'More Accustomed' O'Keefe Has 3d Select in Position at US Lacrosse U15 National Championship
|Henry Adams scored five goals for
3d Select (Colo.) in a 15-3 win over Triad Elite (N.C.) during pool
play at the US Lacrosse U15 National Championship, powered by
Lacrosse Unlimited, Friday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports
Complex. 3d Select earned the No. 2 seed for the 24-team,
single-elimination bracket that begins Saturday.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Sean O’Keefe is hoping for a better ending to this year’s US Lacrosse Boys’ U15 National Championship, powered by Lacrosse Unlimited, than he experienced last year. With 3d Select at 3-0 following Friday’s round of pool play and seeded second for the 24-team, single-elimination bracket, he’s in position to enjoy just that.
O’Keefe, while playing for Norcal Talon last year, fell ill during the bronze medal game and missed much of his team’s eventual 9-8 loss to Florida. This year with 3d Select, which features players from California, Colorado and New England, the midfielder from Marin, Calif., has been a key ingredient on an opening-day run that included a 9-2 beating of For the Love of the Game (N.Y.), an historically strong team at this event.
“Sean has been giving a lot of assists and creating a lot of opportunities for us,” said 3d Select co-coach Lance Savage. “He’s an absolute stud.”
“Being here last year, I’m more accustomed to the weather, thank God,” O’Keefe said with a laugh after 3d Select finished pool play with a 15-3 defeat of Triad Elite (N.C.). “This is a great experience. You can play with your friends and have fun. Last year, I got to play with some older kids, which helped me in high school and with this team here.”
O’Keefe has had plenty of help. Henry Adams, a rising sophomore at Cherry Creek (Colo.) High, scored three goals in the win over FLG and five in the win over Triad Elite, which qualified for the national championship automatically by placing fourth in the US Lacrosse Southeast Championships in Raleigh in June. With 3d Select drawing from its three geographic-based programs, players who’ve faced each other in previous tournaments this summer now relish the chance to play alongside each other in pursuit of the national championship.
“We have a bunch of talented guys who can step up and who know how to win,” Adams said. “It’s nice to play with people besides your regular club team so you can get better.”
Joining 3d Select among six unbeatens is the defending national champion Long Island Express Barracudas (N.Y.), which surrendered just five goals in three games to capture the No. 1 seed. Dukes HHH (Pa.), Express Turtles (N.Y.) and Fellowship of Christian Athletes (Md.) gained seeds 3-5, while the Long Island Jesters earned the No. 6 seed after providing a healthy share of drama under mostly sunny skies and warm temperatures.
In a tightly fought opener against Storm (Fla.), the Jesters needed a goal by Casey Kimneil with two minutes remaining to break a 4-4 tie. Nicholas Crennan fed Tyler Tick for an insurance goal with 25 seconds left to finally seal a 6-4 win. The Jesters trailed the Colorado 14ers, 6-5, late and pulled even when Justin Lynsky scored unassisted at 2:15. Lynsky then fed Ryan Schaeffer for the game-winner with a minute to play.
The top eight seeds earned a first-round bye. Saturday’s
bracket play begins at 8 a.m. As teams lose, they’ll play
Seeds for Bracket Play
1. LI Express Barracudas (N.Y.) 3-0
2. 3d Select (Colo.) 3-0
3. Dukes HHH (Pa.) 3-0
4. LI Express Turtles (N.Y.) 3-0
5. FCA (Md.) 3-0
6. Long Island Jesters (N.Y.) 3-0
7. For the Love of the Game (N.Y.) 2-1
8. LI Express Piranhas (N.Y.) 2-1
9. NESLL (Mass./N.H.) 2-1
10. Colorado 1-1-1
11. New Jersey North East 1-1-1
12. Storm (Fla.) 1-2
13. Colorado 14ers 1-2
14. Next Level (R.I.) 1-2
15. C2C Black (Texas) 1-2
16. Brady’s Bunch (Calif.) 1-2
17. Utah 1-2
18. Maverick Select (N.J.) 1-2
19. Florida Swashbucklers 1-2
20. Green Machine (Ind.) 1-2
21. Florida Carolina 0-3
22. Winston-Salem (N.C.) 0-3
23. Triad Elite (N.C.) 0-3
24. Florida Navy 0-3
July 27 - First Round - 8 a.m.
Field 18: #16 Brady’s Bunch vs. #17 Utah
Field 19: #9 NESLL vs. #24 Florida Navy
Field 25: #15 C2C Black vs. #18 Maverick Select
Field 26: #10 Colorado vs. #23 Triad Elite
July 27 - First Round - 9:30 a.m.
Field 18: #13 Colorado 14ers vs. #20 Green Machine
Field 19: #12 Storm vs. #21 Florida Carolina
Field 25: #14 Next Level vs. #19 Florida Swashbucklers
Field 26: #11 New Jersey North East vs. #22 Winston-Salem
July 27 – Second Round - 11 a.m.
Field 18: #1 LI Express Barracudas vs. 16/17 winner
Field 19: #8 LI Express Piranhas vs. 9/24 winner
Field 25: #2 3d Select vs. 15/18 winner
Field 26: #7 For the Love of the Game vs. 10/23 winner
July 27 - Second Round - 12:30 p.m.
Field 18: #4 LI Express Turtles vs. 13/20 winner
Field 19: #5 FCA vs. 12/21 winner
Field 25: #3 Dukes HHH vs. 14/19 winner
Field 26: #6 Long Island Jesters vs. 11/22 winner