Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/2/17
TJ Malone (Haverford School) put in a Kyle Long (Springfield-Delco) rebound early in overtime as Team Philly toppled New Jersey, 9-8, today to win the Highlight Division (2018-19) title at the Under Armour Underclass Tournament at Towson University.
It was the second title for Philly in tree years and third in six years. New Jersey was the defending champion.
Philly was down, 8-7, late in regulation and also down a man, but regained possession with less than 40 seconds to play. Tourney MVP Long soon tossed a soft floater toward the goal in an effort to find a cutter, and the ball glanced off a New Jersey stick and into the cage for the tying goal with about 13 seconds left.
Philly won the OT faceoff on a New Jersey infraction and set up for the game-winner. Long had a close-in shot stopped, but Malone used a hockey-style scoop to convert for the game-winner.
“I saw TJ cut from behind and thought if I timed it up I could get it to him just as he came top side,” said Long of the tying goal. “My immediate thought was, ‘Did that really just happen? And wow, were going to overtime.’
“We had a group that just wouldn’t quit no matter what situation we were in. We competed every second of every game.”
“The kids were willing to put their egos aside and play as a team,” added coach Tom Lemieux. “I think that was the difference. We had a great group of coaches (Rob Forster, Todd Cliggett, John Bodnar) and a great group of kids who represented our region really well! We were the toughest team there!”
Philly was dominant at the face-off X the entire series behind Michael Sisselberger (Southern Lehigh) and Gavin Tygh (Penn Charter). Sisselberger was 9 of 13 in the title game.
“It’s great to represent one of the biggest hotbeds of lacrosse in the country and to bring a championship back home is an awesome accomplishment,” said Long.
Besides Long, three other Philly players were cited as all-tourney picks, attackman Jack Traynor, midfielder Jeff Conner (Strath Haven) and goalie Caton Jonson (Manheim Township).
All-Tourney Attack: Jacob Kelly (Calvert Hall, MD / UNC), Brian Cameron (Bishop Guertin, NH / UNC), Jack Traynor (Malvern Prep, PA / PSU).
All-Tourney Midfield: Jeff Conner (Philly / UVA), Griffin Westlin (New Jersey / Hopkins), Quentin Buchman (West / Boston U).
All-Tourney Defense: Evan Egan (West / UNC), Will Bowen (New England / UNC), Judah Hicks (New Jersey); G: Caton Johnson (Philly / UNC)
— Chris Jastrzembski (@CFJastrzembski) July 2, 2017