By Bradley Schlegel
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/8/15
Aaron Forster scored on a penalty shot with under a minute to play Saturday to lift Everest Academy (Ontario, Canada) to 6-5 victory over NXT 2016 in the High School AA title at the Philadelphia Indoor Lacrosse Championships at the SportsPlex in Feasterville.
The goal allowed Everest Academy to overcome a two-goal deficit in the final five minutes and capture its third straight box lacrosse tournament title.
Jordan Hendricks, a 2016, scored twice in a 90-second span to force a 5-5 tie for the defending champions. Hendricks scored three goals and Forster had two while Andrew DeRyck scored once.
Kevin Todd (Spring-Ford, PA; Richmond commit) gave NXT a 5-3 lead with 4 minutes, 30 seconds left in the championship game. The Everest players welcomed the pressure, according to Forster.
“We knew we’d have a target on our backs,” said Forster, who has committed to play college lacrosse at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark.
Hendricks said the team believed in its capability and confidence to fight back.
“We felt like we could make it entertaining,” he said.
Clem D’Orazio, Everest Academy’s head coach, said he sensed 100 percent confidence that the team could rally.
“Everyone was very calm,” the coach said. “We were down two goals, but we were not in a rush. I instructed the players to work the ball, get good looks and take advantage of their opportunities.”
Everest Academy rallied similarly in the semifinal game earlier Saturday, scoring five second-half goals to post a 7-4 victory over Team 91 from Long Island, N.Y.
“We came back before,” said D’Orazio, also referencing his team’s come-from-behind 6-5 victory over NXT 2016 in pool play during the tournament. “So I knew we could do it again.”
During their time in the Philadelphia region, Everest Academy’s players attended a Flyers game, toured the city and watched the University of Pennsylvania’s men’s lacrosse team practice.
“Philadelphia is a great city to see,” he said.
Bailey Brown and Austin Loucks were solid in sharing the goaltending duties for Everest.
According to D’Orazio, the players look forward the trip each year. He said they expect the competition to improve annually.
“The boys start talking about coming down here in September,” the coach said. “They have a great time. We would have been disappointed if we had not defended our championship.”
Also scoring for NXT were Ryan Terefenko (Wilson, PA; Ohio State commit), Ryan Kinnard (Penncrest, PA; Hofstra), Brant Alan Pittman (Conestoga, PA) and Michael Nelson (Southern Lehigh, PA; Vermont).
“I can’t be happy after a loss,” said Todd. “But the team played very well to get as far as we did here. I’m proud of the way we played throughout the tournament.”
NOTES – The PILC is run by NXT Events. Click here for a story on the High School A Division finals, won by Team 91.