By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/16/18
Penn*Lax players admitted the team struggled at times in its 8-6 semifinal victory over Lax Factory (MD) in Monday’s Fusion Lacrosse Best in Box Tournament at Body Zone Complex in Reading.
But after a 3-3 start against BBL in the title game, Penn*Lax put it all together, scoring the final 13 goals for a 16-3 championship victory.
“In the semifinals we were in the box the whole game; this game we concentrated on staying out of the box and running the offense,” said Jack Daly, a 2018 Haverford High (Monmouth signee) attack. “We were running transition and shots were falling.
“We were playing hard and it seemed to all come together. Last tournament, we were in the box every game. This game we saw a lot of improvement. We are getting better every tournament.”
Penn*Lax is comprised of Philly region players. Its first tourney came two weeks ago at the USBoxLa Mid-Atlantic Regionals when it squeaked by O2 National Box (N.J.), 4-3, on an overtime goal by Luke Summers (Parkland).
Penn*Lax also got a major challenge from Lax Factory in round robin play, winning 7-6, in a shootout (see tweet with video below). But in the title game, Andrew Albertson (Parkland, High Point signee) dominated the faceoffs and Penn*Lax capitalized on its possessions with balanced scoring.
Bailey O’Connor (Emmaus, 2019, West Point commit) put his team up, 4-3, late in the first period (of three 13-minute sessions) and then goals followed by Ryan Raftery (Cherokee-NJ, 2018, RPI), Scott Deck (Haveford School, 2018), Cole Lukasiewicz (Haverford High, 2018, Scranton commit), Daley, Connor O’Neill (Germantown Academy, 2018, Washington College), Daly, Alex Albertson (Parkland, 2019, Army), Brian Miller (Downingtown East, 2019, Bucknell), Luke Summers (Parkland, 2018), Deck and Andrew Albertson.
Penn*Lax Platinum wins in a shootout in their first game vs. Lax Factory! @USBOXLA #boxlacrosse #BestinBox pic.twitter.com/nakUs5uvWP
— Penn Lax All Stars (@penn_lax) January 15, 2018
Kieran Ward (Malvern Prep, 2018, Gettysburg) had three goals in the first period. Penn*Lax again got solid goaltending from 2018s Axel Beskar (Souderton) and Connor Reese (Owen J. Roberts).
“Our shots started falling,” said Ward. “I think we started playing together better than before. None of us had played much together, but the more we play together it helps us out more with our passing and moving.”
“We put our heads down and recollected ourselves and got back to basics of what we were supposed to do,” added Deck. “We listened to our coaches more. We really clicked. At the end of the semifinal, that’s when we clicked.”
Daly said the coaches – Adam Mueller and Todd MacFarlane – are rich in experience and have helped mold the team quickly.
“The coaches are excellent and they run very intense practices,” he said. “We have a lot of training and we are learning from the best.”
Said MacFralane: “We struggled a bit the first couple games on O, D and transition. The final game vs. BBL, everything started clicking. We played better team defense, we took away topside, and did not let anyone get underneath; we helped off ball and work well together as a unit.
“We also changed a few things up on the face off wings that led to clean wins and direct lines to GB’s. On the ofensive side, we kept the ball moving and took better quality shots – overhand, catching the ball loaded and moving to the middle of the floor.”