Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/17/11
The Hermits (St. Augustine) from South Jersey defeated Tri-State Gold, 8-6, Sunday to claim the title at the Tri-State National Indoor Lacrosse Championships (MLK tourney) at the Peddie School (N.J.).
The Hermits were led by Tournament MVP Nikko Pontrello (signed with Loyola, senior), Steven Pontrello (committed to North Carolina, junior), and Tommy O’Neil (committed to Penn State, junior).
Tri-State Gold had clutch performances by sophomores Anthony Marini (attackman), Don Stephan (midfielder), Dan Willis (goalie), Shane Doss (goalie), Michael Bicknese (defenseman) and Dan McKenna (defenseman).
In the semifinals, Marini’s overtime goal lifted Tri-State Gold past the defending champion Duke’s Lacrosse Club-Blue, 6-5. Meanwhile, the Hermits topped the Long Island Sting.
Co-defending champion Duke’s Gray was knocked out in the quarterfinals. Both Duke’s LC teams were stocked with underclassmen, but remained competitive. The Duke’s Gray MVP’s, as chosen by the Duke’s LC coaches, were: Defense–Frosh Goalie Brian Zappala, Episcopal Academy; Offense–Soph Middie, Tyler Keen, Downingtown West; Overall MVP–Soph. Middie, Jeff Cimbalista, New Hope Solebury.
The Duke’s Blue MVP’s were: Defense-Junior Defensemen, Ryan Lehman, Garnet Valley; Offense-Sophomore Attackman, Branden O’Connell, Downingtown East; Overall MVP-Junior D-middies, Jared Jacobs, Conestoga, and Jack Miller, Trinity HS.
In the quarterfinals, Duke’s Blue defeated previously-undefeated Rebel Elite 1, 7-6, with a goal at the buzzer. Rebel Elite 1 was led by Joey Sankey (Penn Charter, senior signed with North Carolina). Rebel Elite 1 went 3-1 in preliminary play, falling to Duke’s Grey, 7-6, and then downing Duke’s Blue, 9-5, the Hermits, 8-6, and Tri-State Black, 9-6.
Also, Philly-based Braveheart finished with a top seed after preliminary play, but bowed in the first round of the playoffs.
The action Sunday was close all the way around as six games went overtime and three more were decided by one goal.