Bodreau Caps Dramatic Rally in Champion All-American Showcase
by Brian Logue and Paul Krome | LaxMagazine.com
Blake Bodreau won the faceoff to start overtime and then scored the game-winner as Pride rallied past Liberty 11-10 in the final of the Champion All-American Showcase, a US Lacrosse event.
© Scott McCall
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Blake Bodreau’s first goal of the tournament was certainly a memorable one. The faceoff specialist won the draw to start overtime, sprinted towards the goal and scored the game-winner to cap Pride’s dramatic comeback over Liberty in an 11-10 victory in the championship game of the Champion All-America Showcase, a US Lacrosse event, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
“Once I popped it forward, I knew I was going straight to the goal trying to get that game-winner,” said Bodreau, a recent graduate of Bishop Guertin. “I was proud to represent New Hampshire and I’m going to Marist next year and I was proud to represent them.”
The three-day event featured more than 90 of the nation’s top high school players, representing 27 states, and Pride and Liberty put on quite a show in the championship.
“In 35 years of coaching, that was one of the best games I’ve ever seen,” said Pride coach Steven O’Donnell after the game.
Liberty led 5-0 at the half and seemed in control with a 10-8 lead heading into the final minutes, but Pride was not done. Nick Valentino ripped an outside shot low to cut it to 10-9 with 59 seconds to play. Pride then started one final possession behind the Liberty goal with just six seconds remaining. Brady O’Donnell fed A.J. Lucchese on the right wing and he ripped a left-handed shot off the inside of the far left post and into the goal with just one second left to tie the game and force overtime.
“I was just trying to get open on the wing because I saw my defender was slouched in,” said Lucchese, a graduate of the Middlesex School headed to Brown. “So I was trying to get my hands free to take a quick shot. I knew there wasn’t much time left. I saw that far post and luckily it went in. I was so pumped. That was a great feeling.”
With both teams playing tenacious defense, they only combined for nine goals in the first three quarters of play. It was a different story in the fourth quarter as the offenses finally got on track, lighting up the scoreboard for a combined 11 goals.
Liberty led 6-3 entering the final frame, but Pride’s Tim Truesdell and Kyle Borbi scored in the opening three minutes of the quarter to cut the lead to 6-5.
Liberty had an answer, with Anthony Marini and Kevin McKernan scoring goals just 31 seconds apart to stretch the lead back out to 8-5. Pride also answered back with Borbi scoring just 45 seconds after McKernan’s goal to ignite a three-goal run. Valentino scored at the 6:03 mark and then Pride longpole Lito Flanagan picked up a rebound to score a goal and tie the game 8-8 with 5:47 left.
Once again it looked Pride wouldn’t have enough as Florida native Matt Ihm scored for Liberty to regain the lead 9-8 at the 5:12 mark and then Nick Desisto added an insurance goal with 3:01 left to make it 10-8 Liberty. It looked like that would seal the victory, but it just set the stage for Pride’s dramatic rally in the final minute.
Lucchese, Borbi and Valentino all had two goals and an assist to pace the Pride offense while A.J. Fish led Liberty with three goals and an assist. Ihm and Marini each added two goals.
Bronze Medal Game: Freedom 16, Spirit 9
Patrick DiMento scored two of his game-high five goals during a decisive second quarter as Freedom captured the bronze medal of the Champion All-American Showcase with a 16-9 win over Spirit. DiMento, bound for Furman in the fall, converted feeds from Dalton Sierra and Jack Bruckner midway during the period to key a 6-2 run that helped Freedom turn a 5-3 edge into an 11-5 lead. Four Freedom players scored in the final four minutes of the period, and DiMento added three more goals in the second half to seal the win.
Austin Williams and Ryan McNamara scored twice each in defeat for Spirit, which got no closer than five in the second half.
Pride 11, Liberty 10 (OT)
Pride 0 0 3 7 1 11
Liberty 1 4 1 4 0 10
Pride Goals: AJ Lucchese 2, Kyle Borbi 2, Nick Valentino 2, Blake Bodreau, Hunter Griffin, Tim Truesdell, Lito Flanagan, James Hall.
Liberty Goals: AJ Fish 3, Matt Ihm 2, Anthony Marini 2, Kevin McKernan, Nick Desisto, Luke Posner.
Pride Assists: Brady O’Donnell, AJ Lucchese, Kyle Borbi, Nick Valentino, Jake Kiernan.
Liberty Assists: AJ Fish, Nick Desisto.
Pride Goalies: Jarrin Wallace 24:00, 2 saves, 5 GA. Brian Balkam 25:00, 8 saves, 5 GA.
Liberty Goalies: Jonathan Kaplan 34:00, 4 saves, 4 GA. Brian Davies 15:00, 3 saves, 7 GA.
Freedom 16, Spirit 9
Spirit 3 2 2 2 9
Freedom 5 6 2 3 16
Spirit Goals: Ryan McNamara 2, Austin Williams 2, Andy DeMichiei, Shane Thompson, Chris Pauzer, Peyton Klawinski, Matt Leonard.
Freedom Goals: Patrick DiMento 5, Drew Ortiz 2, Stephen Polsinelli 2, Tim Ghelbach 2, Jack Grass, Austin Brundage, Max Maxwell, Jack Bruckner, Anthony Quiles.
Spirit Assists: Matt Leonard, Austin Williams.
Freedom Assists: Jack Bruckner 2, Dalton Sierra, Drew Ortiz.
Spirit Saves: Ryan Feit 6, Gerrit Molloy 2.
Freedom Saves: Alex Lawson 13.
Individual Team Awards for Tournament
Pride MVP: Kyle Borbi (Shawnee – N.J.).
Pride Sportsmanship Award: Simeon Johnson (Decatur – Ga.)
Liberty MVP: AJ Fish (Grayslake North – Ill.)
Liberty Sportsmanship Award: Jack Beall (Camas – Wash.)
Freedom MVP: Jack Bruckner (Ward Melville – N.Y.)
Freedom Sportsmanship Award: Anthony Guiles (Riverside – S.C.)
Spirit MVP: Austin Williams (Delbarton – N.J.)
Spirit Sportsmanship Award: Ryan McNamara (Eastview – Wis.)