Kapinos' OT Goal Leads FCA to USL U-15 Title
Stephen Kelly scored two goals and 11 of 16 faceoffs to help lead FCA (Md.) to a 10-9 overtime victory over For Love of the Game (N.Y.) in the US Lacrosse U-15 boys' championship game.
© Steve DeMeo/THSphoto.com
BEL AIR, Md. -- Kacy Kapinos felt the thwap on his elbow and figured he had missed, only to turn around and get engulfed in a sea of orange jerseys in the kind of celebration he had heretofore only seen on TV.
Kapinos fired a running shot off defender Bobby Duvnjak, whose check wound up acting as a screen, for the game-winning goal with 2:36 remaining in overtime to lift fifth-seeded FCA to a 10-9 victory over seventh-seeded For Love of the Game in the US Lacrosse U-15 boys' national championship game at Cedar Lane Sports Park.
"The kid actually poked me and the shot went to the middle. I thought I missed," said Kapinos, who was one of 10 players named to the Lacrosse Magazine All-Tournament Team (click here). "I turn around to see my teammates coming to hug me. What an unbelievable experience."
FCA, comprised primarily of Baltimore-area players, won despite yielding a five-goal lead in the fourth quarter -- less than three hours after its own dramatic comeback of the same margin helped it upset top-seeded Next Level. Patrick Kelly's (three goals, two assists) extra-man goal put FCA ahead 9-4 with 7:57 remaining.
For Love of the Game, comprised entirely of Long Island select players, answered with two goals just 58 seconds apart by midfielders Ryan Mathews and Robert Savage to close within three at 9-6. Three minutes later, the double strike came from attackman Dylan Molloy and midfielder Trevor Brosco, who scored just 17 seconds apart to make it a one-goal game with 3:01 remaining.
Brosco would help cap the riveting comeback when he caught FCA napping following a timeout, dodging and feeding attackman Brian Ward for the game-tying goal.
"We started working the ball well, playing good defense and won some faceoffs," For the Love midfielder Robert Savage said of the late-game surge. "We used our athleticism to come back."
Matthews had an opportunity to win the game after breaking several checks in the last minute of regulation, but his shot was stuffed by FCA goalie Brian Rasinski, forcing overtime.
FCA midfielder Stephen Kelly (two goals, 11-of-16 faceoffs) quickly won the opening draw in overtime, but For Love midfielder Connor Doyle recovered to intercept Kelly's feed. Coyle almost capitalized on a give-and-go on the opposite end, but hit a pipe on a left-handed shot.
FCA won the end-line restart and nearly converted on consecutive opportunities before Kapinos, thinking he too had missed, clinched the inaugural US Lacrosse U-15 National Championship.
"Every game has a different momentum to it, a different personality to it," said FCA head coach Frank Kelly III. "Our boys have shown the ability to step up and compete."
Patrick Kelly led FCA with three goals, while goalkeeper Thomas McBride made eight first-half saves. Savage led For Love of the Game with three goals, while goalkeeper Daniel Marino helped spark the rally with seven second-half saves.
And for a day, at least, Baltimore was better than Long Island.
"Maryland and New York are hot spots for lacrosse," Kapinos said. "To see us play against each other and see who's the best in the nation is a great experience."
FCA 10, For Love of the Game 9 (OT)
FCA Goals: Patrick Kelly 3, Stephen Kelly 2, Ryan Miller 1, Riley Desmit 1, Townsend Brown 1, Matt Verderamo 1, Kacy Kapinos 1.
FLG Goals: Robert Savage 3, Dylan Molloy 2, Justin Guterding 1, Ryan Matthews 1, Trevor Brosco 1, Brian Ward 1.
FCA Assists: Patrick Kelly 2, Gavin Llewelyn 1, Alec Dauses 1.
FLG Assists: Dylan Molloy 1, Trevor Brosco.
FCA Goalies: Thomas McBride (8 svs, 3 GA), Brian Rasinski (6 svs, 6 GA)
FLG Goalies: Ryan Feit (3 svs, 5 GA), Daniel Marino (7 svs, 5 GA)
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