Strong Early Performances at US Lacrosse Northeast Championships
|BBL Elite 2018 Black (N.J.)
knocked off the Outlaws (Mass.), 14-8, as part of opening day
action at the US Lacrosse Northeast Championships in Amherst,
©Risley Sports Photography
AMHERST, Mass. – There were only four games played on the opening day of the US Lacrosse Northeast Championships, which began today on the campus of the University of Massachusetts, but the front-runners in the girls' division may have already been established.
Yellow Jackets 2018 Blue, from Long Island, and Ultimate Elite, from New Jersey, posted dominating victories in the opening round of pool play competition.
"Our girls are on a mission," said coach Carol Rainson-Rose following the Yellow Jackets 18-2 victory over the Atlanta (Ga.) Stampede. "They want to go to Colorado."
The top four finishers in both the girls' and boys' divisions at the Northeast Championships secure invitations with registration discounts to next month's US Lacrosse U15 National Championships in Aurora, Colo.
Three first half goals by both Taylyn Stadler and Madison Rielly started the onslaught for the Yellow Jackets, who had 11 different players score at least once.
"We came out real strong and finished our shots," Rainson-Rose said. "I thought we were very unselfish."
Stampede coach Jim Schuerlein, a transplanted New Yorker, said afterwards that he knew the opening draw against the established Yellow Jackets' program would provide a stiff challenge for his fourth-year program.
"We're not quite ready for some of the teams at this level," he said, "but we wanted to see where we stand."
The Stampede chose to forego the US Lacrosse Southeast Championship, played in Raleigh, N.C., two weeks ago, for the a challenge against club teams based in the Northeast.
"We would have seen many of the same teams we always play had we gone to Raleigh," Schuerlein said. "This is the first year together for this group and we committed, with the support of the parents, to come to this event back in January. We knew it would be tough."
Equally impressive as the Yellow Jackets on day one was Ultimate Elite, which posted a 21-1 win over New England Storm.
Reilly Fletcher led the way with a game-high five goals and Stefani Peluso added four goals. Eleven different players scored for Ultimate.
Meanwhile, four goals by Sydney Paoletti helped guide BBL Elite 2018 Black, also based in New Jersey, to a 14-8 win over the Outlaws (Mass.).
The tightest game of the day had Lighthouse Lacrosse (N.H.) defeating Granite State (N.H.) Elite U13, 10-9. The game featured six tie scores, the last at 8-8, before goals by Lindsey Keenan and Grace Cragg in the final six minutes pushed Lighthouse ahead.
"These kids are pretty tough and they get up for big games," said Granite Elite U13 coach Christine Hodgdon. "It's a very competitive group, and it was good to get our feet wet in an established event like this."
Pool play games resume Saturday morning for the girls' division and begin in the boys' division. Seeded bracket play begins Saturday afternoon for both boys and girls.
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