By Matt Chandik
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/18/12
NEWARK, DE. – The opponents change by the game. Different faces occupy different jerseys, each putting forth their best effort to make a little bit of summer lacrosse history. However, when everything boils down to it, it doesn’t seem to matter who the Baltimore Crabs 2014s play against. Line up anyone against them, and the Crabs end up clawing their way to victory.
Sunday afternoon, though, they didn’t need to claw much against Laxachussetts. The Crabs were as close to flawless as could be, demonstrating the seemingly effortless team game that’s helped them go undefeated for the last few summers, on the way to a convincing 11-3 win over Laxachusetts in the 2014 (Rising Junior) final of the NSCLA-Blue Hen First State Shootout at the University of Delaware.
The NSCLA was formed in 2010 as an alliance of the top teaching/recruiting focused lacrosse clubs in North America. Currently the membership also includes Philly teams LB3 and HEADstrong as well as the Long Island Express, Edge Elite (Canada), CNY Roadhawks, New Hampshire Tomahawks, Progression Lacrosse (Ct. Hurricanes), the new Jersey Patriots, Leading Edge, Madlax, the Roughriders, Carolina Select, True Lacrosse, West Coast Starz and Denver Elite.
Leading Edge won the Rising Senior title and the West Coast Starz took the Rising Sophomore Division crown. HEADstrong’s Rising Junior team fared the best among Philly squads, going 4-1 overall although it barely missed out on a playoff spot. (Click here for a full listing of champions and scores).
“I feel like the teams get better every summer,” Crabs attackman Tyler Ruhl (Gilman School) said. “…It seems like a lot of teams don’t like us very much, but it makes sense, I guess. They just want to beat us. It’s more fun that way.”
If Ruhl and the Crabs keep playing like they played against their Massachusetts counterparts, it will be a while before anyone could have another crack at taking them down. They needed a one-goal win against the Patriots to advance to the final, but were never challenged in the final en route to claiming another piece of hardware. Ruhl, a Notre Dame verbal commitment, couldn’t be stopped offensively as he pumped in four goals to spark the offense. Other than Ruhl, though, no one scored more than one goal as the Crabs showcased their depth.
“Everyone on the team is capable of doing great things,” Ruhl said. “It’s pretty tough to stick to one guy. We’ve got so many great players.”
Jumping out to a 5-0 second-quarter lead and pushing that mark to 9-1 after three quarters made sure to calm any championship jitters the Crabs may have had. A once-chippy game gave way to smoother sailing when Laxachusetts realized the game was out of hand, but that didn’t stop LSM Brendan Barger from capping the scoring with a rifle of a shot from around 20 yards out. When a team’s poles are scoring goals, it might just be an indicator that this isn’t a team many want to mess with. Does blowing teams out left and right ever get boring for the Crabs?
“No, it’s always pretty fun just getting out there and playing with each other, since we’re all from different high schools,” said Barger, who has orally committed to Ohio State. “Since we’ve been together since eighth grade, we sometimes feel like we have as much chemistry, if not more, than our high school teams. Not more, but we play pretty well with each other.”
Poles don’t usually get to get in on the offensive fun, but Barger admitted that his long-range snipe was a good feeling to cap off another title for the Crabs.
“It was pretty fun. I usually get goals right on the crease, so it was cool to score from the outside once. Got a little cross-check in there, too, so I got a little taste of what it’s like to play offense,” Barger said.
And the Crabs got just another taste of winning.
Baltimore Crabs 11, Laxachusetts 3
Laxachusetts 0 1 0 2 – 3
Baltimore Crabs 3 4 2 2 – 11
Harry Giarrusso 1g
Maxwell Montgomery 1g
John O’Leary 1g
Jake Hogan 4 saves
Tyler Blaisdell 2 saves
Tyler Ruhl 4g
Brinton Valis 1g
Colin Chell 1g
Chase Wittich 1g
Peter Brown 1g
Brendan Barger 1g
Andrew Gemma 1g
Pierre Byrne 1g
Jack Prutting 2 saves
Brock Turnbaugh 3 saves