Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/29/20 – Staff Report
Team Philly had its ups and downs in the Command (2023-24) Division of the All America Underclass Games during the East Super Regional Thursday and Friday at Maple Zone Sports Village.
But Philly head coach Brian Dougherty (Springside Chestnut Hill Academy) said it was easy to see all the positives for a team that reached the title game Friday with a resounding 10-1 win over CONNY before bowing to powerful New Jersey, 10-3, in the final.
“We came out and won, 10-1, over CONNY; that was definitely our best game,” said Dougherty, who was joined on the sidelines by Chris Onderdonk and Jake McKeon. “The guys came out from the get-go.”
Team Philly went 1-3 in round robin play Thursday, losing two 1-goal decisions to New Jersey and splitting with CONNY. In the semifinal match with CONNY, Dougherty said the team showed its potential.
“Wills Burt (Haverford School) was a stud; he was probably our leading goal scorer, and the defense was amazing,” said Dougherty. “Pat Jameison (Conestoga, All-Tourney pick) was a stud in goal while defensemen Patrick Keenan (Malvern Prep), Brandon Riggione (Academy of the New Church), Sam Barton (Downingtown East), Roman Buono (Malvern Prep) and Mikey Waite (Downingtown East) locked those guys down all day.
“Then we ran into a really tough New Jersey team that beat us three times. They were the better team. It was tough having to play back to back and face them in the finals, but they were better than us. Their faceoff guy (tourney MVP Robert Simone of Don Bosco Prep) was like 14 of 16.”
Jameison was joined on the All-Tourney team by attackman Ryan DiRocco (Haverford School) and midfielders Kyle Lehman (Wissahickon) and Ryan Falkenstein (Malvern Prep).
Dougherty credited his staff and said the Philly team meshed into a strong unit. He felt the tournament was a great ending to a most challenging year, which of course saw the loss of the high school campaign due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“First of all, I give tons of credit to my assistants, Jake and Chris,” said Dougherty, formerly the head coach at Division II Chestnut Hill College. “The kids really bought into all the coaches and what they were preaching.
“The best thing about the experience is that we became a team in those five weeks and five practices. They had fun, and the guys really got along. There was no complaining or whining about playing time. The kids were great, the families were great and I think we put on a good product.
“Also, there was the developmental part. Most of these kids haven’t played (school lacrosse) since 8th grade so they have lost as much as two years of development. Club lacrosse is great but there is nothing like playing and developing in high school and having high school instruction.
“Our staff coached them like college kids – we taught some high level stuff and they ate it up. It was a great experience for kids who had a real crappy 2020 spring
“Losing sucks but give Jersey credit. I loved our squad and wouldn’t trade them for anything, but we just ran into a team that was a little bit better than us.”
Boys Command All Tournament Team
Name Number Team
Timothy Piacentini 11 New Jersey
Ryan DiRocco (Haverford School, attackman) 10 Philly
Robert Simone 7 New Jersey MVP
Thomas Augustine 4 CONNY
Kyle Lehman (Wissahickon, midfielder) 5 Philly
Beau Kemler 13 New Jersey
Patrick Jameison (Conestoga, goalie) 18 Philly
Colin Kurdyla 17 New Jersey
Thomas Delgudo 14 CONNY
Luke Michalik 17 CONNY
Henry Spencer 23 New Jersey
Ryan Falkenstein (Malvern Prep, midfielder) 22 Philly