Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/17/09
The Malvern Prep and Mesa Fresh 2010 boys’ club teams went undefeated and won their divisions at the first Rutgers Maximum Exposure Team Tournament June 12-14.
Malvern Prep capped a 6-0 run in the Red Division by defeating Mt. Lakes, N.J., 6-1 in the divisional title game. Malvern assistants Dan and brother Mike Keating guided the team and cited Bobby Hill (midfielder), Ryan Creighton (midfielder), Andrew O’Connell (goalie), James Brandolini (goalie), T.J. Hanzsche (attackman) and Jack Moran (defenseman) for strong play.
“It was a collective effort,” said Dan Keating. “It was nice to see them play so well together.”
Malvern, which also defeated Downingtown West, Summit (N.J.), the Firebirds (N.J.), the Gamerz (N.J.) and Bergen Catholic (N.J.), also won the divisional crown last year.
Meanwhile, Mesa Fresh 2010 cruised through its White Division schedule, going 5-0 in pool play while winning its games by a combined score of 61-9. Mesa Fresh 2010 defeated the New York City Empire Team (15-1), Roadhawks White of Syracuse (9-4), Griffins (18-1), Greater Cleveland (15-1), and Leading Edge White , N.J., (4-2). Throughout the pool play Ryan Buttenbaum (Conestoga/Lehigh commit) and Liam O’Connor (Haverford School/Notre Dame commit) dominated at the face off “X” going 98 percent.
The attack was led by Steve Aitken (Haverford School/Penn State commit), Max Siskind (Henderson), Chase Growney (Episcopal Academy), Zach Jacobs (Conestoga) and Matt Smith (Conestoga/Lehigh commit). At midfield Mesa was led by Ryan Lord (Conestoga), Peter Bowers (Conestoga), Jason Klunder (Conestoga), Ben Ross (Conestoga), Andrew Salvitti (Salesianum, DE) and Tanner Scott (Conestoga).
The attack and midfielders played unselfish “Mesa Ball” throughout leading to several “highlight type” fast break goals. At Defense, Mesa was led by Kieran Avis (Haverford School), Dan Diggins (Bayard Rustin),
(Episcopal Academy) and Casey Ikeda (Conestoga/recent Maryland commit). At long pole, Mesa was led By Austin Campbell (Conestoga) and Brian Dailey (Conestoga). Mesa’s defense routinely created havoc for its opponents and forced turnovers which led to transition fast breaks.
In goal, Mesa was led by Pete Zonino (Conestoga) and Hank Altschuler (Lower Merion). The goalies had several one-on-one saves and also started multiple fast breaks which led to goals.
In the game against the Leading Edge, a tough NJ team, Mesa went up 2-0 but the Edge came storming back with a few minutes to play and tied it up at 2-2. Mesa’s face-off duo continued to win at the “X”, however, leading to the go-ahead goal by Jacobs who beat his man and went top shelf. Jacobs then scored again to put the game out of reach. On defense, Diggins came up with several key ground balls and Ikeda also took the ball coast to coast and scored. Campbell and Dailey also got some key groundballs at the end of the game.
In the Division championship game against The Green Turtle Phelps Point, Mesa went down early 1-0 but rattled off eight unanswered goals. Once again Buttenbaum and O’Connor dominated the face-offs and O’Connor also contributed three goals. The scoring was spread out with goals by Scott, Klunder, Bowers, Siskind and Growney. The defense and goalies completely shut down the Turtle’s high-powered offense. The Turtle was comprised of juniors from the lacrosse hotbed of Baltimore, with players from Gilman, St. Paul’s, Loyola Blakefield, and Boys’ Latin.