Spirit, Pride Ride Defense to Wins at Champion AAS
by Brian Logue | LaxMagazine.com
Jacob Knostman had a pair of goals to help Spirit to an opening-round victory at the Champion All-American Showcase, a US Lacrosse event.
© Scott McCall
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – With Major League Lacrosse defender Chris O’Dougherty coaching them, it’s only natural that Spirit had a strong defensive effort to help kick off the Champion All-American Showcase, a US Lacrosse event. Spirit held Freedom to just three second-half goals in a 10-9 victory. In the other opening game, Pride rallied for a 9-6 victory over Liberty after trailing 5-3 at the half.
The four-team event features more than 90 of the nation’s top high school lacrosse players playing over three days at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The championship game will be aired live on Friday, July 26 at 7 p.m. on ESPNU.
The Spirit-Freedom game went back and forth throughout and was tied for the final time at 8-8 early in the fourth quarter after a goal by Freedom’s Jack Ortlieb (Corona Del Mar – Calif.). Spirit regained the lead with 6:19 to play as Andi DeMichiei (Hampton – Pa.) netted his second goal of the game, and just over a minute later Jacob Knostman (Bainbridge Island – Wash.) stretched the lead to 10-8.
Freedom was not done, scoring at 3:37 on Jack Grass’ (Bronxville – N.Y.) goal, and then got a 30 second man-up after the ensuing faceoff, but was unable to tie it up. An aggressive double-team late in the game gave Freedom possession with 30 seconds to play, but they only got off one shot down the stretch and were unable to complete the comeback.
DeMichiei, Knostman and Ryan McNamara (Eastview – Wisc.) all had two goals for Spirit, while Chris Pauzer (Loomis Chaffee – Conn.) had a goal and two assists. Ryan Feit (Syosset – N.Y.) made nine first half saves and Gerrit Malloy (Walter Johnson – Md.) played the second half, allowing just three goals while notching four saves. Malloy, headed to Division III McDaniel College next year, was not awed by the surroundings of playing against some of the nation’s best players, but certainly appreciated the experience.
“These guys are awesome, great players,” said Malloy. “I’ve never played with guys at this skill level.”
That his team’s leading scorers came from all over the place wasn’t surprising to O’Dougherty, a defenseman for MLL’s undefeated Denver Outlaws and a high school coach from Washington State. Players from 27 states are participating in the Champion All-American Showcase.
“These guys out West are the ambassadors for the sport,” said O’Dougherty. “It’s pretty exciting to see.”
Jack Bruckner (Ward Melville ,N.Y.) and Drew Ortiz (Myers Parks – N.C.) led Freedom with two goals each while Alexander Larson (Chaparral – Ariz.) and Tanner Swan (Loomis Chaffee – Conn.) each made seven saves.
In the other opening round game, Kyle Borbi (Shawnee – N.J.) ignited a second-half comeback for Pride in its 9-6 win over Liberty. Borbi scored all of his game-high four goals in the second half, including three in the fourth quarter to break the game open. A.J. Lucchese (Middlesex School – Mass.) had five points (3g, 2a) for Pride and Jarrin Wallace (Centennial – Idaho) made four saves while allowing just one second-half goal.
Liberty was led by Anthony Marini (St. Joseph’s Prep – Pa.) and Sean Giampeitro (Salesianum – Del.) with two goals each while Jonathan Kaplan (Glastonbury, Conn.) made 11 saves while allowing just four goals.
Round-robin play continues on Thursday, July 25 with each team playing two games. The top two teams will meet in the championship on Friday while the third and fourth seeds will play in a consolation game on Friday.
Pride 9, Liberty 6
Pride Goals: Kyle Borbi 4, A.J. Lucchese 3, Brady O’Donnell, Nick Valentino.
Liberty Goals: Anthony Marini 2, Sean Giampeitro 2, A.J. Fish, Kevin McKernan.
Pride Assists: A.J. Lucchese 2, Cody Eckes 2, Nick Valentino, Simeon Johnson.
Liberty Assists: None.
Pride Goalies: Brian Balkam 24:00, 5 GA, 4 saves; Jarrin Wallace 24:00, 1 GA, 4 saves.
Liberty Goalies: Jonathan Kaplan 34:00, 4 GA, 11 saves; Brian Davies 14:00, 5 GA, 4 saves.
Spirit 10, Freedom 9
Spirit Goals: Andy DeMichiei 2, Jacob Knostman 2, Ryan McNamara 2, Dylan Molloy, Chris Pauzer, Kyle Abdellatif, Logan Williamson.
Freedom Goals: Jack Bruckner 2, Drew Ortiz 2, Jack Grass, Patrick DiMento, Jack Ortlieb, Anthony Quiles, Tim Ghelbach.
Spirit Assists: Chris Pauzer 2, Dylan Molloy, Matt Boward.
Freedom Assists: Dalton Sierra 2, Jack Grass, Jack Ortlieb.
Spirit Goalies: Ryan Feit 24:00, 6 GA, 9 saves; Gerrit Molloy 24:00, 3 GA, 4 saves.
Freedom Goalies: Alexander Larson 24:00, 7 GA, 7 saves; Tanner
Swan 24:00, 3 GA, 7 saves.