October 29, 2012

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Wimmer Solutions Wins Two Titles at Hawaii Invitational

by Megan Mulcahy | LaxMagazine.com

* Photos: Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Men's Elite Championship | Women's Championship

Wimmer Solutions faceoff man Anthony Kelly earned team MVP honors at the annual Hawaii Invitational. Wimmer beat Dirty Lacrosse, 10-6, in the Men's Elite final.
© Jim Cowsert

HONOLULU, Hawaii — Wimmer Solutions teams came from behind to win both the Master’s and Elite divisions at Kapiolani Park on Sunday, and as CEO Matt Sauri explained as he accepted the awards, the teams had a little extra motivation.

Each year, Wimmer pledges to donate to non-profits if they win the tournament. This year, the recipients are Boys and Girls Club of King County, Washington, Sticks to Schools, the Team Jesse Foundation, Lacrosse the Nations and the Paul Rabil Foundation. Additionally, college savings programs will be set up for two youth players in Maine, who Wimmer player Malcolm Chase coaches, to help with their education as their father has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

While addressing his team the night before the championship games, Sauri said, “We can count on the talent in this room to make it happen. With this as motivation we can win.”

In a repeat of last year’s main event, the Elite team faced Dirty Lacrosse in the championship. After a U.S. Marine Corps marching band and color guard played the Star Spangled Banner, the on-field battle began. Dirty struck first, but Rob Pannell answered with two goals to give Wimmer a 2-1 lead. Mark Matthews scored three in the first half and Kevin Crowley added another as Dirty took a 5-4 lead into the break.


After a Tahitian Hula halftime show, it was all Wimmer in the third quarter as goalie Brett Queener held Dirty to just one goal and got the crowd into the game. Terry Kimener’s goal from MLL two-point range opened the fourth quarter, Pannell added a man-up goal and Drew Snider scored his second of the game to put Wimmer on top, 10-6. Dirty Lax threatened late in the fourth with three straight goals, but Max Seibald landed a huge check and picked up the ground ball as Wimmer ran down the clock to be crowned champions for another year [PHOTOS HERE].

In the Masters championship game, Wimmer was tied 4-4 with Tri City Canada at the break and fell behind early in the second half. But three goals in the final minutes led Wimmer to the title, 9-6.

The Wimmer teams were not the only ones playing with purpose. Easton Lacrosse held a free youth clinic for Aloha Youth Lacrosse Association, offering instruction from fan favorite Queener, Matt Gibson, and Blake and Cort Kim. A number of participants walked away with a brand new Easton stick.

A team that formed just for this tournament, TW21, played to honor a lost teammate. Team captain Ian O’Hearn coached Tim Wettick at Mercer Island (Wash.) High School. Six months after graduating from the University of Washington, Wettick died in a motorcycle accident. O’Hearn, along with Tim’s brother, Joey, brought together a group of alumni to make the trip to remember their friend and teammate.

The Northwest Rippers won a fourth straight championship at the Hawaii Invitational, beating the San Diego Dirty Birds, 9-6, in the final.
© Jim Cowsert

Team Aloha was made up of individuals traveling without a team. Jon Namer of California chose a deeply personal reason to make the trip and play his best. He created “Lacrosse for a Cure Hawaii Lacrosse 2012” bracelets to raise money for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where he was cured of cancer.

“I’m nine years cancer free, and I’ve been using my winning battle to inspire the youth lacrosse players, high school players, and event adult players,” Namer said.

The play was inspired all weekend as another successful Hawaii Lacrosse Invitational came to a close. Here’s more from the playoff rounds across the divisions.

 

  • In a day of comeback wins, the Grand Masters final did not disappoint as Easton overcame a one-goal deficit at halftime to tie the score 7-7 with 1:02 on the clock. First-year player Mike Bogart scored the game-winner in overtime, giving Easton the victory.
  • Warren Goss, a member of the 1974 Canadian national team and Mann Cup standout, whose playing days ended when he fell off a ladder on duty as a firefighter, was on hand to present the Grand Masters trophy. His son, Wayne, played on the Tri City, the runner up.
  • TW21, which finished with a 2-2 record for the tournament, tied their last game with a hidden-ball trick. Then AJ Ellis scored with 35 seconds left to win their last game of the day.
  • Wimmer’s Anthony Kelly dominated Dirty Lacrosse in faceoffs in the championship, earning team MVP honors for the tournament.
  • In the women’s semifinals, the San Diego Dirty Birds, in their Endless Summer uniforms, dominated the USC Cardinals, winning 14-4. The Northwest Rippers overpowered the Los Angeles Club, 9-6.
  • In the women’s final, three-time defending champion Rippers never trailed as they beat San Diego, 9-6, to bring home another championship [PHOTOS HERE].
 

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