By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 12/29/16
There is no box lacrosse program more respected in the United States than Long Island’s Team 91.
So, after Eagle (Tri-State Lacrosse-NJ) claimed a thrilling 7-6 shootout win Wednesday over Team 91 in the US Box Lacrosse Association Grade 7/8 title game at XL Sports World/BM ISC in Hatfield, the Eagle coaches were noticeably proud.
“The kids really played hard and with a lot of heart,” said co-coach Ross Turco, who shared the duties with Bob Turco (defensive) and Anthony Terranova (offense). “We rarely beat those guys; it’s an exceptional program filled with wonderful talent. The kids battled and had an amazing defensive effort.”
Said Bob Turco: “It’s a rarity to beat Team 91; I couldn’t feel more fortunate.”
Eagle used a stunning 6-2 surge to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 6-4 lead with 10:15 to play. Team 91 tied it on goals by Aidan McCaffrey and Chris Capelmann to force the shootout.
Drew Hiner (two goals in regulation), Julian Chero (two goals) and Brendan Roth (two goals) all scored in their shootout tries for Eagle and Team 91 also converted its first two tries. Eagle goalie Antonio Rodriguez – who stood out the entire game – then stopped the final Team 91 attempt to clinch the victory.
“They are very talented and I noticed in the first two shots they were dragging over to the left pipe and beating me on the back side,” said Rodriguez. “I felt if I held the right pipe a little he may choke up and not know where to go and I could get that left side – even if just a bit and make the save.
“When you hear the Team 91 name, you’re scared to go against them. It really does feel good to beat this team and see us come together. I am proud of our team, it was such a good experience.”
“It was an awesome experience,” added Roth. “I loved having the game winning goal and celebrating with my team. We lost the first game (12-5 to Team 91 in pool play) and then came out strong this game. Our coaches always say defense wins championships and that’s what happened.”
Andrew McAdorey had two goals for Team 91.