Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/1/12
Mesa Fresh 2014 claimed the gold medal today in the Rising Stars Division of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Tournament of Champions by defeating Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), 8-5, in Wesley Park, Fla.
Mesa Fresh, entering playoff action Saturday as the No. 9 seed after going 1-1 in pool play Friday, coasted into the finals with easy playoffs wins over top-seeded New Westminster (Canada), 13-1, and Utah Starz, 11-4, Saturday before downing the Breakers (Baltimore, MD), 10-5, in the semifinals this morning.
Mesa Fresh fell behind FCA, 4-0, in the title game, but used a strong team game on offense and defense and standout goaltending to roar back for the win. Mesa Fresh also rallied from a 4-0 deficit in the semifinals.
Mesa Fresh coach Pat Carney said the team actually benefited from losing its opener Friday to Carolina Light in overtime.
“It was a good wake-up call for us,” he said. “We went from playing the wrong way to playing the right way.
“After that loss we got better and better every game. After we lost the kids realized they needed to play very unselfish lacrosse. They really came together and played as a team.”
Carney said the Mesa players fought through adversity as well.
“Even when things weren’t going our way – and we were losing 4-0 in both the semis and finals – we played like warriors. We played great team ball and our goalies ies came up big when we needed them. They helped us gain the momentum.”
Bryce Womack (Perkiomen Valley) was named MVP after making six saves in the second half of the championship game. But Carney made a point to say that all the players made significant contributions.
“It was a total team effort,” he said. “Nobody was concerned about stats or goals or assists. It was just, ‘How can we win and come together?’ We had very good and high quality possessions and waited for high quality shots.
“They played very unselfishly and used high paced ball movement. We also had great team defense. Everyone helped and our slides were good; they played physical and responded to every challenge in front of them.
“This is a new high point for Mesa and something to build upon going forward.”
Carney credited his staff, which included coach Peter Scott General Manager Rich Weinstein and also thanked the Mesa Fresh parents for their support.
The Mesa Fresh roster included:
Connor Black, Defense, The Haverford School
Drew Murray, Midfield, Penn Charter
Bryce Womack, Goalie, Perkiomen Valley (Named MVP)
Peter Blynn, Midfield, The Haverford School
Jon Weinstein, Defense, Bishop Shanahan
Kevin Murphy, Midfield, Strath Haven
Tucker Carney, Attack, Strath Haven
Tyler Butler, Defense, Central Bucks East
Kevin McGeary, Midfield, Malvern Prep
Peter Cost, Defense/LSM, Conestoga
Jeff Odiorne, Attack, Haverford School
Brent Millichap, Goalie, Bayard Rustin
Matt Heim, Midfield/Attack, Central Bucks East
Jake Cresta, Defense, Hatboro Horsham
Hunter Eaton, Defense, Conestoga
Tripp Traynor, Midfield, Malvern Prep
Richie Buzza, Midfield, Malvern Prep
Alex Mezey, Attack, Conestoga
Conor Glancy, Attack, Malvern Prep
Ian Riehl, Midfield, Downingtown East
Josh Hughes, Defense, Great Valley
Jake Scott, Attack, Conestoga
Eric Giannetti, Midfield, Bishop Shanahan