By Tom Peace
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/14/14
TOWSON, Md. – Ethan Mintzer (Calvert Hall, 2016/Maryland) and Andy Matthews (Gilman, 2015/North Carolina) scored late in the game to break a 10-10 tie as Baltimore repeated as Under Armour Underclassmen games boys’ champion Sunday with a 12-11 victory over Philadelphia at Towson University.
Tournament MVP A.J. Barretto (St. Paul’s, 2015)/Army) was a key in goal and attackman Alex Roesner (Loyola Blakefield, 2015/Penn) led the attack as Baltimore won its 12th straight Under Armour game.
Philly’s top scorer, all-tourney pick Curtis Zappala (Episcopal Academy, 2015/Maryland, 3G) put his team up 9-8 before Roesner scored twice to make it 10-9. Matt Moore (Garnet Valley, 2017/Virginia) then tied it.
“It was a real streaky game with the momentum switching from team to team so emotions were high throughout the game,” said Zappala. “It was a game full of scrappy play between the lines and big hits that got the bench up. However everyone felt that we left it all on the field against a phenomenal team so we kept our heads up.”
Michael Sowers (Upper Dublin, 2016/Princeton) had a goal and three assists for Philly, which showed amazing balance all weekend. All-tourney pick Ryan McNulty (Bishop Shanahan, 2016/Loyola) and goalies Ryan Kern (Salesianum, 2015/Navy) and Colin Reder (Episcopal Academy, 2015/North Carolina) led the defense.
“The unselfish manor of everyone on the team helped us put up big points against great teams,” said Zappala. “Against the West we put up probably 14 assisted goals. Everyone wanted to win, it didn’t matter who stuck it in the back of the net because we wanted to win more than anything. There was never a kid taking an 18-yard shot with a wide open guy in the crease.”
Zappala also said the team dealt well with adversity – especially when penalties seemed to pile up.
“Throughout the tournament we struggled with lopsided penalty calls by the officials,” he said. “However, we knew that was going to happen. They weren’t going to make our run to the final easy so we used it to motivate us.”
“Like Curtis said, we were all there to pick each other up and we used it to motivate us,” said McNulty. “Everything we did was because we just wanted to win.
“There some things we all could have done (better) and that goes for Baltimore and Philadelphia. It was a great game; honestly it was one of the best I ever played in. A game like that really brings up the competition level.”
McNulty praised his defensive teammates and goalies: “All the guys communicated so well on the field and that made it that much easier, and then Ryan Kern and Colin Red were playing out of their heads that was so helpful.”
Baltimore finished with an amazing five one-goal games; one being an 8-7, overtime triumph over the ever-improving South in the semifinals. Matthews had the game-winner in that one.
“We had a great unit and a lot of guys stepped up,” said Roesner. “The team came together. We toughed it out, we won a lot of face-offs and the groundball battle.
“We had a really tight group and won a lot of one-goal games. I think that playing together in the MIAA helps us out down the end.”
After Baltimore took an early 3-0 lead, but Philly roared back and seized a 5-4 halftime edge.
Baltimore coach Jimmy Creighton said the tournament’s talent has risen well beyond the Mid-Atlantic powers.
“It feels awesome to keep the streak going – 12 games in a row,” Creighton said. “We had a lot to uphold going into the tournament.
“They (Philly) are a really good team and when you win five one-goal games, obviously the competition is very high.”
Baltimore 12, Philadelphia 11
Alex Roesner 4G, 1A
Patrick Spencer 2G, 1A
Timmy Kelly 1G, 1A
Jack Lombardo 1G
Robby Black 1G
Andy Matthews 1G
Ethan Mintzer 1G
Mitch Gordon 1G
Jack Halpert 1A
Cole Williams 2A
Curtis Zappala 3G
Mike Sowers 1G, 3A
Dox Aitken 1G, 1A
Andrew Pettit 1G
Lucas Spence 1G
Kyle Anderson 1G, 1A
Adam Goldner 1G
Matt Moore 1G, 1A
Jake Peden 1G
Mike Risser 1A
Under Armour All-Tournament:
MVP – Baltimore goalie A.J. Barretto (St. Paul’s)
Defense: West’s Beau Botkiss (Torrey Pines), Philly’s Ryan McNulty (Bishop Shanahan), South’s A.J. Ferraro (Stoneman Douglas-FL)
Midfield: New England’s Reilly Walsh (Brunswick School-CT), Philadelphia’s Curtis Zappala (Episcopal Academy), Baltimore’s Ryan Conrad (Loyola Blakefield).
Attack: Baltimore’s Timmy Kelly (Calvert Hall), West’s Connor McCroskey (Bishop’s School-CA), South’s Jared Bernhardt (Lake Brantley-FL)