Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/11/12
The Duke’s Lacrosse Club 2015 team continued its hot streak last weekend by claiming the Sophomore AA championship at the Tri-State National Summer Lacrosse Festival.
The Dukes, who also won the crown at the recent Crabfeast in Baltimore, defeated host Tri-State Red, 3-2, for the title behind strong goaltending and defense and a coast-to-coast game-winner by close defenseman Christian Teuber (Penn Charter).
In front of a large crowd, Tri-State scored first with a nice invert goal from behind. Dukes LC responded immediately with a Curtis Zappala (Episcopal Academy) to Keith White (Methacton) diagonal fastbreak feed to tie it at 1-1. A couple of clutch saves by Ryan Kern (Appoquinmink) and strong defensive team play from Sam Lehrman (Germantown Academy), David Wolfson (Shipley), Jon Warg (Parkland) kept Tri-State attackmen at bay.
Sam Fink (Salesianum), who was consistent all tourney with his play inverted from behind, found Zach Hare (Spring-Ford) inside off a nice C-curl to go ahead 2-1. Tri-State evened things with a manup goal, but some huge saves by Colin Reder (Episcopal Academy) on the doorstep led to Teuber’s clear and game-winner.
The Dukes reached the finals with an impressive 6-0 shutout over Philly rival NXT behind standout defense and goaltending and some fine offensive production. Solid groundball work by two-way middies Jace Liszka (Emmaus), Aric Dupell (Gov. Mifflin), Drew Schantz (Malvern Prep), and Mike Thompson (Radnor) created many transition opportunities and drew penalties for the Dukes.
Zach Ward (Hempfield) got the scoring started with a great feed from Dupell. Zappala scored on a bad switch at X and Matt Schleicher (Emmaus) earned a goal off a loose ball pick on crease. Keith White (Methacton) then found Evan Wolf (Lower Merion) on a cross-crease feed on a manup opportunity to push score to 4-0.
Two more goals were scored off manup opportunities as Brandon Shima (Haverford School) scored on a floater from up top and a “nifty” feed from James Vandegrift (Penn Charter)set up Phillip Robertson (Salem, Va.).
The Dukes 2015 squad was coached by head coach Ryan Sankey, defensive coordinator Billy Conners (Duke University ’13) and offensive coordinator Jordan Wolf (Duke University ’14).
The first game featured the Dukes vs. powerful Long Island Express, a game that attracted many ACC and Ivy League coaches as well as legendary Denver coach Bill Tierney to the 8 a.m. start. Long Island Express 2015 prevailed, 5-3, despite great goaltending by Reder (6 saves in short work).
That game stood as a much needed wake up call for the Dukes as they faced Bulldogs (CT) and jumped out to a 4-1 lead, with excellent GB work from Dupell and Liszka at faceoff X. Zappala (2g, 1a), Shima (2a), helped QB the offense. Both Kern and Colin were strong in goal and the defense was solid, led by Jeffrey Kern (Saucon Valley), Teuber, Rob Keehfus Jr (Penn Charter), and Matt Petrick (Kennett).
The Dukes won again, 4-0, over the Chesapeake Rock (Md.) 2015. Kern and Reder each recorded 3 saves in the shutout. Defensively, Jamie Griffin (Jenkintown) and Ben Wilkins (Southern Lehigh) applied pressure at the midfield. Colin Strange (Hempfield) provided some timely dodging and Lucas Spence (Springfield-Delco) was a key on offense after returning to form from an injury.
As the day got unbearably hot, it was time for the match up against Tri-State Red. Liszka was 4-for-4 on face-offs and and groundballs were on the menu as Jeff Kern (6gb) & Dustin Buchanan (Central Bucks East, 3gb) kept Tri-State’s possessions to a minimum. Dukes held a 3-2 lead off some excellent finishing touches from White and Schleicher. “The big lefty” Brady O’Neill (Kennett) put one home before the game was suspended due to thunderstorms, cancelling the evening’s remaining games.
On Sunday in the playoffs, Dukes LC received the No. 4 seed in North Division and opened with a 4-1 win over NESLL 2015 (New England). The Dukes got great goaltending and James Vandegrift (Penn Charter) sealed the win with a key goal while Zack Drake (La Salle) made some excellent feeds.
Dukes then downed top-seeded South Division foe VLC Elite (Virginia Lacrosse Club), 6-4. The Dukes capitalized on its Manup chances as Wolf erupted for five goals and Teuber found a cutting Robertson to put Dukes again for good.