Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/24/13
Twist Blue 2015 reached a milestone and went all the way to the championship game at the Battle of the Hotbeds today at the University of Delaware.
Twist Blue won its 100th game as a team (over four summers) by defeating Team Florida in the semifinals. Unfortunately for Twist, win No. 101 will have to wait until next year after it slipped away in agonizing fashion in the championship game.
Chad Malinowski, a 6-2, 200-pound longstick midfielder from Milton Academy, scored in a Braveheart to give Superstar Lacrosse 2014 of Connecticut a 7-6 win over Twist in the Hotbeds final. Malinowski had also scored in a Braveheart for Superstar in the semifinal win over Malvern Prep as well.
The overtime loss in the finals ended a great four days in Newark for Twist, which won its first nine games in the 80-team tournament, mostly against 2014 teams. Twist’s playoff run to the final was extraordinary, as its four playoff opponents combined had nearly 30 Division I commits.
Twist went 6-0 in its regular schedule to earn one of the 16 spots in the playoff round.
Twist’s first playoff game was Tuesday night against Patriots 2014, a team made up of players from Delbarton, Bergen Catholic and several other New Jersey powers. After trailing 4-2 midway through the second half, Twist tied it on goals from Ryan Connolly (Wilson West Lawn) and Mike Bown (Springside Chestnut Hill) and then tied it again when James Diver (Germantown Academy) scored with one minute left after Patriot had regained the lead.
After Greg Price (Holy Ghost Prep) kept it tied with a big save on the defensive end,
Garett Trucksess (Germantown Academy) won it with a goal just before time expired.
The quarterfinal matchup was against Minnesota Elite 2014 Wednesday morning in a game Twist would win 9-7. Minnesota took a 4-3 lead after the first possession of the second half, only to have Twist rip off five straight to take control. Matt Vetter (Central Bucks East) scored twice during that run and assisted on a gorgeous behind-the-back goal from Connolly, while Zach Keller (Hill) and Michael Major (Holy Ghost Prep) also scored to build an 8-4 lead.
That win put Twist into the semifinals against a Team Florida team that was undefeated for the summer and was the defending Hotbeds champion. Led by a remarkable defensive effort that included nine saves from Price and a swarming ferocity from the Twist poles – Matthew Anderson (Pennsbury), Jackson Ehlert (Exeter), Mike Eveland (Central Bucks East), Nick Lawlor (Springside Chestnut Hill), Parker Ross (Allentown Central Catholic), Kevin
Witchey (Central Bucks South) – Twist overwhelmed Florida 7-3. Twist’s seven goals came from six different players, as Vetter was the only player with more than one.
The final matched two teams who would be playing their third game in three hours (games were two 22-minute running time halves). Superstar rallied to take a 6-5 lead late in the game, but Major tied with 20 seconds left to force the deciding Braveheart. Major had three goals in the final for Twist, while Ehlert, Jake Henze (Central Bucks South) and Ben Bala (Hill) had one each and Price finished with 12 saves in the game.
Twist finished the summer with a record of 29-8, reaching the final at Hotbeds, Tri-State junior AA, Best of the Best and Philly Cup.
Twist is now 100-23 in the last four summers.
Twist Blue 2015
Matthew Anderson (Pennsbury)
Jack Auteri (La Salle)
Ben Bala (Hill)
Christian Baldi (Salesianum)
Mike Bown (Springside Chestnut Hill)
Anthony Bozzelli (Central Bucks East)
Matt Brown (Central Bucks East)
Jeff Circuit (Central Bucks East)
Ryan Connolly (Wilson West Lawn)
Ian Davies (Germantown Academy)
James Diver (Germantown Academy)
Jackson Ehlert (Exeter)
Mike Eveland (Central Bucks East)
Jake Henze (Central Bucks South)
Connor Howell (Wilson West Lawn)
Brandon Huegel (Archbishop Wood)
Zach Keller (Hill)
Nick Lawlor (Springside Chestnut Hill)
Michael Major (Holy Ghost Prep)
James Oeth (Springside Chestnut Hill)
Greg Price (Holy Ghost Prep)
Parker Ross (Allentown Central Catholic)
Garett Trucksess (Germantown Academy)
Matt Vetter (Central Bucks East)
Kevin Witchey (Central Bucks South)