This is part of a series of articles counting down the Top 20 stories of Philly lacrosse in 2010
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/4/11
A four-year rebuilding project by the U.S. men’s national team culminated during the summer in a 12-10 victory over Canada – the team that dethroned it in 2006 – in the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championship final before 4,651 fans at the University of Manchester in England.
And in the middle of the celebration for Team USA were a number of key players from Philly that made this the No. 13 Story of the Year for 2010 in Philly lacrosse.
One of the stars for Team USA was goaltender Brian Dougherty, the Episcopal Academy graduate and former Philadelphia Barrage and University of Maryland standout who served as the grizzled veteran and inspirational leader on the team. “Doc” made 15 saves in the title game, and a key one when his team was down one at the end.
“Words can’t really express how I feel right now,” said Dougherty during a phone press conference arranged by US Lacrosse after the game. “I was telling people last night and today that I was closing my eyes and visualizing how this would feel, and it’s not even close to what it actually feels like.
“This is the greatest feeling I have ever had, with these guys and these coaches. It’s unbelievable.”
Another Philly player on USA was midfielder and co-captain Kevin Cassese, head coach at Lehigh and another former Barrage standout.
“It feels great,” said Cassese. “I am sitting her with my uniform on and my gold medal around my neck and I don’t want this to end.
“I don’t feel like leaving the locker and I just feel great for the other 23 guys and the coaching staff. This is the culmination of a lot of hard work that paid off when it mattered the most.”
Other Philly players on the title team were all-world defenseman Kyle Sweeney (Springfield-Delco), defenseman Shawn Nadelen, attackmen Brendan Mundorf (Philadelphia Wings) and Drew Westervelt, midfielder Max Seibald (Wings). Also, Team USA featured defenseman D.J. Driscoll (Malvern Prep) and face-off specialist Alex Smith (Univ. of Delaware). Also, former Wings great and Barrage coach Tony Resch (La Salle College High assistant coach) served as an assistant coach.
Team USA’s seventh world title did not come easy. The U.S. – guided by coach Mike Pressler – seized an 8-4 halftime lead with four unanswered goals in the second quarter. But Canada stormed back, blanking Team USA in the third quarter to tie it at 8. It set up another epic U.S.-Canada, fourth quarter showdown.
Zack Greer gave Canada its first lead of the game after getting topside on Driscoll, faking and beating Dougherty on the doorstep to put the Canadians ahead 9-8 with just under 17 minutes remaining.
Dougherty came up huge with two saves – including a lunging kick save off his left knee on Kevin Crowley – on a man-down possession to keep Team USA within a goal.
Mundorf rewarded him by scoring off a quick flip from Ryan Powell with a low, right-handed release – tying the game at 9 with about 12 minutes remaining.
John Grant Jr. answered for Canada, posting up Nadelen, getting topside, rolling back outside and dunking a goal on Dougherty to put the Canadians ahead 10-9 with less than 10 minutes remaining.
That’s when Ned Crotty, not much of a factor for Team USA in the early rounds, got untracked. The team’s youngest player and 2010 Tewaaraton Trophy winner with Duke, Crotty tied it at 10 on a low-to-high riser off a Mike Leveille feed with 8:24 left.
Less than three minutes later, Crotty scored the go-ahead goal on a phenomenal bounce shot as he fell to the ground. The ball flung off the turf and found a space under the crossbar and above the stick of Canadian goalie Chris Sanderson (Philadelphia Wings assistant coach).
Canada turned the ball over with about four minutes remaining and Team USA possessed the ball the rest of the way. Sanderson kept it at a goal by taking a Leveille shot off the lid of his helmet. The U.S. corralled the rebound and called timeout with 2:30 left.
Despite pulling Sanderson from the game and doubling the ball with an extra field player, Canada could not regain possession, committing a number of fouls and chasing the likes of Team USA’s Matt Zash and Seibald.
After a series of penalties, Leveille scored on an empty net with 1:19 left to seal the victory. Canada could not create the turnover it needed. The game ended with the ball in the stick of Ryan Boyle, a three-time Team USA member, in the corner.
Midfielder Paul Rabil finished with three goals and was named the MVP of the 2010 FIL World Championships. Leveille added three goals. Mundorf and Crotty scored two apiece.
Grant led Canada with three goals and an assist. Greer added two goals.
Dougherty finished with 15 saves, his highest total of the tournament, for Team USA. Sanderson made 10 saves in the loss.
Joining Rabil on the All-World team were Leveille, Seibald, Mundorf and defensemen Ryan McClay and Kyle Sweeney (Springfield-Delco/Wings).
The team members received their championship rings at a traditional ring ceremony recently at New York’s Cornell Club in New York City. The program included a video of the team’s remarkable journey and remarks from US Lacrosse and team staff followed by the presentation of the rings from Head Coach Mike Pressler.
The FIL World Championships were held July 15-24. The team finished the tournament with a 6-1 record. This is the ninth world champion title for Team USA.
The U.S. men’s national team has now won seven of the last eight world titles (1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010).
Most of the 23-member team accepted their rings – including Dougherty, recently named head coach at Chestnut Hill College. Dougherty, who has won three pro championships (two with the Barrage), a national club championship (GMH Philadelphia, this summer) and numerous individual honors, ranked this title as his No. 1 accomplishment.
“This is definitely as the top of the list,” he said in a phone interview. “It was just great seeing everyone come together as a team.
“The event Friday was great. We got to see a cool video and our general manager spoke and then Coach Pressler talked about each guy and gave everybody his ring. We had a really good time, busting each other’s chops.”
FIL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS – GOLD MEDAL GAME
USA – 3 – 5 – 0 – 4… 12
CAN – 2 – 2 – 4 – 2… 10
Goals: USA – Rabil 3, Leveille 3, Crotty 2, Mundorf 2, Powell, Striebel; CAN – Grant 3, Greer 2, Billings, Crowley, Huntley, Steenhuis, Williams.
Assists: USA – Crotty, Mundorf, Powell; CAN – Duch, Grant, Huntley, Small.
Saves: USA – Dougherty 15; CAN – Sanderson 10.
Faceoffs: USA – Smith 11-of-22, Peyser 0-of-1; CAN – Snider 12-of-22.
2010 All-World Team
Most Valuable Player: Paul Rabil, United States
Top Goalie: Chris Sanderson, Canada
Top Defender: Brodie Merrill, Canada
Top Midfielder: Paul Rabil, United States
Top Attackman: John Grant Jr, Canada
A – Brendan Mundorf (Wings), USA
A – John Grant Jr, Canada
A – Mike Leveille, USA
M – Paul Rabil, USA
M – Max Seibald (Wings), USA
M – Leigh Perham, Australia
D – Brodie Merrill, Canada
D – Kyle Sweeney (Springfield-Delco), USA
D – Ryan McClay, USA
G – Chris Sanderson (Wings assistant coach), Canada
The 23-man roster for Team USA that competed in the FIL World Championships July 15-24 at Manchester, England:
2 Brendan Mundorf A Ellicott City, Md. Denver Outlaws/Wings UMBC ’06
4 Joe Cinosky D Boonton Township, N.J. Chesapeake Bayhawks Maryland ’09
5 Eric Martin D Norfolk, Va. Denver Outlaws Salisbury ’04
6 Brian Dougherty G Philadelphia, Pa./Episcopal Acad. GMH Lacrosse Club Maryland ’96
7 Kyle Sweeney D Springfield, Pa./Springfield-Delco Boston Cannons/Wings Georgetown ’03
9 Matt Striebel M Gill, Mass. Chicago Machine Princeton ’01
10 Matt Zash M Massapequa, N.Y. Long Island Lizards Duke ’06
11 Alex Smith M Timonium, Md. Chesapeake Bayhawks Delaware ’07
12 Ned Crotty M New Vernon, N.J. Machine Duke ’10
14 Ryan Boyle A Baltimore, Md. Boston Cannons Princeton ’04
20 Stephen Peyser M Lloyd Harbor, N.Y. Long Island Lizards Johns Hopkins ’08
21 Kyle Dixon M Millersville, Md. Chesapeake Bayhawks Virginia ’06
22 Ryan Powell A Carthage, N.Y. Team Rhino Syracuse ’00
25 Chris Schiller M Rochester, N.Y. SCOG Penn State ’99
26 Drew Westervelt A Bel Air, Md. Denver Outlaws/Phila. Wings UMBC ’07
27 Shawn Nadelen D Rochester, N.Y. Chesapeake Bayhawks/Wings Johns Hopkins ’01
32 Kevin Cassese M Port Jeff. Station, N.Y. Brooklyn Lacrosse Club/Lehigh head coach Duke ’03
34 Ryan McClay D Mahopac, N.Y. Boston Cannons Cornell ’03
36 D.J. Driscoll D Downingtown, Pa./Malvern Prep Chicago Machine Notre Dame ’06
42 Max Seibald M Hewlett, N.Y. Denver Outlaws Cornell ’09
44 Adam Fullerton G Liverpool, N.Y. Denver Outlaws Army ’08
91 Mike Leveille A Delmar, N.Y. Chicago Machine Syracuse ’08
99 Paul Rabil M Gaithersburg, Md. Boston Cannons Johns Hopkins ’08
Head Coach: Mike Pressler
Assistant Coaches: Joe Alberici, Tony Resch (La Salle College High assistant/former Barrage, Wings coach), Rick Sowell
Faceoff Consultant: Paul Cantabene