By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/9/16
There is a sense of deja vu when watching Mesa Fresh play in the Summer Lacrosse League of Southeastern PA.
With no less than 11 members of Haverford School’s undefeated National Championship team and 13 players that competed for Mesa Fresh’s club program on the roster, Mesa capped a perfect season Monday by defeating Old Penn Charter (OPC), 12-9, to win the Norman Treinish Thursday Night championship at Radnor Memorial Park.
Mesa closed the season undefeated – including two wins over power GMH – and won its first Thursday night title.
Grant Ament (Haverford School 2015, Mesa, Penn State) and Reilly Hupfeldt (Haverford School 2013, Penn) each had three goals for Mesa and Alex deMarco (Haverford 2016, Mesa, Penn) had eight saves in the first half when Mesa seized a 6-3 lead. OPC got as close as 7-6 late in the third quarter, but Mesa scored four straight goals to take control.
“We figured as long as we stayed smart and didn’t take stupid shots, we’d be OK,” said Ament. “We took a few stupid shots in the third quarter and their goalies were pretty good, but we felt if we stayed to our game plan we’d have enough fire power and the shots would fall.
“We have all played together. Half the team was on the Mesa 2015 squad so we kind of know where we are on the field. It’s fun to play with these guys. I played with Reilly my sophomore year (at Haverford) and I always know if I get it to him inside he’ll always catch it.”
Hupfeldt agreed with Ament: “It’s a lot of fun and nice to play with a lot of guys you used to play with. It’s a little more relaxed setting. It’s fun that some of the older guys play with the same faces we used to see in a real good environment.”
Mesa, after defeating GMH last week in the semis on Wednesday, 12-10, had no time off took its team to Lake Placid to compete in the highly-competitive Men’s Open Division and placed a strong fifth.
“It was a good summer for Mesa. We went undefeated and played well,” said Hupfeldt. “Everyone chipped in and the team was pretty good top to bottom. Everyone showed up which is big for some of these games. The attendance was good and we all played well together. No one was selfish; we all had the same goal and we achieved something.”
Alex Rosener (Penn) had two goals while Steve Aitken (Haverford School 2010, Mesa, Penn State), Nick Waligurski (Berks Catholic, Cabrini), Forry Smith (Haverford School 2016, Johns Hopkins), Grayson Helm (Wyomissing, Bucknell) and Keyveat Postell (Haverford School 2016, Penn) each scored once. Colin Reder (Episcopal Academy 2015, North Carolina) had four saves in the second half.
OPC – comprised of many Penn Charter grads – got two goals each from Alex Hatem (Syracuse) and Drew Murray (Penn Charter, Hartford) and standout goaltending from Dan Carr (Penn Charter, Lehigh) and T.J. Jones (St. Joseph’s University).
“It would have been nice to get another ‘ship for OLP,” said Carr, the player-manager. “It’s always fun to see all these guys. Our team evolved from just Penn Charter grads; it’s an amalgamation of different folks with some of the guys that have played with us for four of five years.