By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/9/12
Ryan Ambler (Abington, Princeton) scored three goals and goalie Austin Kaut (Springfield-Delco, Penn State) made 12 saves to lead GMH to an 8-2 victory over Mesa Fresh tonight in the Norm Treinish Thursday championship game of the Summer Lacrosse League of Southeastern Pennsylvania (SLLSEPA) at Malvern Prep.
GMH won its first crown since 2009. The SLLSEPA features many of the top collegiate and post-collegiate players in the Philly region.
Kaut, a two-time All-American who was the Phillylacrosse.com Co-Player of the Year in 2010, was sensational all day as GMH built a 5-0 lead. Mesa Fresh finally scored as the clock ran out in the first half on a goal by Jordan Wolf (Lower Merion, Duke), who shared the Player of the Year award with Kaut in 2010.
Player-coach Mike Holloway credited the GMH defense, led by Marc Schaffer (Ridley, St. Joseph’s Univ.), Cory Munsterteiger (Phillips, Ma., Kenyon), Mike Creighton (Malvern Prep, Notre Dame), Steve Layne (Malvern Prep, Loyola), Chris Creighton (Malvern Prep, Villanova), Adam Mojica (Springfield-Delco, Hofstra), Ryan Kilpatrick (Salesianum, North Carolina), Matt Bernier (Malvern Prep, Penn State) and Dave Simcox (Ridley, Widener). Gryphin Kelly (Plymouth Whitemarsh, Hobart) was a force at the face-off X.
“It’s good to play in the summers,” said Kaut, who has played on GMH for two seasons. “It’s good to get shots, but it’s also good to get game time. Playing in games keeps you in shape for going back to school.”
Kaut looked to be in perfect shape. Mesa Fresh goalie Conor Kelly (Haverford School, Notre Dame) also played well, but was barraged by tough shots from an attack that was also led by Andrew Mackrides (Malvern Prep, Penn State) and Ryan Cranston (Henderson, Lynchburg).
“My brother goes to Penn State in the same class so whenever I go there I hang out with Austin Kaut,” said Mesa Fresh coach Chris Aitken. “You saw it tonight … two goals against him! We had so many high percentage shots. Our goalie, Conor Kelly, had a great game as well. But he faced maybe 50 shots. Both goalies were awesome, but Kaut got the win.”
Mesa Fresh, a relative newcomer to the SLLSEPA, reached the semis last year when it fell to GMH. This year’s team – comprised mostly of former Mesa Fresh club team players that come from Haverford School and Conestoga – remained one of the youngest teams in the league. With young talent like Kelly, Wolf, defenseman Goran Murray (Haverford School, Maryland), attackman Carl Walrath (Haverford School, Virginia), attackman-middie Bradlee Lord (Conestoga, Maryland), middie Will McNamara (Haverford School, Virginia), and defensemen Casey Ikeda (Conestoga, Maryland), Jackson Place (Episcopal Academy, Bucknell) and Steve O’Hara (St. Joseph’s Prep, Notre Dame), the team should be a force for a while if the players stick together.
“We got one step further than last year,” said Aitken, of Haverford School and Villanova. “Obviously, we want to have fun, but you want to win. It’s never fun to lose.
“The fact we got here and the fact we probably have five or six kids that will be freshmen at college next year and six or seven more that will be sophomores … we are real young. Me and Brian Ikeda are the only ones eligible to drink. We’re going to keep growing. Hopefully the guys will be in the area next year; we had some guys injured or not in the area so hopefully next year we go further.”