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The True Tourney Report: UPLax, Autumn Gold, & Paradise Shootout

By True Lacrosse, 11/12/14, 7:30PM CST

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The True Lacrosse State Teams traveled last weekend to some of the top tournaments of the fall season. Our high school state teams attended UPLax on Saturday, then headed to Boys’ Latin and Towson on Sunday for Autumn Gold, an exclusive tournament featuring some of the best teams in the country. All of the high school teams proved they earned their spot at these elite tournaments and got a lot of looks and interest from the many college coaches in attendance. 

Meanwhile, the youth state teams headed south to Naples, Florida for the Paradise Shootout. There were many divisions of play at this tournament, and because we want to provide our teams with the best competition possible, we put them in the highest tier. Strong competition continually develops our players to their full potential, and the Paradise Shootout was no exception. Our U13 State Black team was particularly successful as they earned a perfect 6-0 record and the title of champions! Keep reading for all the details on how each team did this weekend.

2016 State Team
The 2016 State team kicked off last weekend on a high note, shutting out a less experienced Green Turtle team. Pat Donahue was crucial to the team’s success with five goals. The defense clearly outmatched their opponents, but it may have backfired as it caused the team to relax as they headed into their game against the Orange Crush.

A team with seven D1 commits played tough and gave us a very challenging game. Although we hung in there – it was clear we could ride harder and value the ball better – we lost to the Orange Crush 7-9. Missed opportunities in the first half were our downfall in this match-up.

We rebounded though in our game against 3d Pacific. This team dominated from the first whistle to the final seconds. Our defense, including our goalies, played a great game. Contributions from all over led to this success and it was a positive way to end day one.

On day 2 of the weekend, we had a competitive game against Rock Lacrosse. This was our worst showing of the weekend, and unfortunately for us, there were 16 college coaches on the sideline. This is a good example of the importance of playing every game and opportunity to the best of your ability. Many of those same coaches were at our other games, but it would have been nice to put on a better show early on Sunday. Rock was able to get open on the crease through cutting and drawing slides and they made us pay.  The higher the level of play, the fewer scoring chances teams get, and in this showing, we didn't capitalize.  

The next game, we refocused and easily won against the Canadian team, Elev8. We outplayed these guys on ground balls and put a beating on the net thanks to our attackmen. Our middies gave an impressive showing in the match-up, too. This game, played in Towson Stadium, was our finest and most fun. We received compliments from college and other high school coaches after this victory.

Finally, we closed out the weekend against the 2015 Denver Elite team. They came out strong and took it to us. A messy field situation made the game sloppy, and we pushed back with authority. Our defense stepped up and the offense capitalized on several opportunities. The game was tied with only a minute remaining. The ref reiterated that there would be no overtime, and Joe Poremba knew he had to make a play, grabbing a huge ground ball and dishing to AJ Corgiat who smoked one past the goalie. An awesome play by those two and a great way to end the tournament.

2017 State Team
The 2017 State team played well against tough competition at UPLax and Autumn Gold this weekend. In our first game, we were matched up against 3d Mid-Atlantic. Tommy Tillett got us going with two nifty goals, and we managed to keep our momentum going for the entire game. It was an evenly matched game between the two teams, but we kept our composure and moved the ball well. Jake Simon took almost every face-off, and our defense, especially Jack Walton, proved to be tough and mobile.

We continued our momentum heading into our game against the South Carolina Loggerheads, and it worked for the first half as we took an early lead, but we fell apart in the 2nd half. The Loggerheads were able to exploit our transition game and outscored us by 4-5 goals in the end. We only have ourselves to blame for our physical and mental mistakes.

Our final game on Saturday was against a much bigger, faster, and stronger NXT team. This game was a tough way to end the day. These guys manhandled us, as they were able to take advantage of the fact that many of our players are just now adjusting to the speed and size of D1 lacrosse.

We regrouped for Sunday and came out strong in our first two games against very good teams loaded with D1 talent. In both games, we started well and made our opponents earn the goals they scored. As the games wore on, we could not compete favorably with that level of talent. On a different day, we might have hung with Leading Edge, but the Canadians used their superior stick skills and speed to dominate. Only Joey Rebello stood out against their firepower in the first half by turning back tough shots time and again.

Fortunately, our guys’ have a fighting spirit and do not quit when the chips are down. We closed out the six-game stretch with a squeaker vs. the New Hampshire Tomahawks. They, too, had been brutalized by the Canadians and were hoping to notch a victory before their 9-hour ride home. We proved to be the better team and went up by several goals. Ethan Barangan and Cam Flanagan each had two goals in this game. The Tomahawks fought back, but Jack Adams and Colin McDonald routinely tied up their transition efforts. They came close at the end, but it was not enough as John D’Angelo sealed the win with a game-ending possession off a ground ball pick-up.

2018 State Team
The boys on the 2018 State team showcased their skills for the many college coaches in attendance at UPLax and Autumn Gold last weekend. They really rose to the occasion and proved they were one of the best teams at both tournaments. We kicked off the weekend at UPLax and went up against the Loggerheads. Our guys came out quickly and scored several goals to gain a substantial lead. They played with confidence; our midfield and attack made major contributions, and our face-off guys get a lot of the credit for this win for getting possession of the ball nearly every face-off. We dominated the Loggerheads and came away with a 10-1 win.

Our next game was against the Green Turtles, a well-known team out of Maryland. The boys were nervous prior to this game, but they put those nerves aside, got a quick lead, and maintained possession for the rest of the game to control the play. This was a big win for us with a final score of 12-2.

After stellar performances in the first two games, we went up against NXT Philly. This game was evenly matched; both teams played really well. NXT commanded the first half of the game, but the 2018 State team came back in the 2nd half to tie the score. There is still some dispute as to whether or not we won, lost, or tied this game. With five minutes left, we thought it was a tie game. Then the refs blew the whistle indicating the game was over. Some of the players asked the refs who won, and the refs said it was NXT. Once we tallied up the score from our end, it appears that may have been a mistake. We aren’t too concerned because our guys played a great game and dominated particularly in the 2nd half. That concluded our play at UPLax.

On Sunday, we headed to the prestigious Boys’ Latin School for Autumn Gold. Our first game was against the Chesapeake Rock. For us, it didn’t matter who we were going to play that game. Our guys were so pumped to get on the field and compete that they probably would’ve crushed any opponent. On every side of the ball, we played the better game. Everybody played well; they couldn’t do a thing wrong, never even dropping the ball. Our guys were riding really hard, which helped us get more possession of the ball and secure the win.

In game 2 on Sunday, we played a fellow NSCLA team, Barnaby Mountain out of Canada. The boys seemed a little nervous to be playing an all-Canadian team, and that translated to making more mistakes than we had all weekend. This definitely wasn’t our best game of the weekend, but it was a good learning experience. Barnaby Mountain displayed superior stick skills and scored a lot of goals off rebounds.

We regrouped for game 3, and it resulted in probably our best game of the weekend. Denver Elite is a tough team with a lot of talent, but the 2018 State team came together and earned a team win. Every member of our team contributed to our success in this game, and it was a great way to end two days of extraordinary lacrosse at two of the most exclusive and elite tournaments of the fall season.

Everyone on our team played well, but Andrew Johnson and Kelan Duff played particularly well. We also want to congratulate our entire attack unit for riding hard all weekend. We’re proud of the way this team played especially because they were playing in front of coaches from Denver, Maryland, Hopkins, UNC, Towson, Princeton, and Brown.

U15 State Team
The U15 State team battled hard all weekend and showed great effort and skill against some tough teams. Our first game had us up against Palm Beach Revolution. This was a close game throughout, and although we traded goals, the difference was ground balls.  We came out strong, but we couldn’t match the energy of Palm Beach, who eventually made it to the championship.

We learned from our mistakes in the first game and came to win in game 2. This was another close game, this time against LB3 Atlanta. The score was tied 4-4 at the half. Our guys came out strong in the 2nd half and broke it open, putting in back-to-back goals and seeing great stops from Jake Algood in the cage, helping us to a 9-5 win.

In game 3 of the weekend, we faced off against Long Island Express, a tough team who came to play. They were up and down the field and a physical presence on ground balls. They moved the ball extremely well. Ultimately, the U15 State team was outmatched at the face-off X, and despite a good effort, we lost this one 11-4.

For our final game of the weekend, we came out with a ton of energy, once again to Long Island Express. Our guys were aggressive and played well together. At the half, it was a 3-2 game. The momentum shifted in the second half and Long Island Express came out firing to quickly put two in the back of the net. We never found our footing after that and suffered another loss to a tough Long Island Express team.

Although we didn’t earn a winning record, we’re proud of the boys’ effort. We also know what to work on as a team for our next tournament. Shout out to our MVP of the tournament, Carter Clover!

U13 State Green Team
With a record of 4-1 on the weekend, the U13 State Green team saw a lot of success and showed they were prepared to dominate the competition. In our first game against West Florida, our guys were down, but showed they had the heart and compete level to earn a gritty comeback win against a tough squad. The second game progressed in a similar way; we were down, but never gave up the fight. This game against Monsters Orange went into overtime, and Antanas Mikuzis secured the win for us with the winning goal. It was an exciting game, and once again, these guys displayed great determination and heart.

In game three against the Pasco Lions, the U13 State Green team had lots of great possession time on offense and timely finishing around the net. We kept our foot on the pedal throughout the entire game and didn’t let up until the final whistle, resulting in a 9-4 win over the Pasco Lions. We took our winning record into game four against LB3 Atlanta, and completely dominated from the opening whistle. This was a great team win with everyone contributing and lots of unselfish play by the whole team, which gave us the 13-2 win and a spot in the semi-finals.

After an incredible weekend of impressive play from our guys, we headed into the semi-final game against the Barracudas with determination. This was another great team effort, and it was a close game as we traded goals with the Barracudas and came back with less than a minute left to tie the game on an exciting play by Jacob Sietman. Our guys fought hard throughout every minute, but we came up short in the end with a final score of 6-7.

This weekend was an incredible performance by the entire team, and particularly Jack Baum, Chris Roth, Alec Vaccaro, George Burchfield, and Matthew Marquis, our team MVPs of the weekend.

U13 State Black Team
We only need a couple words to describe the U13 State Black team’s performance at the Paradise Shootout last weekend: complete domination. This team showed up and annihilated the competition. The closest any one team came to the U13 State Black team was a seven-goal margin. Game 1 saw our guys face off against the Monsters Green team. Every one of our players was on point and played their game, which resulted in a 15-1 win. The next game was more of the same, and a 15-1 win over LB3 Atlanta. In game three, the Barracudas put up a good fight; the game was close at the half. Our boys opened it up in the 2nd half to pull away with a 10-2 win.

In game four, our defense helped carry us to an 8-1 win over Monsters Orange, who we then played again in the semi-final game. This game was never in question with a great effort on both sides of the ball and a 12-0 final score. The championship game had us up against the Barracudas once again, and the U13 State Black team held on to their perfect record to win 12-0. This was a great way to cap off a phenomenal effort throughout the entire tournament. Our team was the most dominant team on the field the entire weekend.

Every player on the U13 State Black team played an important role in helping us to our 6-0 record on the weekend in the highest tier of competition at the Paradise Shootout, but we’re giving an extra shout out to Jake Skowron, Nathan Nguyen, Chris Roth, and Jack Baum as our MVPs of the tournament!