Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/3/11
The Duke’s Lacrosse Club Triple H boys’ team claimed a thrilling 8-7 overtime win over “For the Love of the Game” 2015 of Long Island in the championship game of the 2010 Winter Nationals Indoor Lacrosse Championship Thursday at The Indoor Sports Pavilion in Randolph, NJ.
The victory qualified the Triple H team to play during halftime of the John Hopkins/North Carolina game at the New Meadowlands during the 2011 Big City Classic on April 3. Both teams entered the championship game undefeated.
The tournament was held indoors, but the rules were consistent with those of an outdoor game (10 v 10, 4 poles allowed on the field).
Matt Schleicher (Allentown, PA) scored the game winning goal in the championship game during the first possession after a face-off win by Charles Kelly (Allentown, PA).
Both Josh Cherry and Ryan Kern made numerous big saves in net throughout the tournament. The defense, led by Damase Bagbonon, Miller Joyce, Mike Eveland, Jake Peden, and Nolan Little (playing with a long pole for the first time in his career) yielded only 12 goals in the four games leading up to the championship.
The Dukes HHH offense scored 39 times in the tourney, with goals coming from 13 different players. Each midfielder and attackman was able to register a point. Tommy McNamara, Mike Thompson, Drew Schantz, Kelly, and Jeffrey Circuit were key two-way players and were strong in transition.
Chris Brady and Zach Hare were able to consistently dodge the alleys and create offense by drawing slides and distributing the ball. Aric Dupell, the leading scorer, was a dominant force in the midfield despite playing defenses that keyed on him.
Corey Richards, Connor Howell, Keith White and Schleicher were strong at finishing shots after receiving feeds from Evan Wolf, Lucas Spence and Sam Fink.
The Duke’s Triple H team had planned to practice for the first time on Tuesday, but was forced to cancel because of snow. Even without the luxury of having a single practice together, the players bought into the concept of playing team lacrosse and fulfilling specific roles which allowed it to emerge as champions.
John Christmas, Eric Gregg and Billy McKinney collaborated with the coaches of the Duke’s lacrosse club to form Duke’s Triple H with the goal of winning the US Lacrosse U-15 National Championship.
“We chose to participate in the 2010 Winter Nationals Indoor Lacrosse Championship because we thought it would give us a good opportunity to judge how we stood up to some of the best programs in the country,” McKinney said. “For the Love of the Game is a program that went to consecutive final fours (2009 & 2010) in the US Lacrosse U-15 National Championship and finished in second place in 2010.
“As coaches, we are extremely pleased with the effort and results we received from the athletes in our program during this tournament.”
The Team (in picture at top)
Front row (L to R)- Nolan Little (Pottstown, PA), Ryan Kern (Middletown, DE), Sam Fink (Wilmington, DE), Keith White (Collegeville, PA), Evan Wolf (Lower Merion, PA), Matt Schleicher (Allentown, PA), Zach Hare (Upper Providence Township, PA), Miller Joyce (Haverford, PA), Mike Thompson (Wayne, PA), Josh Cherry (Exton, PA),
Back Row (L to R)- Coach Billy McKinney, Mike Eveland (Doylestown, PA), Drew Schantz (Allentown, PA), Corey Richards (Wayne, PA), Lucas Spence (Springfield, PA), Connor Howell (Sinking Spring, PA), Jeff Circuit (Doylestown, PA), Damase Bagbonon (Paoli, PA), Charles Kelly (Allentown, PA), Tommy McNamara (Haverford, PA), Chris Brady (Wayne, PA), Aric Dupell (Brecknock Township, PA), Jake Peden (Downingtown, PA), Coach John Christmas.