Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/1/08
You put together great defense and goaltending, consistent success on face-offs and clutch scoring, what do you get?
For Mesa Fresh, a boys’ summer club team comprised mostly of rising sophomores and juniors from the Main Line and Chester County, it all added up to the championship at the Battle of the Hotbeds Lacrosse Camp at the University of Delaware.
Mesa Fresh emerged from a field of 46 teams to finish 8-0 in pool play last weekend and then won three games Tuesday to take the crown. Included in the playoffs Tuesday was a dramatic 5-4 victory over New England Developmental (NED) in an extra “play-in” game.
Zach Jacobs (Conestoga High) scored the game-winner at the buzzer to send Mesa Fresh into the semifinals. Mesa Fresh then edged Central New York, 3-2, in the semis and whipped the Connecticut Bulldogs, 6-3, in the finals.
Matt Dilks (Lower Merion) scored two consecutive goals off successful face-offs by Liam O’Connor (Haverford School) to spark a 5-0 surge in the championship game, giving Team Mesa an insurmountable 5-1 lead.
Mesa Fresh, which had only one rising senior on its roster, did not allow more than three goals in any game. The steady duo of Pete Zonini (Conestoga) and Hank Altschuler (Lower Merion) handled the goaltending chores and the defense of Casey Ikeda (Conestoga), Brian Dailey (Conestoga), John Sax (St. Joseph’s Prep), Andrew Visich (Conestoga) and long-stick middie Austin Campbell (Conestoga) was standout.
O’Connor won nearly 90 percent of his face-offs and Ryan Buttenbaum (Conestoga) also was strong on the draw to give Mesa Fresh regular possessions, and attacker Max Siskind (Henderson) was named to the all-star team. Also excelling at midfield were Andrew Salvitti (Salesanium School, Del.), Ben Ross (Conestoga), Ryan Lord (Conestoga), Pete Bauers (Conestoga), O’Connor and Buttenbaum.
Besides Siskind, Dilks and Jacobs, the attack continually put pressure on the defense and featured Jeff Chu (Conestoga), Matt Smith (Conestoga) and Stephen Aitken (Haverford School).
The Mesa Fresh coaches were Rob Lord, Dan Altschuler, Bob Aitken and Tim Ross.