six previous wins, off the scoreboard for more than 22 minutes to capture the gold medal.
Morton sent the Georgians in to the final with an unassisted goal with 16 seconds left in a 10-9 semifinal win over second-seeded MC Elite 2018 Midnight (Md.). That 2018 squad defeated their 2019 counterparts, 8-3, for the bronze medal.
Top-seeded Big 4 (Pa.) defeated third-seeded Dominion (Va.), 9-5, for the U13 Boys Division gold medal. Maverick Select (N.J.) beat Lynchburg (Va.), 9-5, for the U13 Boys Division bronze medal. ... US Lacrosse staff and game officials recognized one boys' team and one girls' for outstanding sportsmanship. Dominion's U13 boys and the Swerve (Fla.) U15 girls were awarded "Keeper of Lacrosse" sportsmanship medals. ... US Lacrosse recently reached an agreement with Coaches Aid to provide live streaming of three US Lacrosse Regional Championships, the US Lacrosse U15 National Championships, and the non-ESPN games of the 2014 Federation of International Lacrosse World Championship. An archived presentation of today's U15 Boys Division bronze- and gold-medal games should be available on or before Thursday. ... This marked the fourth straight year Raleigh hosted the Southeast Championships. North Carolina's capital city is a finalist to host the event in early June 2015.
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