South Boys Prevail in UA Classic's First OT Game
TOWSON, Md. -- In front of 4,412 fans at Towson University's Johnny Unitas Stadium, the Boys South and Girls North senior teams enter their freshman collegiate seasons with another win in the books from the momentous Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Classic.
Saturday night's senior showcase featured four teams, two each from the North and the South, with 90 of the country's top high school boys and girls. It was a tight matchup for the boys with a 17-16 overtime win for the South, while the girls from the North led the entire game, defeating the South 18-11.
"It was so good to get to know [my future teammates] better before we go to school and build that team chemistry that we will have the next four years," said girls' MVP and Florida commit Shayna Pirreca, who had three goals and two assists in the nightcap of the event. Pirreca will join Isabella O'Connor (North), Allie Pavinelli (North), CeCe Finney (South) and Olivia Cole (South) in Gainesville this fall.
|MVP Mikey Wynne notched the game winner to hand the South squad a victory in overtime. (John Strohsacker)|
Both games began in similar fashion, with the North taking charge. But the South boys' team, coached by MLL All-Star Ryan Boyle and assisted by Matt Striebel and Darby Boyle, pulled away in the first sudden-death overtime in the nine-year history of the event.
With 2:54 remaining in regulation, North's Tyler Breen (Virginia) scored off an assist from Craig Berge (Georgetown), and their teammates on the sideline thought the one-goal lead with 16-15 on the scoreboard sealed the deal. But in came Brendan Collins (Notre Dame) from the South with an unassisted goal nearly one minute later to tie it back up.
MVP Mikey Wynne, who is headed to NCAA runner-up Notre Dame, scored the game winner 3:11 into overtime.
"Both the Boyle coaches and Striebel were awesome," said Wynne, who tallied four goals and five ground balls. "They never doubted us and kept on saying just keep on chipping at it. Keep on chipping away, and sure enough it happened."
The South squad chipped away at a seven-goal deficit, handed to them at the 11:34 mark in the second quarter thanks to North attackman and Albany commit Connor Fields, who scored his second of three goals, making it 9-2.
"Both teams are really talented with a lot of players and a lot of offensive fire power," North coach Mike Chanenchuk said. "We knew that even though we went up by seven goals at one point in the game, they were going to make a run. It was going to be a close game coming down to the end."
Sixteen goals were scored in the second quarter, eight apiece for the North and South, as the playing field began to even out after a 5-2 first quarter.
"The effort was great," Ryan Boyle said. "I think early on, we were scrambling and we needed to clean things up, but once we did, they played well together and were smart."
South goalie Owen Molloy (Notre Dame) made history, as he held his defense together with 12 saves in the first half, tying the event record and surpassing John Galloway's 11 saves from 2007. Galloway, currently with the U.S. team as an alternate at the FIL World Championship in Denver, was one of the most celebrated goalies in college history at Syracuse and now plays for the Rochester Rattlers.
"They're here for a reason," Ryan Boyle said. "They're All-Americans. Our defense was a little shaky early as far as communication goes, but he bailed us out a lot of times. That's why he's here."
With just five long-pole defensemen and without a true faceoff man, the South battled through and won the second half 7-3. Chad Otterman, who is headed to Cornell to play hockey, took on the faceoff duties against the North's leading goal scorer Sam Bonafede (Princeton), who had five goals and 10 ground balls.
"You'll never see that," Bonafede said. "That doesn't happen too often. I was just hitting my shots. My buddy [and high school teammate] Sean [Cerrone from Chaminade, who is headed to Villanova], I've been playing with him for four years and he told me that I was going to have a day and I had a day."
Although the North was down for a majority of the game, "nobody was really sweating that much," Wynne said.
"I'm pumped to get out to South Bend and Notre Dame and play with some of those guys," Wynne added. "I'm going to enjoy the rest of my summer with my family and then try to play well out there."
For some of the coaches, it has all come full circle.
"[North assistant] Niko [Amato] and I both played in this game," Chanenchuk said. "Through college, you always stay in touch with the guys that you played with and against. You create some great friendships at this event. Seeing them going onto college and being on the coaching end this time around is really cool."
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