Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/26/12
The 2012 Duke’s Triple H Lacrosse Club opened its summer season by winning the U-15 AA (elite division) championship last weekend at the Patriot Games, defeating Baltimore power Looney’s LC, 10-4, in the finals.
The Duke’s Triple H team, comprised of some of the top middle school players in the Philadelphia area, went 5-0 overall. The team downed Evolve Elite Canada, 11-4, STEPS 2016 AllStars, 9-3, and Looney’s LC, 6-4 to go a perfect 3-0 in pool play and claim the top seed in the playoffs.
Face-off men Matt Dellacroce and Kyle Scheuerle combined to go 77% on face-offs which allowed Duke’s Triple H to dominate possession time during pool play.
“The boys showed up to the tournament and played as a team, not a group of individuals,” said coach Eric Gregg. “When you coach at this level, it is extremely fulfilling to see a group of young men come together and compete with a team-first mentality.
“Fourteen different players scored for us during pool play, which was critical to our success. It also helps to have the ball and our face-off guys took care of that.”
Duke’s Triple H squared off against Leading Edge 2016 in the semi-finals. Leading Edge jumped out to a 4-0 lead, which was cut to 4-2 at halftime. Jake Saenz scored a goal with four minutes left to tie the game at 4-4.
Leading Edge was able to put the ball in the net to take a 5-4 lead with 1:35 remaining on the clock. Dellacroce won the ensuing face-off and Forry Smith scored an unassisted goal as time ran out to knot the game at 5-5 and force overtime.
Dellacroce won another face-off and Smith’s number was called once again. This time he beat his man and was able to find Adam Goldner who ripped the game winning goal.
In the championship game, Duke’s Triple H faced Looney’s LC for a second time. Attackman Michael Sowers led the way for Duke’s Triple H with six goals in the 10-4 win.
The Triple H defense, led by Matthew Binnion, Andrew Fine, Patrick Lyons, Frankie Spitz, Alex Malitas, and Jordan Young, was stifling all tournament. They combined to allow less than four goals per game during the tournament.
Goalies Ian Walsh and Jason Yoquinto were stalwarts in net and combined for a 63% save percentage.
Attackman Sowers, Smith, Goldner, Saenze, Zach Lipkin, and Brett Baskin all posted multiple goals and assists during the tournament. Midfielders Dellacroce, Scheuerle, Craig Coleman, Benjamin Valdes, Chris Rivera, Luke Desperito, Matt Moore, Nick Vernacchio, and Drew Gallant dominated play on both sides of the field and combined to score 17 goals.
Up next for Duke’s Triple H is the US Lacrosse U-15 national Championship in Disney World. Click here for the National tournament roster.
“The Patriot Games was a great experience for our team” said Coach Billy McKinney. “Our program practices once a week during the year and we strive to help the young men on our roster meet their potential as athletes and individuals. The Patriot Games was a great test for us and I am extremely proud of the way the boys performed and handled themselves on the field.”