By Matt Chandik
Phillylacrosse.com, posted 7/8/13
TOWSON, Md. – The bar had been set as high as possible in 2012.
The expectations were pretty high for Philadelphia as it came into this weekend’s Under Armour Underclassmen Games at Towson University as the defending champion for the first time in history and with a solid, experienced nucleus returning to go with new players, there was optimism that Philly would repeat.
Philly even took its first three games and looked poised for a potential repeat, but it lost to D.C. Sunday morning before bowing to eventual champion Baltimore, 17-10, to end its tournament.
“This was my second year at Under Armour,” midfielder Peter Blynn (The Haverford School 2014/Harvard) said, “and it’s my favorite tournament every summer. My favorite part of it is that you get to play as a region, so you get to show what Philly has.
“How you do here is how everyone’s going to think of you in the lacrosse world. It’s an awesome chance for all of us in the Philly area to come out and prove how good Philly lacrosse is against the top team in the country and I think this week, we did a great job. You always want to win, … but I think we showed everyone that Philly lacrosse is one of the best hotbeds and it should be mentioned in the same sentence as Baltimore, New England and Long Island.”
Baltimore blitzed Philly and stormed out to a 6-1 lead on the strength of five first-quarter points from Shack Stanwick (Boys’ Latin 2014/Johns Hopkins), who claimed tournament MVP honors. Philly took charge in the second quarter when Charles Kelly (Malvern Prep 2015/North Carolina) went 5-0 at the faceoff X to help Philly control the ball and enable Matt Heim (Central Bucks East 2014/Loyola), Tanner Peck (Avon Grove 2014/Penn State and Ryan Hilburn (Malvern Prep 2014/Boston University) to tally goals to go with a marker from Greg Merrill (Great Valley 2014/Princeton).
But every time Philly got close, Baltimore pulled away. Philly got it to within 9-7 on the strength of tallies from Tripp Traynor (Malvern Prep 2014/Penn State) and defenseman Connor Keating (The Haverford School 2014/Penn), but Baltimore ended the game on an 8-3 run thanks to two goals apiece from Ryan Conrad (Loyola Blakefield 2015/Virginia), Tal Bruno (Boys’ Latin 2014/Johns Hopkins) and Jason Ashwood (Hereford 2014/High Point).
“It’s a lot of fun,” Peck said. “It’s hard to explain. It’s like nothing else. A little bit of a bummer coming back this year and not being able to defend the title, but it couldn’t have happened with a better group of guys.
“They’re all my age – well, most of them – so I’m a lot closer with them than I was with the guys last year. It was a great experience. I thought we played pretty darn well off of two practices.”
Kelly was the main guy for Philly at the X while also getting intermittent breathers from Daniel Lanham (Garnet Valley 2015) and together, the duo claimed 20 of 30 wins to help Philly get possession for much of the game. Ultimately, though, Baltimore’s ability to cause turnovers and to turn those turnovers into goals proved costly for Philly.
“It’s pretty awesome,” Kelly said. “It was kind of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Hopefully I’m on the team next year, but we would have loved to win like last year and it felt fun to be representing Philadelphia.”
NOTES – Defenseman Greg Pelton (Malvern Prep, 2014 D, Duke) was the lone Philly boy or girl to be named to the All-Torunament team.
Under Armour Underclassmen Games Boys’ semifinals
Baltimore 17, Philadelphia 10
Philadelphia 1 3 4 2 – 10
Baltimore 6 1 4 6 – 17
Greg Merrill (Great Valley/Princeton) 2g
Ryan Hilburn (Malvern Prep/Boston University) 2g
Andrew Murray (Penn Charter/Fairfield) 2g
Tanner Peck (Avon Grove/Penn State) 1g, 1a
Peter Blynn (The Haverford School/Harvard) 2a
Drew Schantz (Malvern Prep/Notre Dame) 2a
Tripp Traynor (Malvern Prep/Penn State) 1g
Connor Keating (The Haverford School/Penn) 1g
Matt Heim (C.B. East/Loyola) 1g
Jake Scott (Conestoga/Harvard) 1a
Colin MacDougall (La Salle/Uncommitted) 3 saves
Will Schreiner (Avon Grove/Penn State) 8 saves
Shack Stanwick (Boys’ Latin/Johns Hopkins) 1g, 6a
Andy Matthews (Gilman/North Carolina) 2g, 2a
Mikey Wynne (St. Paul’s/Cornell) 3g
Jason Ashwood (Hereford/High Point) 3g
Tal Bruno (Boys’ Latin/Johns Hopkins) 2g
Ryan Conrad (Loyola Blakefield/Virginia) 2g
Peter Brown (Gilman/Uncommitted) 1g, 1a
Brinton Valis (McDonogh/Johns Hopkins) 1g
Adam Ceribelli (Hereford/Towson) 1g
William McBride (Gilman/North Carolina) 1g
Alex Gipe (Century/Uncommitted) 5 saves
A.J. Barretto (St. Paul’s/Army) 4 saves