By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/8/13
TOWSON, Md. – In an offensive explosion that will be talked about for years, the South defeated the North, 28-24, Saturday night in a memorable Boys’ Under Armour Senior All-American Game at Towson University’s Johnny Unitas Stadium.
The game featured more highlight reel goals than you’ll normally see in a month as the top seniors took turns showing off their offensive skills in a game that broke the Under Armour record for total goals by 17.
The scoring record was shattered with 36 seconds left in the third quarter, and the North led, 24-23 when Game MVP Matt Rambo (La Salle, PA/Maryland) scored four of his record eight goals in a final offensive eruption that brought even more oohs and aahs.
“They weren’t sliding and I was rippin’, my shot was on today,” said Rambo. “I am just real happy. It (winning the MVP and setting the record) hasn’t hit me, we were just out here having fun.”
Rambo was, of course, hardly the only offensive star. (Click here for full game summary)
For the South, Wilkins Dismuke (Rock Canyon, CO/Johns Hopkins)had four goals and Nick Mazza (Calverton, MD/Penn State) three. Zach Currier (Culver Academy, IN/Princeton) added two goals and two assists and Michael Sutton (St. Augustine Prep, NJ/Penn State), Kieran Eissler (Coronado, NV/Hopkins) and Dylan Maltz (Stonebridge, VA/PSU) each scored twice. Just as significant were the contributions of Stephen Kelly (Calvert Hall, MD/North Carolina), who won 24 of 38 face-offs, collected 18 groundballs and had a goal and two assists.
“I had to take a lot of face-offs,” said Kelly, who was in the running for the MVP until Rambo finished the job. “All around, it was a great experience. I got to meet the guys I will be playing with and playing against for the next four years.”
For the North, Zach Miller (Hill Academy, Canada/Maryland) had five goals and an assist, Tim Rotanz (Shoreham-Wading River, NY/Maryland) scored four goals and Jordan Evans (Jamesville-DeWitt, N.Y./Syracuse) and Nick Aponte (West Islip, NY/PSU) each tallied three while J.T. Forkin (Long Beach, N.Y./Syracuse) added a pair.
Amazingly, there was a goaltending star. The South’s Matt Barrett (Malvern Prep) made 12 saves (to tie the record) in the second half and had a half dozen key stops in the final six minutes of the game when his fellow Duke’s Lacrosse Club teammate Rambo took over.
“Barrett stood on his head,” said Rambo. “He had to have at least 15 saves.”
“It was a lot of fun,” added Barrett, who is headed to Virginia. “I thought I could have had a couple more saves, but they were all great shooters.”
Many records were shattered besides total goals: total shots (137) and groundballs (114). The combined goals for a quarter number was also broken when the two teams racked up 15 goals in the third.
Even the defenseman got into the act. “I should have had a couple,” said South defenseman Austin Pifani (Abington/North Carolina), who scored once and scooped four groundballs. “If I am going to get a shorty, I am going to take him.
“It was insane. It was probably the most fun game I have ever played in. All that offense was literally sick.”
Currier said the offensive players had the advantage.
“The skill levels were unparalleled,” he said. “I saw guys make plays I have never seen before.”
Added the North’s Justin Guterding (Garden City, N.Y., PG at Salisbury School, CT/Duke), who had one goal: “It was a shootout. These were some of the best offensive players in the country. Even a great defensive player could not hold down offensive players like that. I had a blast.”
Also from Philly, defenseman Kevin Gayhardt (Episcopal Academy/Penn) had three groundballs and Sutton added two GBs while midfielder Sean Coleman (La Salle/Harvard) scooped three groundballs.
The all-time Under Armour All-American Lacrosse Classic series is now split four apiece between the North and South. The South has won the last three classics.