By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/26/17
Stephen Blue said Fusion 2020’s success is based on strong team chemistry.
“On the offensive end we know how to pass the ball because we have built such good team chemistry,” he said. “On the defensive end know how to slide and our communication with each other is pretty amazing.”
Fusion parlayed that team concept during the weekend when it claimed the 2020 AA championship of the Victory Events Boys’ Summer Slam, defeating Echelon Rise (FL), 7-4, Sunday at Westtown School for the championship.
Fusion and Echelon – comprised mostly of players from IMG Lacrosse Academy – had tied, 8-8, just an hour earlier in their final pool play game. In the title game, Fusion broke a 2-2 tie with four straight goals and hung on after an Echelon rally.
Blue, who had 44 goals as a freshman at Souderton this spring, led Fusion with four goals. Neel Maddi (Tower Hill-DE), Cole Benson (Downingtown East) and Ryan Cassidy (Salesianum School-DE) each scored single goals while Thomas Kelly (Central Bucks West) and Bradley Green (Hempfield) handled the goaltending dutuies.
“I think the difference in the second game was that we understood what they were going to throw at us and took advantage of it,” said Fusion’s Mason Garrabrant (Salesianum School), who stood out at short stick midfield. “We just have that team chemistry.
“We are all really close friends and we always know where each other is going to be. We make the extra pass and we play unselfish. We have been playing together for 3 or four years and we have kept the same core players. We always have each other’s backs.”
Added Blue: “Our first game was very competitive, but we came out hungry for the title game.”
Dane Kuda (Berkeley Prep-FL) led Echelon with two goals.
Blue said the program’s focus on box lacrosse has helped him in the field game.
“It’s teaching us to have good stick positioning and to make good passes right in the box,” he said “We have a lot of accuracy through the stick placement we learned from box.”